Friday, October 16, 2009

Company Girl Coffee

This is my first time to participate in the Friday Company Girl Coffee. Rachel really inspired me with her post on getting your "gift center" set up. I don't have a place yet to set up a gift closet like hers but for a long time I had a system for organizing the wrapping paper and gift bags that was working well for me. I used an old garment bag and had the paper rolls bows, gift bags and tissue stored neatly away and hanging in my coat closet. It was convenient and everyone knew where the supplies were (although we never could keep a pair of scissors from wandering off). Well, a few months ago the bag got a little too full and heavy and it broke. Now it would not hang up anymore but continued to be stuffed in the closet. The paper was wrinkling and there was no room for the 9 rolls of Christmas paper I found on a fantastic markdown recently.


The old system for storing our wrapping supplies was no longer working.

A week ago my husband reached his tolerance limit with our son`s bedroom and we went on a rampage to rid his room of a ton of unneccesary junk. I came across this large under the bed box that was not being used for anything important.

This morning I gathered up the wrapping supplies from around the house, put the ribbon and bows in clear ziploc bags so I can see easily what colors and sizes I have, and it all fits in the big box.

Christmas paper stashes under the bed needs a new home.


I don't have a spot clear under my bed for this so it is temporarily standing on end in the corner of the dining room.

It is out of the way and will be fine until we need to turn the heat on in the house. Hopefully by then I will have decluttered a spot under my bed to store the supplies.
Thanks, Rachel, for the kick in the pants to deal with this before the holiday season gets into full swing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Plan: October 12-18

The good news is that we did fairly well at sticking to the menu plan last week. Not every meal was made on the day it was scheduled for, but most were made at some point during the week. The bad news is that I don't have many meals to push to this week, so I had to come up with a whole week's worth of meals. I have to say that as we are recovering from some sickness in the house (and my hubby and I may be toying with the idea of falling victim as well) that this week's plans do not include a lot of labor intensive recipes. Today is a holiday so we are pushing last Friday's pizza to today, but we may let one of the boys invite a friend over on Friday so we will either do pizza again (I don't expect to get any complaints from the kids over this. "boo hiss, pizza twice in one week!" Nope, not gonna hear that phrase in my household.) or, if I am ambitious we will make homemade pepperoni rolls. Plan C: the least ambitious of all but just as delicious is to buy brown and serve loaves of "french" bread, stuff with pepperoni and mozzarella and then bake till golden brown. Yummy!

Monday Oct 12
Breakfast: Oatmeal, juice
School snack: Not needed --- today is a holiday
Meal 1: Homemade pizza
Meal 2: Baked Salsa Chicken, rice, brussel sprouts

Tuesday Oct 13
Breakfast: cold cereal, juice
School snack: apple slices
Meal 1: Fried rice
Meal 2: crockpot sunshine chicken,

Wednesday, October 14
Breakfast: Maria cookies and hot chocolate
School snack: seedless grapes
Meal 1: Spaghetti and meat sauce
Meal 2: BLT sandwiches

Thursday, October 15
Breakfast: cold cereal, juice
School snack: fresh fruit (whatever was a good deal at the produce market yesterday)
Meal 1: Baked potato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
Meal 2: Soft tacos or taco salad

Friday, October 16
Breakfast: pancakes or waffles
School snack: peanut butter crackers
Meal 1: pepperoni rolls
Meal 2: leftovers

Saturday, October 17
International dinner at the church with the young people. Stephen thinks he wants to bring macaroni and cheese. Tim is undecided -- maybe a salad, or jello of some kind.

Sunday, October 18

Meal 1: Meatballs and gravy, egg noodles, salad
Meal 2: omelettes and toast.

Don't forget to head over to Laura's for everyone else's weekly menu plan. And let me know in the comments if you're having any great inspiration for this week's menu at your house.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Karen´s awesome pizza dough recipe

Homemade pizza dough (thanks again to my friend Karen who shared this with me many years ago)

2 to 2.5 cups flour
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup warm water (approx 120 degrees F)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey

Mix together 2 cups flour, yeast and salt in large mixing bowl. Add oil and honey to warm water in measuring cup and stir well. Add to flour mixture and mix well. (Or if using regular yeast, sprinkle yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add oil and honey and add to the flour.)
Mix and knead on lightly floured board until elastic.
Wash, dry and oil bowl. Let dough rise in bowl until doubled in size (40-60 minutes depending on what kind of yeast you use.)
Shape and bake with your favorite toppings. 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Getting back to menu planning (Oct 5-11)

October is here, the family is back to a full-day school schedule, and it is time to get back to writing out a weekly menu so I can avoid the daily panic of "what's for dinner?" I know that in the past this simple little step has really helped remove a ton of stress from my week. Here is my plan for the week. We are still figuring out the schedule with after school activities so I will go back to the format I used a while back of just posting meal #1 and meal #2. I will have the ingredients in the house for both meals, and decide on the day which meal will be eaten for "lunch" (at 2:30 when the kids get home from school) and which one will be "dinner" (eaten sometime between 6:30 and 7:30)

Monday Oct 5
Breakfast: cold cereal, juice
School snack: granola bars, yogurt drink
Meal 1: Cream of broccoli soup, tunafish in pita pockets
Meal 2: Toni's apple puff pancakes

Tuesday Oct 6
Breakfast: Oatmeal, juice
School snack:
Meal 1: Crockpot beef stew and biscuits
Meal 2: Quiche, salad

Wednesday, October 7
Breakfast: Maria cookies and hot chocolate
School snack: apple slices
Meal 1: Burritos and rice I may try this recipe for Burrito casserole
Meal 2: Sandwiches, chips

Thursday, October 8
Breakfast: cold cereal, juice
School snack: fresh fruit (whatever was a good deal at the produce market yesterday)
Meal 1: Homemade mac and cheese with ham, green beans
Meal 2: poached eggs on toast

Friday, October 9
Breakfast: pancakes or waffles
School snack: peanut butter crackers
Meal 1: homemade pizza
Meal 2: leftovers

Currently I have no plan for Saturday and Sunday as this is a holiday weekend and I still do not know if we are going away or planning any family outings during this time.

Check over here to see what everyone else is putting on their menu this week.