Monday, January 31, 2011

Sledding Fun

We had such a fun weekend! It is very rare that we have no plans, so we took advantage and had a great weekend. Saturday, we decided to take the kids out for breakfast at the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ.

If you live in the area, have children, and have not been, you need to make this a priority. Think "old soda jerk" with fabulous food. They had a Grilled Cheese Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and I highly recommend Bobby Flay's 5Bs Grilled Cheese. On Saturday morning, between 7:30 and 10:30, let the kids wear their pj's and their breakfast is free!
After breakfast, we took them sledding. This was the girls first trip sledding. Before this trip, they thought sledding was getting pulled around the backyard in the sled.

They had a blast on the hill. At one point, I sent Alexa down the hill and over a bump which sent her flying. That quickly ended her fun for the day but thankfully she was fine.

We had so much fun that we bought two more sleds on Sunday after church. I don't know who had more fun, me and MJ, or the kids. We will definitely be doing this more often. I forgot to bring my camera on Sunday, so I don't have any pictures of the adults going down the hill. Sorry guys. Maybe next time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grocery 101

People ask me all the time how I save money on food. I don't have a easy answer for that. I do a lot of things...

I know what my family eats and likes. My husband doesn't eat canned vegetables so I don't buy them. (truthfully, i have some in my pantry because they were free and I sneak them in some recipes) He likes everything fresh. So I don't buy canned veggies. Don't buy stuff just because it is on sale.

I buy my produce at produce junction. You can get 5lbs of bananas for $2.00. That's 40 cents a pound. If we don't eat all the bananas before they get brown, then I make banana bread or muffins that week. You can get 2 heads of Romaine lettuce for $2.00. We eat lots of salad here at the Jordan house so it works for us. Yes, you do have to buy in bulk, but you save so much compared to the normal stores. We start to get creative with dinner when you have a fridge full of veggies.

I make a list and I try to stick to it! I am not perfect, so occasionally things creep into my basket, but I try really hard to stay on task.

I buy multiple items when on sale. I have a couple of shelves in the garage that I have taken over for my pantry. When things are at a really good price, I stock up and store it there. Canned goods and pasta last a long time. So when you can get it free or nearly free with a coupon, I always stock up.

I know what items cost. Just because something is in the store's ad, doesn't mean it is their best price. I try to know what price I'm willing to pay for something when I'm looking at the ad. For example... I never buy chicken breasts, sausages, or ground beef when it is over $1.99/lb. I try to stock up when it is at it's lowest ($1.69ish), and then freeze it in a freezer bag in usable sizes. 
The Ziplock vacuum pumps became a family favorite when MJ and family caught over 200 lbs of tuna and mahi mahi.
but that's another story for another day!

For a long time, ACME ran specials every once in a while where they would practically pay you to buy cereal. (no kidding, you can ask MJ). I would come home with a trunk full. Anything I didn't think I could use before the expiration date went to the food shelter. They haven't had a great sale like that in a while so we are slowly running out of cereal. I cringe when I have to pay $2 for a box. You can do this for just about everything on your grocery list. Cleaning supplies, paper products, snacks, soda (never pay over $2 for a 12pk), apple juice (stock up when it is $0.99)... everything. Just know what prices are best, and stock up then.

Use your coupons. There are tons of websites out there that do all the matching up for you. Where I live, matches up to all my stores. Just google your stores name and coupon match up. I bet you will find one for your area. Most stores double the coupons and they really do save me a ton.

Make your own food. This can be hard when you have kids and a bazillion things to do after school, but it really does help to make food from scratch. Besides, it has added benefits like being way better for you nutritionally, and a home cooked dinner also gives you time to sit and talk about your day as a family. Even if the conversation is the same. (How was work??? Fine. How was school??? Fine) Eventually, if you keep asking, sometimes they throw you a bone and answer!

Know what you have. This is still something I struggle with. Fresh products do go bad and sometimes you don't need anymore. If you already have 10 toilet bowl cleaners, don't buy it unless it is free! There will most likely be another sale in a month or two if you start to run low. Don't buy something you know you won't use, even if it is free! It's not worth the clutter in your home. Let me remind you now, this is still something I'm struggling with. I'm not perfect.

Well I hoped that summed it all up for you. If you have anymore questions, just ask!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To the Teachers

I watched President Obama's State of the Union last night. At just over an hour long, I didn't think it was too crazy to sit through. Although I don't think it gave me any new insight to our country as a whole, but I did feel motivated to send a little thank you to Madison's teacher this morning. It read:

Dear (I took her name out, just in case she didn't want to be featured on my little blog this morning)

Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for being a nation builder. You truly make a difference in the lives of our children every day. One day they will grow up to do great things. Thank you for building them up along the way.
-Haley Jordan

Wouldn't it be great if every great teacher got reminded of what an important role they play in our nation.
Take some time to send a note to a teacher in your life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Play like the boys

It's a rare day when the girls put away the babies and barbies and haul out the trucks.
Today peanut had some inspiration right outside our window.
They could have watched for hours. A big thank you to the construction workers who worked in this bitterly cold weather. Thanks for entertaining my girl!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rough Weekend

So the weekend didn't go as planned. Surprise Surprise! Maybe this is why I don't plan much in advance anymore.
We had to change our dinner plans for Friday because we were headed to a friends house to eat pizza on Sunday. So instead of the cute Mickey Pizza, we went with my usual standby of Tacos for dinner on Friday. Quick, easy, and everyone eats them.
Saturday, we were busy with girl scout cookie sales, and we had MJ's sister and brother in law over for my awesome Crab Bisque. So easy to make and so good. Seriously, make this on a cold day.
On Sunday, after Sunday School and more cookie selling, we went over to our friends house for some pizza and football. (She gave me her recipe for the dough, so I will share that soon.) The pizza was awesome, the football was not. I was pulling for the Bears and the Jets.
It was another sad day for this JETS fan.

Oh well. There is always next year right?

Friday, January 21, 2011

TGIF Pizza Night

Thank God It's Friday and what a week it has been! Lots of things starting back up this week for us, bible study, choir, girl scout cookies, and swimming lessons to name a few. Then throw in the icy day, with a 2 hour delay and no preschool, and it's not a stretch to say that this momma is tired.
I have decided to take the pressure off of meal planning on Fridays and just call it pizza night. I realize many families do this every week so we are jumping onboard. I never get tired of pizza, and if I don't feel like making it one week, we can just call Vito's or Pat's! If you live is the Philly/South Jersey area and have never had stuffed steak pizza from Pat's, you are missing out!

Tonight, I am cheating a little because I have some pizza dough in the freezer. I'll make a cheese pizza for the girls and use up some peppers and onions for MJ and I. Maybe I'll get fancy and make something cute... like this Mickey shaped pizza.
View Image
If you have any great pizza dough recipes, feel free to share them. Next Friday will be here before I know it!

My little MJ

I love this picture. It makes me smile.
I stole it from my sister in law's face book. Thanks Shaina!
Did you see him? The one in the multi color shorts who's sportin' the high socks!
Look again!

My MJ, circa late 80's maybe?
Can you see why I call her my little MJ?

My favorite picture of her, thanks again to Aunt Shaina!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Cookie Time!!!

Guess who is selling Girls Scout Cookies?!?

That's right, Little Miss is a "Daisy" this year, and we are selling cookies.

Let me know if you want some.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Book

On my list of thing to do this year I wrote "read more books".

Here is the book I started reading...
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.)
picture from

Not only is this book accomplishing the "read more books" goal but it is also starting me on a path that will incorporate many of my other goals.
Expand my garden, Learn how to can food, Eat more veggies, Go outside more, Buy locally.

I am only halfway through it and already I am loving it. It is packed with great information about gardening yet it is an easy read. It really has me thinking about food in a whole new way. I actually told MJ last night I want to buy a farm and raise chickens. Seriously. My grandparents were chicken farmers so it's not that much of a stretch! Anyone have some farm land they want to sell me?

It is a great read. Go check it out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Still cleaning house

Little Miss reminded me that we were planning on cleaning up one room everyday until the house was clean. Isn't she sweet! We haven't exactly stuck to that plan. I can say however that I am doing much better at keeping up the parts that we have tackled.
Here is what I accomplished today...
Cleaning out the attic one box at a time.
My wonderful husband gave me a little push on this one. He left this box down when we were rearranging the attic. He said it was time to let it go. I guess that means we won't be having any more little ones.
I sent most of the clothes to goodwill. I kept a few pieces that I like to use for fabric crafts like this one.

I am loving this gorgeous wreath from Decorating Addiction, made from old sweaters.
Click here for her step by step directions.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A New Favorite

My MIL got me a ton of kitchen stuff for Christmas this year, but so far, this is by far my favorite!
Williams-Sonoma Essential Oils Dish Soap, Winter Forest
It is the Winter Forest Dish Soap from William-Sonoma.
It smells so good, I don't even mind doing the dishes. Seriously, that good.
You should get some before it sells out. It's on Winter Clearance. You know I love a good deal.
Happy dish washing to you all!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day!

Today is snow day for Little Miss. Funny how I'm not as excited about it as I used to be. She wanted to go outside and play in the snow. Thankfully it was a snow day for MJ as well. You see, this momma is not crazy about the snow, unless I'm watching it fall from inside a nice warm house. So, while the girls were busy playing in the white stuff with their daddy, I was inside, nice and warm, doing this...
Don't worry, I had some Hot Chocolate waiting for them when they finally came back in.

I think they were out there for almost an hour. That's a record here at the Jordan House. I think last time it snowed, they were out for 15 minutes.
Remember the little marker incident from yesterday?
Well, I am happy to say that it is taken care of.
No more pink maker on my couch! Besides, it needed a good cleaning anyway. Nothing like a 21 month old giving you that little push to clean. Gotta love her!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dear Crayola,

Maker of Color Wonder Markers, I love your markers.
Crayola Color Wonder Disney Cars Coloring Book and Markers
They can be used by all of my children without worry. You see the markers only work on the special color wonder paper. No need to worry about the little ones writing all over everything.
However I have one suggestion. When making other types of Crayola markers, such as the Neon Color Explsions, could you please make the difference stand out, from let's say... across the room?
This afternoon, from across the room, these looked the same to me.

So this is what came of me mistaking them both as color wonders.

Guess who has a date with this tonight?

Thank god for carpet cleaners!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Planning my first quilt

I want to make this quilt I saw at Crazy Mom Quilts...
I have a whole pile of cute girls clothes I have saved. I want to turn them into this.
Maybe by the time my girls are all grown, I will have three completed.
Now I just need someone to teach me how to quilt. Any takers out there?

Friday, January 7, 2011

I can hardly contain myself!

I have been to the Container Store, and I tried hard to contain myself while I was shopping. I want to clean, I want to organize. I really, really love that store!  I am hoping to show you my organized results soon! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

and the cleanup continues

MJ was impressed with my small bedroom cleanup I posted about. He did comment that he was concered about the small pile of stuff that was leftover.
It was my random jewlery that has no true home. So today, I did something about it! I also did it with random stuff I found around the house. So this project was basically free, and those are the best kind.

I took an old picture frame, that I had already painted, and removed the glass and picture.
Then I found some wire in MJ's garage and cut it to fit across the back.
Because I wanted to do this quickly and keep it free, i used what I had on hand. Which happend to be the hot glue gun. I just stuck the wires in plenty of the glue and let it dry.

 then voila...

another project finished! Hooray!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Time to clean up

The holidays flew by again this year, and I am glad to have the new year here. It is a great reason to start cleaning up. Once the tree comes down, our living room will be back to normal.(My MJ thinks the tree should stay up unil January 6th, so that room is on hold for now.) 

I started on our Master bedroom. It is supposed to be the calm retreat for me and MJ, but it got trashed this Christmas season. With a small house and the girls into everything, it became my place to stash presents. Which turned into throwing stuff in there and then quickly shutting the door. Let me show you...

It needed some attention fast! The only obstacle in my way was these three munchins.
Since I have the cutest three little girls in Jersey in my home, it becomes difficult to find time to do anything somedays. Someone needs a drink, or something to eat, a diaper change, help on the potty, someone to play a game with, or help with homework. The needs goes on and on until about 8pm when this tired mom collapses on the couch. This is why I have a hard time finding time to cross stuff off my list.

But yesterday, while MJ was enjoying his birthday present, tickets to the Jets v. Bills game, this momma gave it a good shot.
And it went from this...

to this...
want to know my secret... some tv time with the pillow pets!
Here is to organizing my house, one tiny bit at a time.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My List

It is that time of year again. To write out new goals, start new diets, give up that habit you have been meaning to ditch for years. I never have a typical resolution to follow. So today I am following apeachtreecitylife and making my own list...  of things I want to accomplish this year.
You can consider this my list of resolutions. I will try and update it as the year progresses. Why don't you join me with her? Make your own list!

Work on communicating better
Be confident and optimistic
Take our dog on more walks
Expand our garden
Learn about canning food
Kiss on every hello and goodbye
Read more books
Go outside with the kids more
Get professional photos of our family
Refinish a small dresser for Little Miss
Make/ Finish photo albums for the girls
Eat more veggies
Go one month with no soda
Drink more water
Tell people more often how much they mean to me
Learn more about web design
Do something totally life-changing
Be a better sister
Go on a little vacation
Organize our office
Buy more local foods from the farmer's market
Be a better friend
Make a new friend
Volunteer with the girls
Improve my posture with the miracle balls regularly
Plant tulips
Backup my photos somewhere
Paint the front porch floor
Finish the Attic
Teach Little Miss how to ride a bike
Go into the city more
Clean out our dryer's hoses
Give up something big for Lent
Floss more
Go on a summer picnic with the whole family
Revamp our laundry room
Find a daily/weekly cleaning routine I can stick with
Love life, every day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Day of Celebration!

A Big Happy 35th Birthday to my MJ!

and Happy New Year to everyone else!
My MJ is so good that he actually cooked his own birthday dinner. He made homemade stuffed pasta with a sun dried tomato cream sauce. It was delicious! (I made the bruschetta and picked up the cupcakes. Does that count for anything?)

I got a Groupon for these really cute cupcakes a few months ago.
They were super cute but the taste was just ok. We actually couldn't tell the vanilla cupcakes from the coconut ones. I don't think I would order them again, but I think I will try to replicate the frosting. Doesn't that look cute. Now I just need a reason to make some cupcakes!