Triple Clicks

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's December Already?

About every three months or so I tell myself I need to make a plan about blog posts.  

About every four months I still haven't done it.  

Then guess where we end up? A month without a blog post.  


So. Here we go.  

My plans.  But we all know how plans go (I think I hear laughing somewhere....or maybe it's just in my head.) 

On the home school front,  we have two more weeks then we'll taking a break... My calendar says two weeks.. We'll see how long we last.. The break we took for Thanksgiving, Andrew was begging for chores by day 2. Guess who can do laundry now!! Grace got done with her preschool papers, but I didn't think she was quite ready for the kindergarten level, so I found a book on Amazon.  She's enjoying it.   We are definitely using what we have around the house for math, science and geography next year.  I think we'll keep doing Abeka Phonics for Andrew, but we'll see after I look through choices.  (So that's a future blog post... next spring.. after I figure things out lol.)  

But for now.  Focus. 

I was able to get fabric on the Black Friday sales.  So that's a blog post, at least one, after I vacuum. 

We also got rid the troublesome air beds we've been sleeping on since May and we have a memory foam.  I'll get a blog post going on that, too.   

And a blog post on what I use all this fabric for I have stocked up.  That could get interesting.. I admit to being a fabric hoarder and all this fabric has to find a purpose or go away.  

This week I'll also get a shopping post out as it's grocery week.  

So. That's my grand plans.  We'll see how it comes along. 

Have a great week!! 


Friday, November 3, 2017

Well Laid Plans

Making lists seems to be my forte.  

Actually carrying them out and getting done what's on the list however..... 

I had some medical issues this past month...  so I've pretty much been struggling to keep up with everything.  The blog got put on the back burner.. ok ok, I forgot.  But hopefully my body is in the healing process now..

But I have a plan in place to keep up with the blog-the calenders on a computer can be good for something lol-like constant annoying reminders until you complete a task. 

The weather is cold up here now.  There was no "getting" cold.. One day it was 50, the next day it was 20 and the wind hasn't stopped since.  Now if only we could get snow, I'd be a happy camper.  The cold weather meant putting plastic and blankets over windows for extra insulation.  In our house, once it stays below freezing, it's useless to try because the sills freeze and the tape won't stick.  If you've never used the plastic insulation, you can find it at Walmart or a hardware store.. I usually get the patio door size as our windows are HUGE.  One of those will do me 3 to 4 windows (depending my ability to cut straight that day) with some leftover...usually used for patches because.. well... kids.  The girls' bedroom window plastic is now duct taped on. :/ We'll see how long THAT lasts.  

We took out our kitchen island and replaced it with a rolling cart that has drawers for produce.  I'm loving it... until Hannah takes a drawer out and plays in the produce. :/ lol Although the look on her face when she bit into a clove of garlic was priceless.  
The green laminate has to come up. I have a plan.  I just have to feel better to be able to get it done. 

That's my new cart.. The work space is roughly 1/3 of  the old island.  It's been a challenge to get used to the smaller space, but I'm getting there. 

That was $80 with free shipping on Amazon prime.  One baskets fits about a ten pound bag of potatoes, plus you can label the baskets-which I have yet to do.  It was super easy to put together (even with kids helping).  Two of the wheels lock.  The only thing I'm realizing-other than the baskets have no stops when you are pulling them out (they do have a stop in the back so they can't go all the way through)-is that I should have put a water proof coating on the top board.  That might get refinished after awhile as you can see discoloration from warm dishes or water not getting wiped off right away.  

The cart is the first step to redoing the kitchen.  It's nice to be able to walk through the kitchen without running into a huge ol' island.   We have many plans for the kitchen that doesn't require a full remodel.  But we'll do one thing at a time. 

Also in my plans is re-figuring what we use for homeschool. I LOVE Abeka.  I LOVE how it's laid out and how it keeps reviewing so you know the child understands everything... But my guy is already bored in the science and the math is way too easy for him... So we are going to rethink before we buy next year's curriculum.  The only thing I do know is that we are going to keep using their phonics and their cursive.  We'll see how math minded each of the girls gets as we move along in their education.. I'll share those plans when I know.  Grace is already almost done with her preschool curriculum, so we are moving onto the kindergarten already.  I kind of figured she'd breeze through it... She listens as I teach the older kids and has been caught helping Eva with the vowel sounds.  If that's not motivation for Eva, I don't know what is.  

So it seems that my well laid plans keep getting unraveled.  Somebody once said that when we plan, God laughs.  I feel like it must be a barrel of laughs up there.  

Have a great week! 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It's Been Crazy

This month has been a crazy month around here. 

I know I promised to get some meal recipes out there, but my computer decided to have a mind of it's own.  Most of my typing was done through the online keyboard, key by key... That gets frustrating at best... so I put the blog on hold until we were able to resolve the problem. 

The answer? Christmas came early for me. 

My poor ol' laptop was 5 years old... That's ancient in the computer world I'm told.  So now I need to figure out Windows 10 and a Samsung computer.. and keep Hannah's little fingers from playing Farmville with me (it's a touchscreen).  I also have to get used to not touching the mouse pad as I'm typing again.. the mouse pad on my old computer quit long ago. 

We took a break from school last week.  I called it a mental health week for mommy... Andrew called it fall break. :D 

I had plans to get a lot of things done.. I got one thing done. :/ I got the plastic put on the windows I can get to to keep it warmer this year.  

I still have a long sewing list to get to.  

I'm also in search of my laundry fairy.. She seems to have run away....Or got eaten by a spider... lol 

There really isn't much going on here.  School, work for Dennis and he's doing awesome at his weight loss goal, play, clean.  Sleep happens in there every once in awhile. 

Have a great week!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grocery List for September

My grocery list coincides with my meal plan.  The meal plan is the post below.  

After I get done with the meal plan, I go through every single thing we are eating and write down everything we need for every meal-even if I know I have it in the cupboard.  This way I am less likely to forget an ingredient.  Then I go through and mark off my list what we have, or mark down the amount we need to buy depending on what we have.  

After that, I go into my spreadsheet and type in what we need, and how many.  (I can't get my spreadsheet to upload.... so please bare with me.)  
My husband is a spreadsheet wizard-spreadsheets are his favorite thing. Seriously.  Everything has a spreadsheet. EVERYTHING. EVERY.THING.  So he taught me how to use a spreadsheet....because the 6 months of using it at a job I had in high school wasn't enough to drill it into my head. 

So my spreadsheet. I have two tabs.  One is ad sales. One is the shopping list. 

The Ad Sales tab.  Pretty self- explanatory.  (Bunny trail..I've been told I type like I learned on an old typewrite...BECAUSE I DID... so if my use of spaces seem excessive, blame my grandma.)  I have it separated by stores.  Under each store are 3 columns-item name, cost, size, sale ending date.  I just go through the ads and fill things in..  Because we usually buy the same things all the time, it's a pretty simple process to figure out what I need the prices for, but if I see something that looks like it would be different, I go ahead and make a note of the price. If I can fit it in the budget, it goes on the final list.  

My shopping list tab.  Again, pretty self-explanatory, and also a little redundant of how the ad sale sheet is set up. It's separated out by stores.  Each store has 5 columns, I also utilize the awesome algorithms a spread sheet can give you.... I think that's the right word.  My columns: Item name (I get brand specific here if something is on sale or I have a coupon for it), price per each, how many needed, total cost of item, total cost of store.  Now, so my algorithms don't get erased I only delete the name, price per each and how many.  I have the total cost of each item in there so it multiplies the cost per each and how many needed as I put prices and amounts in. The total cost per store ads up the column of the total cost per item.  Follow me?   There is a few more cells with an algorithm.  One cell adds up all the columns of the total store costs.  One cell tells me what my budget is, one cell tells me if I have anything left over from last month's budget.  Once I get it all figured, I subtract what we have left from what it will cost... If it exceeds the budget, something has to be crossed off somewhere, we start with snacks.  Now sometimes, halfway through the month we budget a bit so I can to the local store and get some snacks.  That depends on how the bills go. 

So here's my shopping list and what I'm guessing on spending at each store.  I always round up or overestimate, that ensures I have enough money with the food tax. Especially with the fresh veggies and fruit.

Walmart $110
Whole Dill Pickles
Pita Bread
Strip Steak
Pineapple Salsa
Dry Ranch Seasoning
Shake N Bake Mix 
Ice Cream Bars
Tartar Sauce
Color Bleach
Hamburger Patties

Aldi's $181
Spaghetti Sauce
Crescent Rolls
Stick Butter
Hot Dog Buns
Cinnamon Rolls
Brown Sugar
Sunflower seeds
Sweet Pepper
Sliced Colby Cheese
Sliced Pepperjack Cheese
Biscuit Dough
Olive Oil
Sweet potatoes
Red Onion
Baking Chips

Costco $290
Kerrygold butter
Nutty Bars
Shredded Cheese
Bacon Bits
Cream Cheese
Hot Dogs
Fig Brs
Parmesan Reggiano
Chicken Breast
Peanut  Butter
Hot Dogs

Dollar Tree $20
Onion Powder
dried Chives
basil bleach
wax paper
coloring books
air freshener
bath tub toys

Bakery outlet $10

Deep Creek Honey $13

Now that I'm done with shopping I can post the final results after I pick my husband up off the floor from his reaction to how much money spent. (Just kidding.)  

So with my prices, I was expecting to spend $626...  Our budget (with help with groceries) is $600.    So about half of that out of pocket.  

We spent $487.22.     I'm happy when I can make it home in under $500.  Costco and Aldi's are definitely helping with the cost.  I have yet to go to Dollar Tree, I will do that this weekend with my mom.  I'm expecting $15 there.  

After a few months of Costco, I am learning a few things.  We need to go to Sam's to get a few things.  Chicken-while I LOVE the packaging Costco has, the chicken is cheaper in price in Sam's.  Although that decision is debatable as Costco's chicken is organic.  Canned Fruit... My husband eats canned fruit on a daily basis for work.  There might be a few other things in there... but in reality, we are really loving the decision to get a Costco membership.   

Have a great week!!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Meal Plan for the Month

Ok, so as I stated in my last blog, I'm going to try to do more posts about what we are eating.  

I don't keep my meal plan on an excel sheet on my computer, so I can't just upload my file.. So I'm going to type this all out.  This is just the plan, not the recipes.  If you want the recipes now, please shoot me a comment to let me know, otherwise, I am going to try to get the recipes on for each meal as the month progresses... Also this week I hope to get our shopping list on a blog this week, too.  

Here's how I meal plan.  I sit down with a spiral notebook, my pre-printed calendar that hangs on the fridge and usually my computer-but that depends on the mood Hannah is in. Many times I have to do my meal plan and grocery list planning in stages over a week. 

I start off with planned breakfasts (Sundays and Saturdays usually, sometimes Wednesdays).  Then I move onto dinners.  I label my calendar squares by the month, one shopping day to the next, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday get a B, L, D (breakfast, lunch dinner).  If I KNOW we have a day we are eating out, I label that first.  Like this month I know we will be eating out for one meal, so that's labeled, I don't have to plan that day.   After I get at last 14 dinners planned I start putting them on my calendar.  The meals are repeated once a week, or once every two weeks, or sometimes not repeated at all... Like something new or a soup.  

For my sanity, I try to have something easy on Sunday evening.  

For lunches during workdays, it stays the same for Dennis.  He eats a salad, fruit for a snack, boiled eggs, a pickle, and a nutty bar.  Right now he has a few extra snacks for  promotion they are doing at his job.  Those are cauliflower and raisins.  For our lunches, it varies.. Peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, tuna and I try to get something like fish sticks or chicken nuggets for some variety in there.   For Saturdays right now we are doing hamburgers and fries.   Sundays we are looking for a church right now, so we decided to get some chips, then we'll stop at one of the restaurants and grab a hot sandwich for everybody and eat in the car or have a picnic.   

Breakfasts are normal... During workdays Dennis and I eat eggs, he also gets yogurt and bacon.  Sometimes I just eat jellied toast.  The kids usually get cereal or I'll make coffee cake.   Saturdays we do waffles. Sundays I'll make something like cinnamon rolls, monkey bread or just cinnamon toast if I don't get something done. 
Wednesdays depends on if we sleep in or not.. Sometimes we'll just do cowboy hash, the kids just get cereal those days, they aren't fans and Grace can't eat eggs.  I've done french toast for us and cinnamon toast for them.. it really just depends on the day.  

So this month we're shopping on the 13th, then in October it's the 11th.  Shopping day we usually grab Papa Murphy's or get pizza while we're at Costco to heat up at supper.  

14th-Caprese Chicken
15th-17th-the kids and I are visiting in Nebraska, so Dennis will find something at Costco to eat while we are gone, the 17th I'll grab something on our way home
18th-Ranch pork chops
19th-Shake N Bake Chicken
20th-Caramelized Onion Pizza
21st-Caprese Chicken
22nd-Hawaiian Fajitas
23rd-Angry Chicken
26th-Shake N Bake
27th-Pizza Casserole
28th-Caprese Chicken
29th-Hawaiian Fajitas
30th-Angry Chicken
Oct 1st-pizza
2nd-Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
3rd-Shake N Bake
4th-Pizza Casserole
5th-Caprese Chicken
6th-Hawaiian Fajitas
7th-Angry Chicken
9th-Grilled Eggplants Parmesan
10th-Shake N Bake Chicken
11th-is a shopping day so we'll grab pizza again

You're getting some extra posts this week as I didn't want to  make this really long, so I'll get my shopping list out to you soon. 

Have a great week! 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tacos and a Plan

My husband started a blog on his weight loss journey.  Go check him out.   He's already made some awesome progress, but it's a lifestyle change for us all with the food we eat.  

Obviously I'm the chief cook and the chief grocery shopper, though he does shop with us now.   So my side is finding healthier meals and shopping healthier.  

What that means for my blog is I'm going to try to do more food blogs and more shopping blogs.  On his blog, you'll get the calorie count... SO,  if you are in need of eating healthier, we hope we can help you on your journey as Dennis is on his journey. 

So here's our taco meal.  Not much has changed in this meal.  The salsa varies depending on what's on sale. We got our Costco membership I've been waiting on, so everything in bulk is Kirkland brand now.  I did not keep track of the prices this month, but I will for next month and break costs down more as I do our food blogs. 

1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
shredded cheese
sour cream
taco shells

Sour Cream, Taco seasoning, Monterey Jack & Cheddar Shredded blend, Kirkland Salsa (not bad), tomatoes (I cut two for everybody though the kids rarely eat it), lettuce (it's a baby spinach and romaine mix-I buy it in bulk, and cut as we use it)

Yes, there are three different shells.  Medium flour tortillas for Dennis, Small flour tortillas for the kids-because they want a whole taco, but can't eat the medium shell, and corn tortillas.  I prefer the corn tortillas (and they are less calories). 

The meat after the seasoning.  I don't drain the fat off the beef, I just use what has cooked off to dissolve the seasoning. Yes I know I can make my own seasoning, but we prefer the store bought.

My plate.  3 corn tortillas with a little bit of everything.

Dennis' tacos.  3 flour tortillas with a little bit of everything.

So like I said,  I can't give you a cost breakdown as I didn't keep that track of food costs.  But I will do that next month.  The kids also had corn on the cob with their tacos.

Have a great week!!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We Found A Really Awesome Coffee

If you are on my Facebook you are possibly really tired of hearing about this awesome coffee we found. (And for general information, this is not an affiliate, just simply me sharing.)

So if you don't want to hear more about it, Exit Stage Left. Before you exit, be forewarned-this is more than me saying how much I love the coffee. 

Now first off, let me say I LOVE our local coffee shop, I go there when I can.  Which isn't much, I admit.  A great couple who owns it, homemade food and great coffee and other drinks, plus awesome food and it's all locally sourced. 
Check them out if you are in town. 

I LOVE Out of the Grey Coffee.  

What I love about this coffee.  

IT'S COFFEE!! Lol  Obviously. 

Jack and Sheila (the owners) are Christians.  For us, that's usually good enough to try the product if it's something we already eat and it's in our price range.  The website has the way to Christ on it, their bags come with verses on them.   

They are a custom roasterie.  You read that right. A CUSTOM ROASTERIE.  Now, other than the occasional "fancy" cup of coffee from a coffee shop, I'm a Folgers gal.  These guys get beans from AROUND THE WORLD.  And it's all organic.  They have explanations on how the taste varies not only between the different roasts (light to dark), but between the different kinds of beans. Spend some time on the site and learn about the bean and roast you choose before you order to make sure you get the flavor you want.  They have some awesome flavors they have come up with, OR YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN. Seriously.  You can make your own coffee flavor.  My jaw dropped.  Dropped.  

They are organic.  YES!!!! All of this yummy goodness is ORGANIC COFFEE!! 'Nuff said. 

They are affordable. I'm sure you read "custom roasterie" and are thinking "there is NO WAY this can be affordable".. I mean, organic and customized, usually those words go hand in hand with "you gotta be rich to afford this stuff".  BUT NO!  My custom creation roast was $14.75 for 12 ounces of beans-and he stuffed those bags FULL.  The Butter Pecan, one of their creations, was $13.75.  That's what you pay at a grocery store for some of the coffee in the cool little dispensers!! AND THIS IS BETTER! AND ORGANIC! 

I learned something!! Ok, I learned a lot of things from the FAQ section on the site... but one two things I did not know. The different types of coffee makers work best with different grinds of coffee.  SAY WHAT?!  I had no idea!  No wonder we always get grounds, the cone style filter works best with a larger grind.  Now I know.  Now our yummy coffee doesn't get the grounds like the Folgers does.  Did you know that coffee in a fridge will absorb the odors like baking soda? I didn't. Now I do.

And finally.  It's yummy.  Just. Plain. Yummy.  Yummy enough that even my hubby was willing to try some without the sugar!  WOW.  Four thumbs up for Java Jack, nobody has gotten that to happen! 

So.  The flavors we (ok, I) ordered.  

Butter Pecan.  Take a pecan pie.  Stuff all that flavor into some  coffee.  THERE YA GO!  Butter Pecan was one of their roasts (you can order other customer's custom creations, too).  It's yummy. That's all there is... It tastes like I'm eating a pecan pie-but without the calories and the baking.  

Raspberry Delight.  See now, as I scrolling around the site, I saw the butter pecan and said to myself "Dennis will LOVE this, let's just try one bag and see how it is"....and then I saw the custom roast option.  Did I mention my jaw dropped?  Did I happen to mention that?  White chocolate, raspberry, and macademia nut.  Ooooooo mmmyyyyy gooodneesss!!!  Y'all need smellivision. Seriously..  They need to make those scratch stickers like lip gloss used to have for computers.

Now, while this is affordable, we cannot buy it for all of our coffee wonderfulness.  We have half a pot or a full pot of Folgers in the mornings.. Then we have the yummy coffee for something special.  Making it more affordable to us by keeping it down to a cup or two a day.  I do think that when we ended up doing the math, buying the whole beans really wasn't much of a price difference than buying the already ground.  But for now, we're gonna stick with the already ground for the convenience.  

If you want to hear my pretty voice giving a short review of Out of The Grey as I am making a cup, check out my YouTube video.

Thanks for reading and go check out Out Of the Grey, because they are AWESOMENESS! That's a word, because I said so.

Have a great week!!!