Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What Happened To My Cake?

We have had the loveliest fall so far this year. The weather has been warm, the nights cool, the leaves have been stunning. There hasn't been a single thing to complain about after such a long, unbearably hot summer.

A few days ago, though, it started turning cold. I knew it was going to happen, it's the same thing every year, and quite frankly, I've been looking forward to it. I love the colder weather, especially this time of year, when it's cool, but you can still get away with wearing just a sweater and jeans.

One of my favourite things to bake in the cooler weather is Apple Cake. So, one of the first cooler days, I donned my apron, pulled out my recipe and  made a delicious easy Apple Cake. I'll share the recipe with you here.


Apple Cake

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I always leave this out, but it is part of the recipe)
2 cups peeled and diced apples
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour an 8 inch square baking pan. Cream together sugar, margarine and egg in a large bowl. Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Fold in apples and walnuts. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until cooked through. 

Easy, peasy. And when it comes to baking I'm all about the easy!

So, after it was all done, I took it out and placed it on the counter to cool. After about an hour, I decided to go out, take a photo of the finished product to share here with all of you and get myself a  nice fresh piece of freshly baked apple cake. 

This is what I found waiting for me.

 

My children absolutely decimated my cake! I'm so sorry I don't have a decent photo of the finished product to share with you, but at the same time, this does go to prove that the cake is delicious!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Frugal Recipe for Today - Asian Beef Noodles

Today I am sharing with you not only one of my family's favourite recipes, but also one of my best kept secrets. I found this recipe in a one dish meal recipe book, and after preparing it for the first time, of course I've modified it for my family. 

It is delicious, and oh so very inexpensive. Lately, we've been having it with rice, rather than with the noodles, which makes it go even further. I'm sorry I don't have a photo to share with you, but I'm hoping to have one the next time I prepare this meal. I hope you enjoy!

Asian Beef Noodles

1 pkg stewing beef *
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion chopped
6 packets Mr. Noodles Beef or Oriental flavour
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Teriaki sauce

Stir fry beef, ginger and Teriaki sauce until beef is partially cooked. Add carrots and onions and continue cooking unitl veggies are tender.

Cook Mr. Noodles according to directions, except drain the water after cooking. Add noodles to stir fry, sprinkle with seasoning packets. Mix well and serve.

This is a wonderfully quick, very easy and rather delicious meal. Mr. Noodles, regular price are only about .$.33 each. If, however, you watch your flyers, you'll be able to pick up cases on sale, which will lower your costs. For instance, I was recently able to pick up a case on sale, which made each packet only $.22!

Also, if you watch your meat prices, you will be able to buy a full roast, either pork or beef, which you will be able to cut up into stewing size. For instance, I purchased a roast that was in the clearance meats, for only $6.00. I cut that roast into three different pieces, which means that there is only $3.00 worth of meat in one dinner.

If you are able to have a vegetable garden, you can grow and freeze your own veggies, which will mean that you won't have to pay a single cent for that part! If not, you can often purchase carrots on sale. On my last trip, I picked up 1lb of carrots for only $2.00. I will get 9 meals from this, which is a total of $.22 per meal

When I make this meal, my highest cost is:

meat - $3.00
carrots - $.22
onions - free from garden
Mr. Noodles -$1.32
spices - unknown at this time

Total $4.54 to feed my family of 4. That's $1.14 each. :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

A Photo or Two

I'm sure everyone has heard about the launch of the new iPhone. You really couldn't miss it, seeing as it practically dominated the news on September 21.

Well, I have to admit I fell prey to the hype. I didn't purchase an iPhone 5, but I did upgrade to a 4s.

One of my favourite new toys on my new phone is Instagram. With this app anyone can take photos like a pro, just with the built in camera. Of course I've been snapping away and I thought I would share a few with you.




This is my newest baby, Fenton. He was quite seriously the ugliest kitten, but boy did he grow up gorgeous!



My hubby and our dog, Charlie.



This is a kind of cool shot of some fungus growing on our tree.



My daughter and my puppy, Sammy on her 18th birthday.



And finally, a very rare photo of yours truly.

I have a ton more, but for now, I'll end it here. I hope you enjoyed them!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Where DOES The Time Go?

I know, I know, the last time I posted I said I was going to be a better blogger and start posting regularly. Well, as you can see, I'm a dirty little liar. I didn't stick to my word at all, did I?

I swear, I'm trying. The days just seem to be passing quicker and quicker on me I get up, I get the kids off to school, I go to work, than it seems like an entire week has gone by and I haven't found any time at all to spend time here, with all of you.

So, I'm not going to make a single promise to you that I'm going to be a better blogger. I'm just going to make a concerted effort to actually do it.

As my way of saying sorry, I'm going to share with you one of my family's absolute favourite fall treat.

Apple Cake

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Cream sugar, butter and egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add to creamed butter and mix well (mixture will be crumbly) Fold in apples and walnuts.

Bake in greased and floured 9 inch cake pan at 375 for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Such an easy, easy recipe and it's absolutely delicious! When it's warm, it's wonderful served with ice cream or whipped cream.

I know, I don't have a photo to go with the recipe, but unfortunately my camera is broken. I'm hoping now that I'm working that I'll be able to get it fixed.

Take care everyone!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

When Life Get's In The Way

Isn't that the most annoying thing? You're going along, minding your own business, the all of sudden, you realize that life got in the way of the things you love to do? You don't even realize it's happening until it's too late, either. You wake up one morning and think "you know, I just to really enjoy blogging, I wonder why I stopped?" Then you remember, life got busy and as bad as it sounds, you neglected those things that used to mean so much to you.

So, what have I been up to for the many months I've been away? Working, mostly. I started a cleaning business to bring in a bit of extra money and that actually was a fantastic job for me. I was making lots of money, which is always good and keeping busy. But then, my legs gave out and now I'm not cleaning anymore. I really don't like getting older. :)

So, now I'm in a course to become a Rogers phone help specialist (fancy way of saying I'm the one who will answer the call when you have a problem with your bill). The wonderful thing about this job, is it's work from home. Yup. I'll be able to sit right here at my computer and make money while still being available to my children and my husband, keep house, and be a mom. What more can a girl ask for? If you're interested in a job like this, go to Arise.com and read more about it. You can't go wrong, it's all legit and above board and within a few weeks, if you do things right, you'll be able to work from home. Isn't that wonderful??

My daughter graduated high school last month. I'm not sure when she got all grown up, but there it is. Isn't she beautiful?


Finally, my daughter and I have started on a new venture. It was her idea, and since she's getting older and I'll do just about anything to ensure that we still have a relationship and do things together, I said yes immediately.

She wanted to try her hand at making jewellery. So, I stretched the budget, purchased some supplies and started twisting some wire. Here are a few things we've come up with.

Blue Spiral Pendant
$8.00

jewellery, jewelry, pendant, blue, wire, necklace


Blue Sprial Drop Earrings
$10.00

earrings, jewellery, jewelry, blue, wire


Blue Spiral Necklace
$15.00



That's just a few of the things I've made. If you're interested and would like to see more, we have a Facebook page. If you like the page and want to order something, you'll get a nice little surprise in the package! Just message me on Facebook and let me know you're a fan.

Well, that's about it, really. I'm very happy to have found this again. I can't wait to reconnect with all of you!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

My Top 5 For The Garden

Spring is in the air! Can you smell it? Can you feel it? The end of winter may not be here just yet, but as the months move alone, the end of February reaches us and I start itching to throw open the windows and welcome warmer weather. Not the smartest idea yet, I know, but temping all the same. 

One thing we can be sure of, though, is that spring will be ready to great us soon and for those of us with green thumbs, it’s time to start dreaming, I mean thinking about our veggie gardens. 

I love, and I do mean love my vegetable garden. I’m not much for flowers, but my vegetable garden is like an oasis for me. The warm earthy smell as the dirt sifts through my fingers; the victorious feeling of yanking those nasty little weeds out of my neat little rows of green goodness; the sun warming my back and face as I work, are all wonderful feelings, to be sure. However, that’s not what draws me outside all spring and summer long. The best part of having a garden in my mind can be summed up in two four letter words. 

Free food!

Yes, that’s right, free food. Now, before you say it, I know, it’s not really completely free. The seeds cost money (unless of course, you’re like me and save as many seeds as you can for next year, in which case, yes, they are free). You will burn electricity if you start your seeds yourself. Fertilizers, watering, herbicides (if you choose to use them, of course. I don’t, but some do choose to). The costs, however are absolutely minimal when compared to the harvest you will reap. 

Do you know, I haven’t had to buy anything more than vegetables that can’t be grown in this area? Imagine the savings!

So, as I sit here on a bright February afternoon, dreaming of the day I can start up my rototiller again, I’ve decided to share with you a very basic list of veggies that anyone can grow with ease. If you are short on space, not all of these will work for you, but I do promise, that you will find more than enough to fill both your freezer and your belly from this list.

1.       Potatoes – A person can find a large variety of potatoes to choose from in any gardening supply store or even your local Walmart or Canadian Tire. With potato prices getting as high as $4.99-$5.99 for a 10 lb bag, growing your own only makes sense. The biggest drawback to these is that they don`t freeze very well. If you have a cool basement or a root cellar, however, you will be able to keep your potatoes for quite a long time. 

 
  Peas – So very easy to grow, delicious and freezable. Peas are an absolute must for any garden and freezer.






     Beans – Yellow and Green – Again, very , very easy to grow and they freeze quite well. In fact, I`m still eating beans from last year`s garden and they
       taste just as good as the day I harvested them.

4.  


             

     Tomatoes – The ultimate have-to-grow for any garden. Tomatoes are extremely versatile, they freeze, they can be canned, made into salsa, chili sauce, tomato sauce and so much more. Honestly, the list of what you can do to keep tomatoes is longer than I have room for here. And again, there is an amazingly large variety of tomatoes that you can choose from.

  



     Carrots – They`re not just for bunnies, you know! Not only are carrots generally incredibly easy to grow, it`s fun for the kids too, which just might help to grow another generation of avid gardeners. You have to get them young, you know! I always freeze my carrots. They don`t work overly well as a side dish, but they are still great in soups and stews. 



This is of course, a very short list. My garden includes so much more than what I have room for here; zucchini, squash, pumpkins, corn, watermelon and son. I have simply listed my top 5 must haves if you are gardening to help save money on groceries. With these in your freezer or cellar, you will be very pleasantly surprised at what you will save every week. 

If you`ve never had a garden, don`t worry, it`s really not all that hard. I highly recommend you give it a try. You never know, you may just end up loving it!


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Easy Peasy Cake in a Cup

Ok, I have a new recipe for you. Actually, it's not really a "recipe" in the traditional sense. But, it is delicious and it is very, very, in fact incredibly frugal. And easy. So, so very easy.

What you need:

one angel food cake mix
one cake mix of your choice
water
coffee mug

Mix the 2 cake mixes together thouroughly. Store in an airtight container. Add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to your coffee cup and mix with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave for 1 minute and voila! You have one serving of cake in a cup! You can top it with whatever you like, fruit, icing, cool whip, whatever your little heart desires. It's so tasty!

I have a mixture in my cupboard right now. It cost me about $2.00 for the two mixes and since I only use a very small amount to make the cake, it's costing me less than a penny a cup. Can you believe that? And because it's in an airtight container, it won't spoil. So, now, whenever I have a sweet tooth (which is often, I must say) I just go to the cupboard and in less than 2 minutes, I have a tasty treat that makes me feel good inside because it cost so little.

Sorry there's no photo's. My camera is on the fritz. :(

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Repost With Pics - Creamy Baked Ziti

Creamy Baked Ziti


2 cups uncooked noodles (ziti or pasta of choice)
1 - 700 ml can of spaghetti sauce
1 - 250 g package of cream cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Combine spaghetti sauce and cream cheese in pot. Heat until cream cheese is melted. Add diced tomatoes and pasta. Pour into casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes at 350 or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

This is one of the most delicious and cheapest meals I cook. It's a definite family favourite, too. This meal generally costs me less than $5.00, if I have a good stockpile of sale items. It also lasts more than one meal. Most times, unless the family is especially hungry, we get two meals or at least a dinner and lunches from one batch.

A general breakdown looks like this:

pasta - no more than $1/pkg
spaghetti sauce - $1/can
diced tomatoes - $.99/can
cream cheese - $1.99
mozzarella cheese - approx. $1.00 (this is a bit harder to determine, but I pay no more than $5.00 for a brick and use about a fifth of the brick.

The main thing here is to really watch the sales and stock up on the basic ingredients when they are cheap. I have about 20 packages of $1.00 pasta and spaghetti sauce in the pantry. Mozzarella cheese and cream cheese both freeze fine if you're going to use them for cooking.

Add a loaf of homemade bread to this dinner or a nice salad and you have a meal your family will love and ask for again and again!

Monday, 23 January 2012

What a Wake Up Call!

And I really do mean that!

I was sleeping away this morning, tucked warm and snuggly in my bed at about 6:15 am. I still had 15 minutes before I had to get up, so I was very much enjoying the extra time, knowing that it was a dark, dreary, rainy winter morning.

My daughter was up, getting herself ready for the bus, as she always does (her bus comes at 7:45am, so she's up every day at 5:30am.) I could hear her roaming about, showering, drying her hair getting her lunch ready......

Suddenly, the blaring sound of the smoke alarm ripped though the house, completely ruining my slumber!

I knew what the problem was, so I wasn't in a big hurry to get up. I knew the house wasn't really on fire.

No, sadly, it was my fault.

The oven desperately needs cleaning.

Why, oh why do I always leave this job until it's this bad?

Why, oh why is this such a horrid little job that I would gladly pay money to have someone else do? That's if I had extra money and if I weren't the one that people pay to do it for them.

So, now, my oven is coated in Easy Off, just waiting for me.

Sigh....

I really, really don't want to do this today! But I guess when my daughter can't cook Pizza Pops for her lunch without setting off the smoke alarm, it's truly time.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Chasing Chickens Wild Weekend Blog Hop!

Welcome everyone to the very first Chasing Chickens Wild Weekend Blog Hop!!



The rules are simple;

1. Add your link below (please no Etsy shops or advertisements)

2. Keep it family friendly.

3. Add my blog hop button to your blog somewhere. You can find it along the sidebar.

That's it! Be sure to take some time to visit some other fantastic blogs and give them a follow too, if you like.

Of course, I would love it if you would follow my blog, but that's not a hard and fast rule.

So, with no further ado, here is the link form!


Enjoy! And be sure to spread the word. The more people that know about this hop, the more traffic to all of our blogs.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Homemade Nutra Grain Bars

Homemade Nutra Grain Bars


Ingredients

1 box yellow cake mix
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter, plus
2 tbsp melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups strawberry jam (or jam of your choice)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl combine cake mix, oatmeal, cinnamon and brown sugar; mix with a wooden spoon.

In a small cup whisk egg with lemon juice and vanilla. Add to crum mixture along with melted butter.

Using wooden spoon, toss to combine, then use fingers to finish mixing until crumbly.

Add a bit more than half the crumb mixture to bottom of pan. Spoon jam over crumb mixture in pan and spread evenly.

Top with remaining crumb mixture and pat gently.

Bake for 20 minutes until top is light golden brown.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.

This recipe is incredibly inexpensive to make, serves approx. 16-20 bars, and freezes wonderfully. Generally, I will slice into bars or squares, then freeze everything. I take out one bar for my son's lunch and by the time he's ready to eat, it's thawed.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Squeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, the cuteness meter in our house just went through the roof!

Last July, a bedgraggled, dirty, underfed female cat showed up on our doorstep. I started feeding her, and planned on fattening her up and finding her a new home. Well, before I could do that, I discovered that she wasn't just dirty and underfed, she was also pregnant. So I brought her in so the babies would be safe and we could find them good homes. You can see photo's of the kittens here.

My plan was, find homes for all the babies and for Mama cat (aka Lucy). We had no problem rehoming the babies, except one, who we decided to keep. Lucy, however was a different story. So, I figured, I'll get her spayed, then find her a home.

Unfortunately, before I could get her in for her spay, she got out.

Three days later, she came home and guess what? You got it, she was pregnant again.

So, I bet you can guess what I'm about to show you, right?

Kittens!!!!

She gave birth this morning to 6 adorable little babies. Are you ready to squee?

This is Grey Kitten. Good name, right? LOL!


Joe Bob (named by my son)


For now, I'm calling this one Porky because before he was completely dry, he looked like a porcupine. :)


This is my personal favourite, Stanley


This is tortie #1


and tortie #2


Aren't they just the cutest things you've ever seen?? They all have such unique markings now, I can't wait to see what they look like as they grow. Everyone is already so much in love with all of them, I can forsee some tears when they find new homes (myself included!). But that is still at least 2 months away, so I'm going to love them and enjoy them while I can.

Friday, 13 January 2012

I've Lost Track Over The Years

My grandmother taught me how to crochet many, many years ago, when I was about 5 years old. Other than a few times in my life where I've lost my taste for it, I have been crocheting steadily since then.

I've made so many afghans, doilies, items of clothing, home decorations, etc, etc. I can't even begin to count what I've made over the years.

I realized the other day how much of a problem that is for me. Seriously, I have no idea how many items I've made and given away, sold, or used in my life. Not a clue.

So, that got me to thinking that I need some sort of a journal for myself of completed items. A place where I can have a photo, description, what yarn I used, any alterations I made to the pattern, where the pattern can be found, or a copy of the pattern if it's one of my own.

Now, I just need a form. I've looked a bit online, but haven't found what I need. So, you know what that means, right? I have to make my own. I'm going to have to design it myself, which isn't a huge problem, I just need to get around to doing it. And of course, I'll share with all of you what I come up with.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Free Crochet Pattern - Daisy Baby-ghan

Daisy Baby-ghan
 Copyright Sunshine and Whimsy, 2011



Materials:

18 oz (approx) light yellow Red Heart Comfort Sport
Small amount white Red Heart Comfort Sport
Hook Size: 4.5

Special Stitches:

V Stitch: Work dc, ch 1, dc in space indicated
Shell: Work 5 dc in space indicated.

Instructions:

Row 1: Ch 117, dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as first dc here and throughout) dc in next 2 ch. *sk next 2 dc, Vstitch
in next dc, sk 2 dc, shell in next ch. Repeat from * across to last 5 dc, sk 2 dc, dc in
last 3 dc. Turn.

Row 3: Ch 2, dc in next 2 dc. *shell in ch 1 sp of next V stitch. Sk next 2 dc, V stitch in
next dc, skip next 2 dc, shell in ch sp of next V-stitch. Repeat from * across to last Vstitch.
Dc in next 3 dc. Turn.

Row 4 – 50: Repeat row 2 and 3 alternately.
Row 51: Ch 2, dc in next 3 dc *(sk next dc, dc in next dc) 3 times. Dc in next dc, ch 1 sp
and dc. Repeat from * across. Turn.

Row 52 & 53: Ch 2, dc in each dc across. Turn.
Row 54: Repeat row 2.

Row 55-70: Repeat row 2 and 3 alternately. Finish off.

Flower (make 5)

Row 1: With yellow, ch 4, join to form ring. 8 sc in ring. Join with sl st to beg sc. Finish
off.

Row 2: Join white with sl st in any sc. Ch 7, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch (6
hdc). Join with sl st in sc.

Row 3: Sl st into next sc. Ch 7, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in ach ch (6 hdc). Join with sl
st in sc.

Repeat row three 6x (8 petals made). Finish off and sew to afghan as shown in photo.



It is my sincere hope that you enjoy this pattern. Please do not sell or distribute this
pattern on a blog, website or in any other way without my express permission.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Looking Ahead To The Week

This year, our school board decided to change the way the Christmas holidays work. Instead of one week before Christmas off and one week after, the kids both stayed in school until December 23. That meant two weeks of holidays after Christmas.

That meant, for me, two weeks of not being able to keep a schedule the way I like. But, they go back tomorrow, thankfully (I know, that sounds horrible, but I really want to get my schedule and home back the way I like it! LOL!)

And, not only do they finally go back to school, this week coming is my short week, which means that I have a whole day off on Tuesday. An entire day of just me and the house. I really can't wait! I'm going to clean in the morning, and lounge in the afternoon, crocheting. It's going to be wonderful!

I'm also able to get back to scheduling our meals for this week. No more snacking and eating on the run. The kids need set mealtimes and healthy eating again. And it will cut down on the grocery bill drastically as well. I have $100/week to spend on groceries and household needs for a family of four, so it's essential that I plan out everything.

Our meal plan for this week is:

Monday - frozen pizza (they were on sale last week, $2.97 for two pizza's. Two feeds my family, so it's a $3.00 meal.)

Tuesday -      salmon loaf
                     potatoes
                     corn

Wednesday - cottage roll
                     potatoes
                     carrots

Thursday -     pork chops in soup
                     potatoes or rice depending on what the kids prefer
                     brocolli if the prices is ok

Friday -        beef and rice

Saturday -    leftovers

Everything for next weeks menu we have on hand, other than the fresh veggies. So, that will help cut the grocery bill down substantially.

I will be getting back to using my morning, afternoon and evening routines this week as well. This way, I can get my house back in order and actually feel ok with surprise guests. Honestly, it's not too bad, but with as many pets as I have, things do tend to get a bit dusty and hairy. I have a couple of rooms where I don't ever want people to go or see, so they will be my emergency room rescues for this week.

One is my den/computer room/craft room/music room. It's a smallish room that has to fit all my quilting and crocheting supplies, my computer, books and two piano's. Oh and it serves as the office for my cleaning business as well. As you can imagine, it's a bit crowded. And it's getting messy and out of hand as well. This room is a definite challenge.

The other big job for this week is tackling the mountain of laundry that is threatening to take over my laundry room/washroom. It won't take all that long, it's just a matter of getting to it.

So, that's my week. I promise my next post will be more interesting. :)

Friday, 6 January 2012

SUPER Easy Upside Down Pinapple Cake

My grandmother was one of the most frugal (some called her cheap, but I plan on learning from her) people I have ever known. Having lived through the Great Depression as well as WWII, that lady knew how to stretch a dollar, let me tell you.

One of her biggest treats for me when I visited was her pinapple upside down cake. It wasn't like what my mom made, which was fancy and not something I ever really enjoyed, this was simple and to me, absolutely delicious. And knowing my grandmother, I knew it would be very inexpensive to make. I have one cooking in the oven right now, and it cost me $1.50 to make.

Are you ready? You're going to want to have your printer all primed for this one. :)

You need:

1 white cake mix
1 can crushed pineapple

Yup, that's it. You make the cake mix according to the directions. Pour the can of pinapple into the bottom of a greased cakepan, then pour the cakemix on top. Bake at 350 and voila! You have a very cheap, very delicious dessert that your family is sure to love. You can of course, serve it with icecream if you have any on hand, but that's up to you and will increase your cost.

My cost:

cake mix - $.99
pineapple - $.50

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

I Got My Geek On

Yesterday, my daughter showed me a quiz that she had taken on TheFandom.net. It was so cool, I had to go take one of my own.

Now, here is where I have to admit my shameful secret.

I am a geek.

My favourite channel on TV is the Space network. I watch Stargate and Star Trek every day. Yes, you read that right, every day. Well, every week day. Over the weekends, I go into withdrawl, moping around the house, wishing that Stargate was on. Seriously, I miss it. My favourite books to read are fantasy, and I have a very large collection of them. I can beat just about anyone in a Star Trek or Harry Potter trivia game. And you know what? I'm kind of proud of that.

So, when my daughter told me I would have a chance to answer a series of 50 questions to find out answers like which Hogwarts House I would belong too, and what charactor I would be on Doctor Who, I of course, ran to the computer.

I poured over the questions, aswering each one as honestly as I could. Here are my results


The absolute coolest part of my results? I'm The Doctor! I mean, who wouldn't want to be a two hearted Time Lord? I know I sure would!

So, anyway, if you're like me and you love to get your geek on, head over to TheFandom.net and click on the get your identification card. Choose the 50 question quiz, it's more indepth and will give you better results.

Have fun! And if you do go, stop back here and let me know. I want to see your card. :)

Monday, 2 January 2012

New Frugal Recipe - Creamy Baked Ziti

Creamy Baked Ziti

2 cups uncooked noodles (ziti or pasta of choice)
1 - 700 ml can of spaghetti sauce
1 - 250 g package of cream cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Combine spaghetti sauce and cream cheese in pot. Heat until cream cheese is melted. Add diced tomatoes and pasta. Pour into casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes at 350 or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

This is one of the most delicious and cheapest meals I cook. It's a definite family favourite, too. This meal generally costs me less than $5.00, if I have a good stockpile of sale items. It also lasts more than one meal. Most times, unless the family is especially hungry, we get two meals or at least a dinner and lunches from one batch.

A general breakdown looks like this:

pasta - no more than $1/pkg
spaghetti sauce - $1/can
diced tomatoes - $.99/can
cream cheese - $1.99
mozzarella cheese - approx. $1.00 (this is a bit harder to determine, but I pay no more than $5.00 for a brick and use about a fifth of the brick.

The main thing here is to really watch the sales and stock up on the basic ingredients when they are cheap. I have about 20 packages of $1.00 pasta and spaghetti sauce in the pantry. Mozzarella cheese and cream cheese both freeze fine if you're going to use them for cooking.

Add a loaf of homemade bread to this dinner or a nice salad and you have a meal your family will love and ask for again and again!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A New Year...

Well, I have to say that things haven't been the best around here the past few months, but we're getting through it. Because of the stress of the situations, and the fact that I've had to start working again, my poor blog has been completely abandoned and neglected. The poor thing... :(

I'm not making resolutions this year. I refuse to. Or, maybe that is my resolution. Either way, I promised myself that I wasn't going to set myself up to fail this year by making an unrealistic resolution that I was going to forget about in a week.

I do have a couple of things I want to try to refocus on, however. (ok, am I fooling myself? Is this a resolution in disguise??)

I am going to get this house in order. It's not bad, it's just..well...messy. I need a new schedule to get things done. Returning to work really threw a wrench into my life and my house has suffered horribly because of it.

So, I've decided to retry Flylady, even though it hasn't worked for me in the past. I'm hoping to be able to take a bit of her method and mix it with what really works for me, to come up with my own way of doing things. I'll be sharing my progress and/or lack thereof here on the blog.

Finances...oh my Lord, the finances are a mess!! We've been dealing with so much the past few years that rather than dealing with things, we just used the credit cards and pretended they didn't exist. Big mistake!

But, the credit cards are gone. Gone! Yay!!! We got rid of them the first of December and paid cash for Christmas. So, we're starting the New Year off right, with no bills to worry about. What a fantastic feeling. We even have a very small start on a savings account. It's not much, but I'm planning on putting a bit into it everyweek. Once we have a base of about $1000, we're going to start saving for a new tv. Imagine that, saving the money rather than just charging it and paying it off. I'm actually going to feel like I've earned something rather than feeling like it's owed to me. I can't tell you how great this feels already.

So, those are the two things I'm not resolving, but am planning on improving. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these, as well as hear what your non-resolutions are for 2012.

Have a fantastic New Year! I hope the year is filled with enough of what you wish for to keep you happy and satisfied, and leave you wanting just enough to keep you motivated to improve.