Thursday, December 26, 2013

Leftover Chicken Pasta

Have you ever found yourself wondering what in the world to do with that one piece of leftover chicken from the deliciously grilled dinner you had last night? I found myself wondering the same thing today!

Here's a quick recipe of my delicious leftover chicken pasta that will have even your kids asking for more! The cool thing about it is... You can make it using what you probably already have on hand.

Here is what you'll need:

Your favorite pasta, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese (sorry, not pictured), pepper, and of course, your leftover grilled chicken breast. Mine was seasoned with the original Mrs. Dash seasoning.

First, you'll want to cut up your chicken; like so:

 Next, throw your diced tomatoes, 2 TBS Italian Seasoning, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and your cut chicken into a skillet.

I got a little eager when taking pictures, and took this before I put the chicken in. Oops! :)

Bring all of your ingredients to a boil over Med/High heat, then reduce to medium low to simmer for about 20 minutes. When it's done simmering, it should look like this:

While your sauce and chicken is simmering, prepare your pasta of choice. Cook, and drain as you normally would.

Once the sauce has finished shimmering and your pasta has been prepared go ahead and enjoy your super yummy, super frugal leftover chicken pasta!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Writing a Successful Blog. Can I Really Do This?

Well, it's 2:30 AM, and I can't sleep. All I can think is, "Can I do this? Will I ever be successful? Am I talented enough? Do I have enough good ideas?", and well... you get the picture.

I've been wanting to start a blog for a long time time now. I've often found myself going to Pinterest, finding myself on a blog where I'm learning something new, or talking about something I'm interested in. I love crafts. I love making jewelry. I love sewing. I love cooking, and I love creating print materials. So, why wouldn't I be good at doing it too? Well, to be honest, I got scared away from creating my blog on numerous occasions. 

As a newbie to the blogging world, I started looking at other blogs to get an idea of what I liked about theirs, and how I would incorporate my favorite things onto mine - which was fun, but I got really discouraged. A lot of the blogs I really liked showcased their crafting area, they had gorgeous places to take pictures, and even had a nice camera to take photos of their projects with. I don't have any of that. My crafting area is super small; in fact, I don't really have a crafting area. I do all my crafting at the family computer desk, on my living room floor, and sometimes, when no one else is home, on my tiny kitchen table. I don't have an area in my apartment with good lighting for pictures, and I don't have a fancy smancy camera. The only thing that kept going through my head with every new blog I looked at was, "I can't do this".

Well, you know what? I had this epiphany about a week ago when I started this blog. I realized that I only can't because I'm not letting myself. I might not have the luxury of having those nice things that we all want, but I still have good ideas, and I can still share them with whomever will allow me to. I want to show everyone that even with a limited means, it can be done. If you have good content, are dedicated to your blog, and focus on what you're interested in, the rest will come. I won't be able to have a nice crafting area for a while, because of having to move so often. That's just the military life. As much as I want it, I just can't have it, and I'm going to have to make do with what I have. I can save up my money for that fancy smancy camera that I don't have, and I can take pictures to the best of my ability until then. As far as the bad lighting goes... I found myself a super awesome table lamp at Target. We'll see how much it helps during my next yummy goodness photoshoot coming to you all on Monday!

The moral of this story is there is no such thing as can't. If you want something, you have to make it happen through hard work no matter the circumstances.

Thanks for stopping by, and reading my little blurb about starting a blog. I hope, if you're new to blogging like myself, you were inspired. If you're a seasoned blogger - I would love for you to share you insight!

Please, post any questions, comments, or advice below!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Moving Tips

Okay, this is a repost from my wedding blog. It's been a pretty big hit over on Pinterest, and I got to thinking that the blog post would be more appropriate for this blog as opposed to my wedding blog. Hope these tips help you with your move - I know they did for me! Happy moving! 

I haven't been a Navy wife long, but I'm finding there are definitely ups and downs. One good thing that has come from my husband joining the Navy is that I was able to quit my full-time job to stay at home, work on my business, and take care of our son. I am honored and feel very blessed to be in a position to do these things. 

On the other hand, there's a lot of not so awesome things that come along with it. Being away from my husband is the worst, but he's serving our country, and is providing very well for his family. Another thing that is not so fun is the moving part. Right now, I'm having to pack up the entire house by myself. With that being said... I have a few tips for those of you who may be moving in the future. 

1. Pack all your books in your suitcases.
This will enable you to roll those things around instead of trying to gather a 50 man crew to move those heavy boxes full of books!

2. Pack your clothes on their hangers in large garbage bags.
This saves a lot of time and energy when packing and unpacking your clothes. Don't forget to tie the opening at the bottom, and label who's clothes are in the bag so you know where they go when unpacking. I used the big Glad ForceFlex bags. If you don't like the idea of garbage bags, try the next tip for packing your hangers. 

3. Tape your hangers in sets of 10.
This keeps them nice and neat, and will prevent them from becoming a hot tangled mess! 

4. Leave your clothes in your dresser. 
Purchase some stretch wrap (basically giant Saran Wrap) to wrap around your dressers, side tables, and more. I used Duck brand Stretch Wrap that I purchased at Wal-Mart. Sorry I don't have a picture.

5. Pack your breakables with your clothes.
This is excellent padding for your fragile Items, and it saves you time and money from trying to find, or purchase padding. Plus you're killing two birds with one stone! 

6. Pack your home by the room. 
Start in the least used area of the house leaving the kitchen till last. This will enable you to start getting ahead of the game without stressing if you packed something you need or not. 

7. Pack an overnight bag.
Whether you are going straight to your new home or not, make sure to pack a change of clothes, toothbrush, and bathroom essentials. After an all day moving affair, you might find you're too tired to go diving into your boxes right away looking for these items.

8. Go to local stores to pick up their empty boxes for free! 
Don't spend a fortune on moving boxes when you can go to places like grocery stores, restaurants, shoe stores, and liquor stores. In my endeavors, I have found that shoe stores and liquor stores have the best boxes (the large ones that all their products are shipped in).

9. Purchase sturdy plastic cups, utensils, and paper plates.
If you're like me, you just want to get it done. You can go ahead and pack a lot of your kitchen items if your purchase plastic cups, utensils, and paper plates. Just use those till its time to leave then toss them in the trash. Easy peasy!

10. Invite your friends!
Don't pay for an expensive moving company to help you load your truck. Invite your friends over to help you out in exchange for some pizza, beer, and one last get together before you leave. Works every time! :)

I hope these tips help, and happy moving!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

Ok, so I was doing a little more unpacking in my bedroom (the Navy just moved us to Jacksonville about a month ago), and I came across my picture boxes. Of course, you HAVE to look at pictures when you come across picture boxes - it's a must!  Well, I found an old picture of myself, and I just cannot believe how much I look the same. I actually think I might even look better now than I did then! I mean... is it just me or am I being a wishful thinker?

Me at 18
This is a picture of a picture sooo yeah, sorry about the quality.

Me at 29
Again, not the best quality, but I'm getting a real camera soon!   

What's your throwback this Thursday?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Free Printable Downloads

Click the picture below to download and print your own Family dinner menu. When you go to print, make sure that you select 8x10 as the size of your paper so that it fits nicely into your picture frame. Happy planning!

 photo PrintableFamilyDinnerMenu8x102_zpsd3ce8856.jpg

My son was having trouble with some of his letters at school, so I decided to make some handwriting paper for him to practice his writing at home. Click the picture below for a free download for your kids to use!

 photo DIYHandwritingPaper-Gray_zps52f46ffb.jpg 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Feeding Your Family on a Budget

If you're reading this post, you're probably not unlike myself; you want to feed your family for less. Buying groceries for your family can be extremely expensive, and there's a lot of us out there who can't afford to purchase the food we need. At least, that's what I thought before I started doing a little more research about family meal budgeting. 

Whether you're a military family, a family living off of one income, or just a family who needs to watch their spending, this post is going to have some great tips for you to be able put your plan of action together for a more budget friendly trip to the grocery store. 
This is our Weekly Dinner Menu. Print your own!

1. Make a weekly menu. 
I know you've heard this before, but it helps out tremendously! Create your menu, and stick to it! When you have a menu, you only buy what you need for that plan; therefore, no overspending. Try incorporating meals into your menu that will allow for leftover rejuvenation. I'll be adding one of my favorite leftover recipes under my Yummy Goodness section of the blog for you to check out later.   

2. Coupons, coupons, coupons!  
If you're anything like me, the thought of becoming a coupon clipper was kinda scary. When I was a cashier at a local grocery chain as a teenager, I remember those "crazy coupon ladies" that would come in with all their oodles of coupons, and all the other customers in the line behind them being really impatient and rude. However, I also remember that those "crazy coupon ladies" all had one very cool thing in common; they all saved a lot of money. 
Check out The Krazy Coupon Lady for unbelievable coupons, deals, tips about shopping and more. P.S. I visit their site almost every day! 

3. Shop the sales!
I haven't come across a grocery store yet that doesn't offer in-store sales on their items. When you first walk through their doors, most places will have their sale paper right there for you to refer to while you're shopping. Use them, but remember my whole "make a plan and stick to it" speech? Try to pick the papers up ahead of time. You could also do what I do; go to the stores' websites, check out their sales there. Now, here's the cool part. You can use those coupons with the in-store sales together for even more savings! Use the weekly sales along with the coupons you found to plan your weekly menu so you're planning ahead, and planning smart.

4. Become a member.
A lot of grocery stores offer member perks. It's free to sign up to become a part of their little club. Some stores even give you money off of gas just for shopping with them, and being part of their little club that's free for you! 

5. Got water?
What can be more budget friendly than water? My family and I saved SO much money when we started cutting out sodas, and fruit juices. If you ask me, this is a win/win. Save money, be healthy. I think my dentist will be doing a happy dance when I tell him what I've done! 

I hope these few little tips help you on your journey to lowering your cost on groceries. I know by taking action with these steps, I was able to feed my family of 3 on about $200-$250 a month. 

If you have any other great ideas to add, I'd love for you to share! Just post in the comments below.