Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lemon Love

In my recent issue of Martha Stewart Living I found some interesting things that you can do with lemons.  I love lemons and usually buy too many and I thought some of these tips were great for two of my favorite things--living green and saving money!  There were other things you could do, but honestly, I don't have much copper or lace hanging around my house, and I didn't want to bore you.

Air Freshener: Simmer a half dozen lemon slices and a handful of cloves in a pan of water. Especially good for removing food odors.

Linen Whitener: Fill a large pot with water, and a few lemon slices, and bring to a boil. Turn of heat, add linens, and let soak for up to an hour. Remove, and launder as usual.

Household Cleanser: Mix half a cup of baking soda with enough liquid dish soap to make a paste.  Spread over half a lemon, and use it to scrub basins, bathtubs, and stainless steel sinks.

Stain Remover:  To remove berry, coffee, and tea stains from clothing, soak soiled areas in lemon juice for about an hour.  If some of the stain remains, dampen the area, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water, and scrub gently.

Dishwasher Detoxer: Place half a lemon in top rack of dishwasher, and run it with dishes to freshen the appliance.  

Or you could screw all of the above and just do this:

Have a great day!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Menu Plan 3/30 - 4/5

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Mine was good, especially since I thought that we were going to be painting all weekend and then we didn't.  I had nothing planned so that was kind of nice.  I went to a Tastefully Simple party Friday night.  I had never been to one before and their food is really good! This week I am going to attempt to actually stick to this and cook every night. We'll see how that goes!  Ok, here it is:

Tuesday: Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Spinach Salad

Wednesday:  Left over Squash & Sausage Penne

Thursday:  Spaghetti with Garlic Shrimp  (I'll post pics and recipe later this week)

Friday:  Left over Spaghetti.........lets be serious we'll probably just go out but I thought I 'd put it in as a nice thought.

Saturday:  Pan Seared Salmon with Rice & Green Beans

Sunday:  Pantry Dinner

To see more plans check out Meal Plan Monday here!

Have a great week!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Funny

I thought after my somewhat depressing story yesterday I would post something happier today. We know I have an obsession with YouTube, so here is another funny kid video.  I. Love. This. Baby.

On an annoying note, the guy that was supposed to come and demo our bathrooms today, postponed for two weeks. Arggghghhggh! So no painting this weekend for me.  Boo!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Playing Hooky

I recently found this really great blog called Mama's Losin It.  She posts a writing assignment every week.  You can check out what others are writing about here.  Since I couldn't think of anything to write about today I thought I would pick one of her "assignments".  The one I chose was:  If you could go back to one day in your childhood, what would it be?

I had to think about this for a little while.  I knew it would be something about my dad as he passed away when I was 11.  He was sick for a long time and I really wanted to write about a time when we did something together and it didn't seem to me that he was as sick as he really was.  Then I remembered one time when I was in school and we "played hooky".

I think I was in 3rd grade.  I don't remember the exact year but I know that I had been in school for a little while when the secretary came down to deliver a message.  It was always exciting when she came because everyone wanted to know who got to be so important that the secretary had to come all the way down the hall to our class just for them.  Were they in trouble?  Did they forget their lunch?  Did they have to go home?  I had never gotten a special message and was really hoping it was for me.  Even if I was in trouble, I thought it would be cool to get one.  

So, to my total surprise it was for me.  I was hoping and hoping that it wasn't something dumb like I'd forgot my lunch. She said that I needed to get my stuff together and that my dad was waiting to pick me up.  Of course, at first I was worried that something was wrong, but the secretary told me nothing was wrong we just had to go somewhere. To this day I don't know if she knew what my dad was up to or if he told her a fib.  I got to my dad's big Suburban and he had this total "shit-eating" grin on his face.  He was a big jokester and always up to something.

I got in the car and he said that we were playing hooky and not to tell mom.  Ha!  Talk about a dream come true for a kid.  That day we went to A&W and had hotdogs that they brought to your car.  We each had giant rootbeer floats and sides of fried mushrooms.  My favorite.  The rest of the day we spent at the park fishing and looking at cool rocks.  It wasn't that we did anything extravagant like an amusement park, but it was so fun spending the day together when nobody else knew about it.

We were back by the time I was supposed to be home from school and my mom had no idea.  I remember making up some story about what we did at school that day and my dad was grinning from ear to ear across the room.  Like he knew it meant as much to me as it did to him.  It's funny how such a little thing can mean so much when your little.  Thanks Daddy, miss you!

Have a great day,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Last month I bought these Asiago, Spinach, and Chicken sausages from Sam's.  You know when you go on a Saturday and they let you eat lunch for free try everything?  That's where I found them.  They're really delish but I haven't done anything with them until last night.  So here is my little creation:

It looks labor intensive, but it was super easy and really quick.  On the bottom, I spooned on some tomato sauce (out of a jar). Then I pan fried a little polenta in Olive Oil.  I used the polenta that comes in a log.  Then I made a little sauce out of Greek yogurt, a little mayo, and black olives.  I layered each item and voila! Finally, I sprinkled a little Pecorino, toasted pine nuts, and basil on top.  

This wasn't exactly the most budget friendly meal, but I was craving this fried polenta thing that I get at a restaurant.  I knew I didn't want to spend the money to go out and this was the next best thing.  When I'm in a pinch for time, sometimes things that are pre-made can turn out really well!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Picture Mosaic

Today I thought I would do something I found on Facebook. I have a Facebook account, but really I rarely go on it. I feel like I have to choose my internet hobbies carefully, otherwise I'd spend the whole day online. Between blogging and couponing, it takes a lot of time! So, my cousin did one of these mosaic things on Facebook the other day and I thought it was super neat. Basically, the idea is that you answer these questions with pictures. First, here are the questions:

1. What is your name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What is your hometown?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What is your favorite movie?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What is one word to describe yourself?
10. How are you feeling right now?
11. What do you love most in the world?
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Now, drumroll please....brrrrrrrrrrrrrdrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrbrrrrrrrrrr...(that was my drum roll in case you couldn't tell). Here it is:

Now, I thought I would answer the questions with like...words. If you know me in real life you probably know the answers based on my pictures, but everyone else probably doesn't. 

Okey doke.

1.  My name is Ashley (the pic is of Ashley in Gone with the Wind...duh!)
Note:  I was really named after Ashley on "Young and the Restless".  I know.  I know. 

2.  My favorite food is seafood.  

3.  My hometown in Ann Arbor.  Home of not one but two Wholefoods, Plum Market, Trader Joes, the best Farmer's Market ever, and Arbor Farms.  Oh yeah, and UofM. When my mom bugs me to move back home, those are the things I think about.  Yes, I can be bribed with grocery stores.  Read here if you want to hear me rant more about my battle with them.

4. My favorite color is green.  

5. My sort of favorite movie is Dirty Dancing.  But really, I like lots of movies.

6. My favorite drink is a Bloody Mary.  In college when people would be getting intoxicated off beer, well, I was drinking Bloody Mary's with olives and celery.  

7. My dream vacation would be Rome, or really anywhere in Italy.

8. My favorite dessert is whipped cream.  As in whipped cream by itself.  Plain. Yum.

9. One word to describe myself would be happy.  Also, wierd.  Just look at the picture...it's a direct reflection.

10. Right now I'm feeling tired.

11.  What I love most in the world is love.  I know it's cheesy, but true.  You should see Love Actually if you haven't, it's really sweet.

12.  I want to be a mommy when I grow up.  

Okay, if you want to do one of these on your blog just go to:

It's really fun.  Have a great day!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan 3/23 - 3/28

Well I hope you all had a lovely weekend!  Nothing too much going on here.  We are re-tiling and painting our bathrooms next weekend so I went to pick out paint and tile (pics to come). That was pretty fun, but of course I second guessed myself 567 times.  Here is my menu for the week. Remember, you can check out Organizing Junkie's Blog here for more plans and recipes.

Lunches for me: Italian Lentil Salad

Monday: Garlic Cut Chicken & Brown Sugar Mustard Carrots

Tuesday: Something w/ Chicken Sausages from Sam's....I'll post my creation Wednesday

Wednesday: Nonna Luna's Rice & Roasted Broccoli

Thursday: Mexicali Casserole....I'll make two and freeze one

Friday: Pizza because we will be painting!

Saturday: LO Mexicali Casserole

Have a great week!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Friday Giggle

I'm kind of getting obsessed with these YouTube videos, but I need something to laugh about on a Friday.  I saw this video after my wedding and it totally makes me wish we had done something like this.  So funny!

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Decorating

So I finally got inspired to do some Spring decorating! We have only lived in our house for a year and last year I hardly got a chance to unpack before Spring was over. Here's what I did:

First up on our tour (I'm a dork), is my wreath that I made last year.  I kind of became obsessed with making wreaths.  It's actually really easy and fun!

Ummm...yeah another wreath.

I found this little tiered serving thing at a craft show.  This woman and her mom find antique and retro plates and make them into serving pieces. It's called "Tiers to You". How cute is that?  I really love their stuff!

Here's where I had a lot of winter stuff that finally came down.

Last, here is half my kitchen.  I want to do something here but I'm not sure what.  Any suggestions?

Happy Spring,

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!
~Irish Blessing

Have a great day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Menu Plan

Oh my goodness, could the weekend have flown by any faster?  I could really go for another day. Starting today I am going to be posting my "menu" for the week.  This is something that I do to save money in our house.  By planning out our dinners I prevent myself for completely over-buying.  Also, I really don't like to go to the grocery store after work and by planning in advance I don't.  Well.....I still send the hubby sometimes.  He really loves me.  Ok here it is:

Monday: Lasagna Bowls and roasted broccoli

***I dream about roasted broccoli.  It's really easy to do and you should have it asap if you like broccoli and never had it before.  You heat the oven to 425 and put the florets on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  I only leave it in for about 10-15 minutes.  You want the broccoli to be the tiniest bit burnt on the tips and crispy. You should check it every 5-10 minutes though so it doesn't get too done.  Delish!

Tuesday: Baked Chicken w/ Artichokes and Rice

Wednesday: Left over Lasagna Bowls

Thursday: Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing using left over chicken from Tuesday

Friday: Sauerkraut and Sausage....what can I say, I'm German!

Saturday: Dinner Out

Also, I am doing the whole menu plan thing from Organizing Junkie's Blog.  I need to get her button but have to figure it out first ;) If  you want to see more plans, go there!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Lovelies

So last week was my birthday and my wonderful family sent me some flowers because they know how much I love them!  I thought I would be a big fat bragger and post them.  One, because I don't know what else to blog about today and two because I'm really tired of winter and these remind me of spring! 

Cala Lilies from my mama. She came from Ann Arbor to visit me and brought me loads of wonderful things from Whole Foods, including these beauties.

These ones are from my Hubby.  He was so sweet and took me out to dinner and had these waiting at the table before we got there.  I love him.  

These ones are from my mother in law who totally surprised me by sending these.  It was so nice!

Well, I'm off to buy a lawnmower.  Yippee!  PS, Sears is having some really good sales on lawn stuff today in case anyone else is in need.

Have a happy Saturday!

A Friday Giggle

So I'm sure many of you have seen this video off YouTube, but it never ceases to make me tinkle in my underoos a little. I seriously love this kid. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Get Yourself Some Swag

I thought I would tell you about Swagbucks today.  It's one of the little things I do to help fund my shopping habit.  Basically you replace Google with Swagbucks, and whenever you need to search for something you do it through Swagbucks. I think they're powered by Google though so you still get good search results.  They even have a little navigation bar, but please don't ask me how to get that though.  It took me 10 years to figure out what how to add a picture to my blog. Anywho, if you want to sign up you can go here.  I also put a little banner at the bottom of my blog, if you want to click on that.  Don't ask how long it took me to figure that out.

You see, I'm on a shopping budget and so I exchange my "bucks" for Amazon Gift Cards.  That way when something fun comes in the mail for me I can tell hubby it was "free".  It's a beautiful thing. You can also exchange your bucks for all sorts of other things such as.....wait for it.....wait for it....baseball cards!  I know, I know, it's what I've always wanted too.  Or you could save your bucks for some Amazon dollars to get a pair of shoes or neat kitchen thing.  Whatever you fancy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mexicali Casserole

I made this yummy and easy casserole last night that I thought I'd share.  I usually make something more elaborate for the hubby and I because I love to cook, but this was SO easy and quick. It also has a somewhat creamy texture without adding any cream because of the rice. Sometimes when I'm exhausted after a long day working I like to make excuses about why we should just go out to eat.  Other times I'm downright lazy.  This is perfect for those wouldratherdoanythingbutcook days. 

1 lb ground turkey breast
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (16 oz) black beans, rinsed 
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice (this is where the beauty lies)
1/3 cup sliced black olives (I just used a little can)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, coated w/ spray, cook the turkey, onions, green pepper, and garlic over medium heat until meat is cooked through and veggies are tender. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt.  Stir in the beans, tomatoes, water, rice, and olives. 

Transfer to a 2 1/2 quart baking dish (I used a 9x13) coated w/ spray.  Cover and bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle w/ cheese.  Bake 5 additional minutes until cheese is melted.

I served it with a little salsa, sour cream, and avocado.  The hubby ate it.  Good enough for me.

My Little Hobby

So I have this hobby I told you about before called the "Grocery Game".  Well I thought I would tell you what I was able to get this week for really cheap.  I'm not going to turn this into a "coupon blog", because there are enough of those out there and frankly I don't have the time or patience to chase after every deal just to get a cheap toothpaste.  However, I will tell you occasionally about some of the exciting trips I have like the one from this weekend. Also, if you have any Sunday coupons left over from the paper then you can do it too.  If not, it is still cheap with out the coupons!

Okay I went to Walgreens and was able to get all these shampoos/conditioners/stylers for the tax only:

So how did I do this?  Well, first, you need to see if you can get any coupons out of the Sunday paper.  Then look for the Red Plum insert.  There should be two coupons for $1 off a Garnier product.  Take those coupons and go to your nearest Walgreens.  Then look for (or ask for) a little book called the March Easy Saver Booklet.  Inside this booklet there is a coupon for $2 off a Garnier product.  You do not need to get multiple coupons out of the Easy Saver Booklet. Just get one out of the booklet and they will multiply it by the number of products you buy.  For example, I bought 12 products so the one Easy Saver coupon took off $24.   So the shampoos, conditioners, and stylers that are priced $2.99 will now be FREE combined with the Garnier coupon out of the Red Plum insert :)  

Now, I buy a couple of papers every week and there were some of these coupons from older papers.  That is how I had 12 Garnier coupons from the Red Plum insert.  However, even if you only have a couple of these or even none these items would still be only $1.  I think that is a pretty good deal!

Let me know if you do this and how it works :)

Shop on girlies!

I'm Still Alive

Hello everyone!  I just wanted to say that I have not died...only my computer.  You should have seen the glee in my face as Fed-Ex delivered my precious computer today.  It quickly faded, however, when I realized it wasn't fixed.  So, I called  Apple to scream at them calmly tell them my computer had not been fixed.  Anyway, now they want me to send it back again.  So I will try to sneak another post in before Mr. Fed Ex returns.  

Thanks for being cool.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Hello 4 followers :) Ummmm oh lordy my computer died today. I stole my hubby's work one to post this. I'll be back in a couple of days. Hold on to your undies for my next series of titilating posts.