Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ The Letter "I"

Hi all!!! I'm joining in for another Wordless Wednesday.....this one was a little bit tough for me, as I couldn't find anything I can use "I" with and nothing that began with "I" until I got to my Epcot pictures!!



Illuminations!!!



Italy!!! Waiting for our ADR time at Tutto Italia
&
Having ice cream and a bellini in Italy!!


Hope you enjoy my few pics-stop on over at Focused on The Magic for more Wordless Wednesday Fun!!!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Planning-Preparing for the Week

Sunday night and I'm so depressed to be having to go to work tomorrow.  Hubby will be home and the kids are off for the week.  So now I'm thinking about what to make for the week, but before I get to that, here is what I made this weekend for some friends that were visiting from Tennessee.
I only make stuffed shells for special occasions because it is very time consuming.  I started Friday night:


First I start on the onions


then add the meat.....


Season it and let it cook.....


Once its cooked, I let it cool and move on to the pasta

Boil to package directions


Drain them and allow to cool....


then I get the ricotta mixture ready by adding 1 egg and dried basil, stir well..



now after everything has cooled, I begin to assemble the shells by adding the meat first



then the cheese mixture.....



finally I add to the pan and I wrap it up for the next day!



The next morning I let it come to room temperature, add tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese



then pop in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted through.  I forgot to take a picture as soon as it came out of the oven, but here is a picture after we had already taken some out....


It was delicious and a perfectly good reason to break my diet!

Now for my weekly meal plan:

Tuesday: Meatballs with spaghetti
Wednesday: grilled chicken with baked potato
Thursday: pork chops with white rice
Friday: Shrimp with white rice

I'm not including the weekend because I never know what we are doing, so this is it!  Stop by I'm an organizing Junkie for more menu planning!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Love is in the Air

Happy Hump Day- 2 more days to the weekend....yay!!!  Here's some fun to get you through the day.....Wordless Wednesday!!! Just in time for Valentine's Day...this week's theme is Love is in the Air!
Thanks to Deb @ Focused on the Magic for hosting this awesome blog hop, hope you all enjoy as much as I do!!

Focused on the Magic




Planning Ahead.....


Its only the second week in February, but I’m already thinking about my Spring schedule!  If my son makes the high school baseball team-its going to be an extremely busy season!  I’ve already added all scheduled H.S. games and his travel team tournament schedule to a calendar, this doesn’t include his travel team regular game schedule, but it already looks full. Wow! What in the world have we gotten ourselves into?  It won’t always involve us sitting at games for 3 hours because we won’t make most of his H.S. games due to work, but we do have to drive up to school to pick him up.  I also have to keep track of his schedule because I know he won’t!  My hubby isn’t good at keeping track of it either, so it all falls on me J Baseball schedules, dance, gymnastics, doctors, parties and anything else that arises must be put on a schedule!

My daughter has also been saying that she has a dance competition in May.  Not sure what that’s all about since the dance academy has not told me anything yet, but if it is true, another thing to add to our schedule-and hope it doesn’t conflict with the baseball schedule.  If it does, I’ll be flying solo for the dance competition while hubby takes care of getting my son to his game on time.  So far I know of one thing that will conflict with one of the tournament games-my daughter’s communion!

There is no going our separate ways for this one-No Sir!! My son will be forced to miss this game because he cannot miss his sister’s Communion.  So besides arranging our Spring schedule, I am now starting to decide and plan for her Communion.  Thanks to Pinterest, I have found some lovely dresses and accessories, but I’m not 100% sure I want to order that online.  What if it doesn’t fit? What if its itchy?  I’m hoping to make it out to some stores in the next few weeks to start looking around, maybe I’ll find something similar to what I have found online.  There were 2 that I really liked!



It won’t be a big event and it will mostly be family, especially since a couple friends will be at their son’s baseball games.  So it will be a small gathering, hopefully at my uncle’s house if not it will be mine.  One thing I am sure of is the cake!  I will be ordering from the same Italian bakery I always order from…they are delicious!! The decorating is nothing out of this world, like those Cake Boss cakes, but they taste amazing….and that is what’s most important to me!  The cake will accompany some Italian pastries, Cuban appetizers, sandwiches/wraps and chips(gotta mix things up a bit, lol).  It’s a lunch, so I figured that ordering a tray of subs/wraps would be good.  No cooking for me on this day!

Now I also need to decide what to do about pictures!  I took my son’s pictures and regret not taking him to a photographer.  I’m thinking of calling up a locally known photographer for pricing-I’ve seen his work and it is beautiful!  I’m just worried about the cost!  Sears, Jcpenney and even Picture People have decent prices and specials-but I don’t feel like they have nice ‘Communion’ backdrops or props.  So this is why I’m leaning towards a photographer and I just hope the cost isn’t crazy so it will make the decision easier. 
I also need to look for souveniors and the cake topper which I prefer them to be from Precious Moments! I LOVE their stuff! My wedding cake topper and both my kids’ baptism cake toppers were Precious Moments.  For my son’s Communion I couldn’t find one, so I made one with a dollar store figurine-came out very cute, in my opinion!  So since I have a few months to plan, I hope to find a precious moments figurine!

I think that’s it for now! It’s a shame there isn’t any vacation planning involved, but hopefully that will come in a few months once baseball season is over!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekend Fun~Menu Planning


This weekend is a bit of a blur….I wasn’t super busy since the blizzard dumped a lot of snow our way.  It all started Friday night.  I was able to leave work at 3, and by 7pm we were heading to our friends' birthday party.  It was at a local restaurant so we didn’t let the snow stop us! The night was great-we drank, ate and danced (as best I could being that I have 2 left feet) and by the time we got home I was ready to pass out!  As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out!  I hoped to sleep until noon the next morning, but between the dog barking and all the snow clean up outside, I was up by 9am!  I guess it didn’t matter much being that we did absolutely nothing that day!  I moved from the bed to the couch along with my laptop, hubby went and brought us White Castle for lunch, then we took a ride to Walmart and finally we were back home and I was back on the couch playing on my laptop! LOL! My son’s batting practice was cancelled and there was no other reason for us to go out.
Sunday was a bit different.  My daughter had ice skating, so we were up early. I showered while hubby made breakfast, we ate and we were out!  After ice skating we went to Sam’s club to do groceries.  It was time to restock our meat supply-we had nothing left at home.  This took about an hour, we picked up pizza and went back home.  Not much else went on other than going up to my son’s school so he can go train and then we were back home to watch the Grammy’s & The Walking Dead premiere! 

Ah yes! The Walking Dead premiere that we’ve been patiently waiting for.  I wasn’t impressed, but I’m sure it will get better by the next episode!  Atleast I hope so, something about last night’s episode just wasn’t very exciting for me!  Anyway, after this was over I realized that I hadn’t finished our laundry & I HAD TO!!!  So I was up for an addition 2 hours to finish that!  Finally went to bed at 11:45pm to wake up at 5:45am this morning.  Am I tired???  Absolutely!!! 
Not only am I tired, but I had to endure terrible traffic this morning, almost had an accident thanks to an icy ramp and got to work 15 minutes late!!  Wonderful way to start the week, right!!! 

Anyway, I need to try and get our meals planned as best I can-so here goes:

Monday – Cheese/Chicken rolls – easy dinner since we have gymnastics as soon as I get home
Tuesday – Pork chops with rice & black beans
Wednesday - Chicken with mashed potatoes – baked potato for me
Thursday – Picadillo with white rice & bananas
Friday – Spaghetti & meatballs
Saturday – eat out of leftovers
Sunday – eat out & try to cook some meals for the following week

For more menu plan ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie

I really want to learn how to cook my weekday meals over the weekend and freeze them, so our weeknights will be easier and I won’t have to worry about cooking when I get home.  I would like to feed my family a home cooked meal with the least work possible during the week.  I don’t have too many hours so these meals either have to be re-heated or something that can be cooked in 30 minutes.  I’m also looking to find some good slow cooker meals so I can leave our dinner cooking while I’m at work.  That really would be the best!!

Not being able to start cooking our dinner at 3 or 4pm is one of the many reasons I miss about being at home, but unfortunately, I do have to work full-time!  

How do you working moms plan your weeknight meals?  

Friday, February 8, 2013

TGIF!!!! BLIZZARD HAS ARRIVED!


So it’s finally Friday!! Time to relax-well not yet but I will definitely be relaxing by tomorrow.  Tonight we have a b-day/Mardi Gras  party to attend, I will have pics posted this weekend, and fortunately it is a local place so the weather won’t be a big deal.  A blizzard has decided to strike today, it was raining for most of the day but by 2 it was ice and then the snow.  As I drove home it was snowing and now it's a winter wonderland out there.  
We should be done by midnight, who knows how long I can last since I’m exhausted today!  I did get an extra hour of sleep, thanks to my kids’ schools being closed due to the blizzard!  The extra hour of sleep really didn’t help since I went to bed late last night.  I got my new laptop and of course I had to set it up as soon as I got home, which was after 8pm. 
I got some basic things downloaded-Google Chrome, iTunes-but I still have more to add to it.  I bought Office 365, but for some reason it won’t install….I will have to work on that when I have more time.  Maybe I should get my money back for that and get Office 2010 instead, not sure yet! 
I am excited though and I can’t wait to really use it! Finally, internet that will move—LOL!
I do have an issue with my new ‘Buddy’-that’s his name, LOL-  Windows 8.  I’m not excited with it and it’s a little frustrating since I really don’t know how to use it.  I liked just having a desktop, but now you start up and its all these windows or apps-whatever they are!  It is nice that you get instant access to what you need- like if I just want to check emails, I don’t have to open a web browser – I just click the ‘mail’ app and I got it!  I guess I just have to give myself time to familiarize myself with it and then maybe I will know whether I love it or not!

Do any of you work on Windows 8 or Office 365? I’d like to hear your thoughts. 

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Blizzard is Coming!!!


Aaaah…Thursday, so close to Friday-finally!!!  Only problem now is that we may be in for some bad weather.  A blizzard!!  I actually haven’t stopped to listen or read any weather reports.  I mostly have my info from passing by a TV which is tuned to the weather channel, or people talking about it.  We are supposed to be getting a couple inches of snow, although I’m not entirely sure when to expect it.  Some have said that it will begin Friday night and continue into Saturday morning, while others are saying that it is starting Friday morning!  Eeeek!!! Now I’m really wishing I was still unemployed!  Am I really going to be expected to come in to work?  Actually, I need to come in even if it’s for a little while-tomorrow is payday and I’m still not enrolled in direct deposit, which means I need the actual check.  Ugh, this is so aggravating!! I really need to get enrolled in direct deposit…..life is so much easier.  I would’ve been able to call in if there was snow on the ground, LOL! Now I may have to drive in here no matter what!  I just hope if it starts getting bad, that they let us leave early.  This is life in Jersey.  I guess I shouldn’t really complain.  We get it easy.  I know other states get a lot more snow than we do, and they get it more often, but still.  I need to complain about it! I don’t like going out in the snow-it should be a mandatory day off from work and school!  
LOL, actually come to think of it-my kids won’t be finished with school until July if we keep it up with the snow days!  We’ve had quite a few this year.
I also should take a ride to the supermarket tonight to buy some meat and chicken to have for dinner.  We will be out as of tonight, but the thought of dealing with all these people panicking about the storm has me thinking we can survive on plain pasta!  Each and every time the meteorologists talk about a storm approaching, people go insane doing groceries.  The checkout lines are a mile long, and after working for 9 hours, I really am not in the mood for that! 
I did want to take a ride to Wal-Mart though.  I’m in desperate need for a new laptop! Our laptop crashed & just died months ago, my desktop is 7 years old and takes forever to load a web page-so blogging or doing anything online  is just awful, and I’ve been using my son’s laptop but that is another one that keeps crashing and sometimes is very slow online.  Any day now it is going to crash & be done!!! I hope not, because he needs it to write reports, he really doesn’t do much else on it so I need it to last a little bit longer.  Next September I may have to buy him an Ipad for school(may be mandatory at school by then), plus I would like to buy him a new and better laptop next Christmas so I just need his current one to last another year.  This is why I’m in DESPERATE need to get a new laptop for myself….I need to stop using his! My biggest problem is my budget-only $300, so it’s been tough finding a good computer that I’d like.  Hubby and I kept going back and forth on whether to buy a desktop or laptop, but ultimately I think we both agree that a laptop would be better.  Somewhere down the line I would like to buy a nice desktop, preferably a Mac, so I can work on all my scrapbooking projects and photo/video projects.  For now, I think an affordable laptop will do the job…..I just have to be careful not to kill it!







Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FITNESS PAL DISASTER


I started using Fitness Pal a few weeks ago to log in everything I ate and any working out I did.  I was doing great, until I twisted my foot last Monday.  I walked out of my car and stepped into a hole, my right foot bent & I almost fell~I even heard a ‘pop’!  OMG! My first day of work & I get hurt, leave it to me!! Anyway, I spent most of the day feeling just fine, until about 3pm when I went to get up.  I saw stars!! I couldn’t even walk, I was limping so bad.  Since my daughter had gymnastics that night, I wasn’t able to actually look at my foot until I got home at 9pm.  It was swollen…bad!! Hubby wrapped it, put an ice pack on it and told me to leave it on all night….no jogging for me tonight!!!  Around 1am I woke up with a throbbing pain, so I took some Advil and went back to sleep.  When I woke up in the morning, I was able to walk.  My ankle still hurt, actually it still hurts today, but I could walk just no jogging and no long walks.  Good thing is I sit most of the day, so I was fine.  A whole week went by of doing nothing….all the progress I was making on the treadmill was gone!  Then the weekend, and not just any weekend-Super Bowl weekend…..in other words, eat whatever I want weekend…not good at all!! 
After all that, its no surprise that my weigh in today was extremely depressing….I’m up 2 lbs!  WTF!!! I gained 2lbs, aaaahhhhh…..I really want to scream.  I was good yesterday and I plan on being extra good today.  I even plan on squeezing in a 30 minute walk/jog before the high school parent council meeting that I have to attend tonight.  If it wasn’t because they are discussing 2013-2014 registration, I would be skipping it.  I’m really not in the mood to drive all the way there an hour after getting home from work….but I have no choice. 

I just hope to actually get on that treadmill tonight, if only for 30 minutes. I need to start seeing good progress on my FitnessPal.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Menu planning & Work

A new week has begun. Wish I could say that I've been busy at work but nah--not really. There isn't much work & since I'm still in training I can't do much else. What upsets me the most is that my whole personal life has been disrupted. I have so much down time at work that I can't help but think about what I could be doing if I were home-cleaning, paying bills, budgeting our checkbook, cooking & much more! This is so aggravating, but I will have to deal with it & keep pushing forward. I just hope things get better or change for the better real soon.

My menu planning has also been forgotten, I have no time to plan or cook. I am left with having to depend on hubby to cook. I leave out someone to defrost & he cooks it later in the afternoon. These are all easy meals that he doesn't mind doing. He wouldn't be too happy cooking a new meal or something that requires a lot of ingredients. He's great though! It's morning I cooked the sauce base for our shrimp. He made rice and heated the sauce, added the shrimp and after a few minutes, voila! Dinner is served! I appreciate everything he does, he really tries, but part of me feels depressed because I can't do everything that I was doing before. I really need to learn how to balance everything in my life. I should start with learning how to cook a week's worth of meals in one day! I've read other mom's stories about this, I really should try it out.

I've got 30 minutes left of watching my daughter in her gymnastics class, then it's back home to clean up, try to run for 30 min & spend time with my hubby. Then finally get some much needed sleep!

How do you working moms balance your lives? I just can't find the time for everything!

Longest Week Ever!!

So sadly, last week I finally gave in and went to work at a company that I wasn't too enthused about.  The salary is less than my previous one but its a job I know well and its a paycheck...it pays the bills!  I still take my kids to school, which means my ass isn't getting enough sleep or 'Me' time!  I leave the house at 6:30am, drive my son to his school(30 min away), drive back to my hometown to drop my daughter off (another 30 min) and then continue on my way to work-another 30 minutes.  I'm up at 5:30am, drive almost 2 hours before I get to work-ugh!  I would normally be going back home to eat breakfast and nap if I really need it.  Not anymore! Now I sit at a desk for 9 hours and do nothing but stare at a computer screen!
Yes, I know, I should give it time.  I'm still in training and  the business itself is fairly new so there isn't a lot of orders to enter yet.  Good thing is that its a lot like the job I had for 7 years, so aside from learning to use their program, I know and understand everything.
I can do order entry, process invoices, approve bills to be paid and few other things but not enough to keep me busy for 8 hours.  Worst of all, internet use is restricted, so I can't even do that! Horrible!!! I'm already regretting having accepted this but too late now.  I just have to suck it up and hope it gets better.
If any of you has any good and real work at home ideas/contacts, please share.  No Scams! It's so hard for me to stick to these all day, FT jobs.  I feel that I can do so much more from home!  Oh well, time to begin a new week!!!


Hope you all have a better week than I'm about to :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Super Bowl Time-Food, Food & more Food!

How many of you are hosting or attending a Super Bowl party?  I'm sure many of you are! Now some of you may just be staying home with your kids and spouse, like me, and that's fine! The problem is trying to come up with Super Bowl food or snacks for only a few people.  There is so much out there, but obviously I have to narrow it down.  Hubby is thinking of ordering some food from Chili's. They do have some good options, but I thought it would be better to make something myself.  Although if we order then there is no clean up.  Ordering from Chili's is looking like the better option now.  LOL!  I hate cleaning up, especially on a Sunday night when I have to work the next day!
After our food choices have been finalized, I'm looking to just sit back, enjoy the game(Go Ravens), and stuff my face!! My FitnessPal is going to hate me on Sunday! Maybe its not even worth logging in on Sunday!

Have you planned your Super Bowl Sunday?

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Wordless Wednesday Challenge - Favorite Disney Sidekicks

I'm a huge Disney fan and LOVE all of the characters, but if I had to choose my fave sidekicks it would be Goofy & Minnie!! ...