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Search & WinAre you a member of Swagbucks? If  not, you’re missing out on an easy way to earn money online. You can do this by taking surveys, playing games, or simply searching the Internet (which is how I earn my Swagbucks.)

Typically, new members get 30 Swagbucks just for joing, but right now new members can get 100 for a limited time!  Just JOIN HERE and enter the code BIGTIMEBUCKS.

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Also, Swagbucks is holding a Swag Code Extravaganza starting Monday 10/3.  They’ll be offering seven different codes throughout the day to help you score a few extra bucks.. The first code will be available on their Twitter feed at 6 am PDT/9 am EST. With Christmas coming up, this is one way to maybe save a little on your shopping if you’re diligent about using the Swagbucks search engine!


friday favorite finds – healthy breakfasts

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds. Here are my Pinterest food finds for the week.

This week has been weirdly humid and rainy — not quite hot but not cool. Definitely not my favorite weather. When we went to the grocery store yesterday we drove through quite a downpour — the old swishers were working overtime to clear the windshield! It’s supposed to really cool off over the weekend, so I’m thinking about cozy breakfasts. Now the the boys have CCD on Wednesday afternoons, we can have lazy Sunday mornings and I love that!

Here are some delicious breakfast recipes I wanted to share, Enjoy!

Berry “pancake” souffle


Crustless Quiche – I made a version of this recipe and it was terrific!


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


Oopsie Rolls – Not just for breakfast, these low-carb “rolls” are GREAT with peanut butter, to dip in egg yolk, and can be doctored up with vanilla, cinnamon, etc. Super easy to make and surprisingly yummy!


Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!

menu plan monday, livin’ la vida low carb

Drew and I embraced a low-carb lifestyle a few years ago and until recently were sticking to it quite well. Over the summer we slacked quite a bit, but now we are back and absolutely committed.

Per D’s doctor’s orders, we are eliminating sugar and back to low-carb living. I’m totally fine with it and the kids are enthusiastic about trying new dishes and eating healthier. Although I won’t be totally eliminating breads and sugar from their diet, we are all working together and they’re happy to eat more protein and veggies. (Thank goodness I do not have picky eaters!)

We are back to eating South Beach style, so if you’re looking for low-carb menu ideas, you’ve come to the right place! Mind you, these meal plans will not always apply to our kids, especially breakfast and lunch. As for D & myself, breakfasts will be some kind of preparation of eggs, or yogurt sprinkled with nuts. Lunches will be a large salad with a protein (chicken, tuna, or shrimp most likely). Dinners this week look something like this:

  • Sunday: Chili, green salad
  • Monday: Sausage and peppers on an Oopsie Roll, roasted tomato soup, green salad
  • Tuesday: Lemon chicken, roasted broccoli with Parmesan, green salad
  • Wednesday: Turkey taco salads with black beans, avocado and cilantro-lime vinaigrette
  • Thursday: Roasted lemon garlic herb shrimp, roasted broccoli, green salad
  • Friday: Grilled steak, loaded broccoli, Caprese salad
  • Saturday: Pizza night! Trying out this cauliflower crust recipe. And a green salad, of course.

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

friday favorite finds, 9.23

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds. Here are my Pinterest food finds for the week.

We’re back to seriously focussing on our low-carb lifestyle. The past few months I admit to doing a little (okay, a lot) more baking than usual, and serving a lot more pasta dishes and a lot more sandwiches and… you get the picture. Well, it has to stop. Luckily I found no shortage of inspiration to get back on track.

Chicken With Puttenesca Sauce


Chicken Pesto


Chickpea Salad


Avocado Chicken Salad


(And one dessert!) South Beach Mini Cocoa Swirl Cheesecake


Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!

csa 2011: eighth share

csa 2011: 8th share

This time of year is bittersweet because I know I only have a few farm shares left, but what we’re getting is just so beautiful! There’s a little bit of everything: kale, various greens, a head of lettuce, 2 fennel bulbs, 3 peppers, 1 clove of garlic, 1 lb. of onions, 3 lbs. of tomatoes, 3 lbs. of potatoes (red and purple), 2 chili peppers, dill, cilantro, and the piece de resistance… a sugar pumpkin.

I plan on making another batch of roasted tomato soup, some kale chips, and probably a roast chicken dinner with the onions, fennel, and potatoes. Unless of course, I just munch on the fennel raw (which I also love). We also could pick 20 stems of flowers. You can see some them here, but I did try to pick mostly closed zinnias so the bouquet would last longer:

csa 2011: 8th share

What have you been cooking lately?

meal plan monday, 9.18-9.24

We’re starting the third week of school (the second full week) and I think we’ve got our groove. Wednesday is the “craziest” day so far because immediately after school the boys have CCD class. They take a bus from the elementary school to the parish center, so that is great. But pick-up is always hectic and then it’s a mad rush to eat dinner, do homework, and have (hopefully) a little downtime while still getting to bed on time. So Wednesday are going to be my “phone it in” days. I’ll either throw something simple in the Crock Pot, make sandwiches, or as in the case of this week, just throw a frozen pizza in the oven.

The cooler weather has been great! It’s the kind that makes me think of outdoor fireplaces, crunchy leaves, hot apple cider, and (of course) my slow cooker. I’ve been using it a lot lately and this week is no exception!

And with that, on to this week’s menu.

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

weekend chit-chat

It’s another beautiful pre-autumn day here. You can tell that fall is just a few days away — everything is just about screaming “Autumn!” Unfortunately, we’ve spent the weekend mostly inside with colds. It’s nice to just take it easy, though.

The boys have adjusted well to their new school schedule. Classes seem to be going well and I had the chance to meet Noah’s teacher last week at open house. Drew will go to Jake’s this week and see what his teacher is like. I’m the one who still has to get organized. Stacks of school papers are all over my kitchen and they’re driving me crazy. Tomorrow I plan to tackle that mess.

In other news, one of my friends just got a horse and I am so thrilled for her! She’s an accomplished rider, but hasn’t had her own horse in quite some time. Her kids were just blown away. I bet she’s excited to go shopping for riding boots and other equestrian gear. (I would be!).

fall style is in the bag

Don’t you love the change in seasons? It’s like getting a whole new wardrobe all over again. I usually splurge on a few new pieces, but I love going through my fall stuff and resdiscovering things I haven’t worn in months. One of my favorite things to shop for are new purses.

I just bought the bag shown above a couple weeks ago and I am loving it! I can’t believe I didn’t have a brown purse — that’s such a basic. If you take the time to look, you can usually find good deals, especially if you check out the coupon sites. Even though I had a special coupon from Discover that I used for this bag, I could have checked for Kohls coupons at dropdowndeals to save money.

Anyway, the bag will look great with all kinds of fall colors. Here are a few of my favorite style picks from Pinterest. They’re my inspiration for the coming months, what do you think?

Source: via Carol on Pinterest



Source: via Carol on Pinterest



I’m really into neutrals with a pop of color. But mostly I am just excited to wear boots and scarves again. Let the leaves fall!

a nip in the air and a tree on the ground


My husband had quite a bit of vacation time left to use up, so he’s been off all week getting some projects done. Topping his list was chopping firewood for the winter (we have a wood stove and we try to rely on that as much as possible for heat). This morning he decided to try cutting a dead tree in the front yard and he was so excited because it fell exactly where he wanted it to! It was kind of a tricky one because we obviously did not want it falling in the road or on our fence. That actually happened a few years ago (due to a storm) and it still bothers me that one fence section is not as weathered as the other two!

for dad...

Anyway, today it is significantly colder than it has been and I’m just glad that our stash of wood is being built up.

It’s been a busy week, and I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday. Today I ran all over town on errands picking up pretty much everything under the sun.

Yesterday I had an appointment with a new primary care doctor and that went well. He was pleasant and now I’ll have someone to call when I get that horrible chest cold that I get every winter (which has probably been bronchitis every time). I have to go back for my fasting blood work. I’m curious what my cholesterol level is because I’ve never had that checked. But my blood pressure is good, my weight is in the healthy range (whew!), and I filled him in on all the thyroid stuff. When I refused the flu shot, he didn’t press the issue at all, and that’s how I knew I liked him. 🙂

Yesterday was also the boys’ first CCD class of the year and Noah’s open house, so it really was a full day. I came home around 9:15 and pretty much collapsed into bed. Looks like the beginning of the school year isn’t just rough on the kids — it’s tough on us parents, too!

regional accents vlog

Oh my goodness, I hope I don’t look and sound too foolish here, but I’m sharing this anyway. I really love when other people post vlogs (video blogs), and thought maybe it was time to step outside my comfort zone.

I don’t know a You Tube video downloader from an uploader, and I used my iTouch to record this, so please do not expect a cinematic masterpiece, LOL! This one seemed easy enough, especially because the topic was provided for me. Please don’t laugh!!!


The instructions are to say these words:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:

  1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  2. What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  4. What do you call gym shoes?
  5. What do you say to address a group of people?
  6. What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  7. What do you call your grandparents?
  8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  10. What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Want to listen to more accent vlogs? You can check them out  here.