Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shopping Day

Today was one of those few days a year when I have to give in and take my kids shopping for clothes. I like to shop with them. I would be a liar if I did not declare my love of shopping, for myself that is. Taking 3 kids shopping for clothes can be....difficult.

My little girl still likes stores like Gymboree and Justice. Easy in and easy out. She finds a color that makes her happy, if the shirts have glitter, all the better in her opinion. My older daughter and son are not so easy. The stores they like are so loud, cluttered, dark and stinky (I am convinced that stores geared to the pre teen demographic have those glade timed air fresheners set with stinky cologne). But, I dealt with it because the stores had great deals and my kids are in need of clothes. Sadly, they refuse to stop growing, so I find I am required to continue to clothe them on an as needed basis. Sales are all I have got to make sure that they have what they need.

I will end this blog with some frugal acts for the last couple of weeks:

1. Bought several needed shirts for the kids today at buy 1 get 1 1/2 off

2. Ate all meals at home this last week.

3. Bought birthday party supplies for my daughter's birthday party at the Dollar Store

4. Used several coupons at the mall today, added to the savings of the buy 1 get 1 1/2 off.

5. Planned meals along with sales at

6. 2 minute showers for all of us

7. Laundry washed in cold water

8. Left over night at least one night

9. Credit cards paid in full, no interest!

10. I brown bag it to lunch at work

Blueberry Pancake Recipe

This morning I made the best blueberry pancakes, ever!! I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but I can't. It comes from "Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen" by Maria Helm Sinskey. Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries
pure maple syrup for serving

makes 12 pancakes; serves 4-6

In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined. A few small lumps are fine. To ensure tender pancakes, make sure you don't overmix the batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, add them frozen, not thawed.

Heat a griddle or a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter. When the butter melts and sizzles, tilt the pan to spread it evenly over the bottom. Using 1/4 cup measure, pour the batter into the pan to form pancakes, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until the edges are set and the tops are covered with bubbles, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip them over and cook until golden on the second sides, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to warmed plate as they come off the griddle. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter to the griddle as needed. Pass the syrup at the table.

These pancakes are like blueberry muffins. They are amazing. They received the seal of approval from my entire family, husband included. Enjoy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What a crazy, stressful, wonderful, hectic week it has been!

Last Friday, I went to see one of my favorite singers, Norah Jones. My husband bought me tickets for her show for Christmas. The condition was that I don't take him with me. He is not a fan. Instead, I took a friend I have had since childhood. We went out for Middle Eastern food before hand and then to the show. It was a great night. Thank you Eric.

Saturday night was my daughter's very belated birthday party. It was a sleepover. She has A LOT of friends! 12 girls were invited, 11 were able to attend, 10 were allowed to sleepover. Including my daughter, we had 11 girls sleeping in our basement. What a fabulous time they had. They decorated pillowcases for a craft, watched a movie, played games, toilet papered my son's bedroom (he was at a friend's house) and got along. I was so impressed with how well mannered the girls were and how kind they are to each other. Sometimes I think we tend to assume that girls will be naturally mean at this age. I don't see it, at all. I kept the cost of the party down. Pizza came from Dominoes with a coupon, supplies from Dollar Store and the movies were netflix.

Sunday, I took the kids to a movie. The much anticipated "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" came out last Friday. All 3 of my kids have read the whole series numerous times. They could not wait another day to see it. Even my sleep deprived daughter wanted to sacrifice a nap and go. It is a really cute movie. My kids say some of it was different from the book. But, doesn't that always happen?

My spring break was this week. I started my 25 page paper. I have a good start, my books and an outline. I think I will be fine and done with plenty of time to spare. My week was filled with cleaning, laundry and work. I found some time for reading for fun. I also took my girls to a local waterpark last night with my daughter's Brownie troop. One thing about Brownies, it can be a frugal moms best friend. Normally the tickets to get in are $25, we got in for $10 and my "brownie" was free.

Today we are driving to Green Bay to visit family. My son has a birthday party to go to tonight. This weekend is filled with soccer, classes, a couple sleepovers and I work.

I look at my past week and think I should be tired or stressed. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I really am blessed to have such a wonderful family and active, happy life.