Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Goals for September

  • Finalize a working budget: We've been trying really hard to get our debt and savings under control. Pay down the debt, build up the savings -- easier said than done. We took a major step in the right direction this weekend and sold our camper :( I'm really going to miss being a camping family but having that extra monthly payment wasn't a smart money choice for us and camping isn't exactly a cheap activity. We've been trying really hard to find other weekend adventures to take that don't cost a lot of money (aside from gas in our tank). We are officially in savings mode. 
  • Be active: I sit a LOT at work and on my commute. The hubby and I are looking a little lot on the fluffy side these days or as the kids call it, chubby. This has got to change. I know eating right and exercise are the keys to success. Trying to cut back on spending has meant more meals at home which usually means healthier meals. The get moving part has been the hardest. We are looking at trying out P90X but I heard I might die so I'm scared to try it. Regardless, something must happen and soon!
  • Run my first 10k: So this is sort of like the one above, but that's more of a "couple" goal and this is a an "all for me" goal. I signed up for a 10k run at the end of September. 6.2 miles is a long way! I don't think I'm going to set a time to finish by, my goal is to just finish. It will be a big accomplishment for me.
  • Try new recipes: I want to try at least 5 new recipes this upcoming month. It's time to switch up the normal routine around our house and try something new for dinner. I've got a million, ok maybe just 180+, recipe ideas pinned, time to put them to use! Plus eating at home usually means eating healthier (yeah for getting fit!) and cheaper (yeah for goal #1!). 
I think 4 goals is plenty. I don't want to overwhelm myself and I think these are all achievable. What goals to you want to achieve for September?

Monday, August 26, 2013

a RAD weekend

What an awesome weekend! I'm going to miss summer when it's over, but I don't want to think about that now. 
On Saturday morning A and I ran the Color Me Rad 5k. I was surprised at how much she ran, it was great! And the experience was amazing. 
Our before & after shots
All covered in color
On Sundays we've been trying to do some type of adventure. Bike rides, eating at a new restaurant, exploring someplace, just something fun that preferably doesn't cost a lot of money! So we went to the reservoir in a neighboring city and had a picnic. We hiked around and climbed Hanging Rock which overlooks the Wabash River.
The girls representing #TeamAwesome :) We all have tye-dye shirts that we made a couple weeks ago
We last had our picture taken here right before we got married, it was fun to go back with the kids 7 years later
After all the hiking we needed to cool down so the girls and I jumped on the trampoline while being sprayed by the hose. It was the prefect ending to the weekend.
How was your weekend? Still enjoying summer?

*Linking up with Sami

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just like that, she's off

Oh my diva, all ready for her first day of school. How did she grow up so fast? First grade, wow!
And just like that, she's off. Stop growing up my little girl, Mommy can't handle it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Crock Pot Lasagna

No matter how hard you try, getting a nice picture of something in a crock pot is hard! 
Awhile back I pinned a recipe for crock pot lasagna. I tried it once before and I cooked it too long, my noodles were mush. So I went back for round two and a few more recipe alterations. It turned out perfectly!

Here's my recipe:
3 Italian sausages, casing removed
1 jar (26 oz) plus about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce
1 cup of water
16 oz cottage cheese (you can also use ricotta)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
1 egg
1-2 cups of mixed veggies (I used frozen so they wouldn't be over cooked at the end)
8 lasagna noodles (the kind you have to boil, not those no-boil noodles! This is MUY importante! - that's very important for the non-Spanish speakers)

  • Break up and brown your sausage
  • Mix your pasta sauce with water. Tip: Add the water to your jar and swish around to get all the sauce out.
  • Take a potato masher to your cottage cheese to make it like ricotta cheese (it's just the cheaper version!) then add 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and egg. 
  • Add about 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of your crock pot. Break 4 noodles in half and layer on top of the sauce. Add half the cheese mixture. Layer your veggies on next. 
  • Continue layering with another 2 cups of sauce. Add the remaining 4 noodles and remaining cheese mixture. Add your browned sausage on top. 
  • Put remaining sauce on top and the 1/2 cup of remaining mozzarella cheese. 
  • Cook on low for 4 hours. Do not cook longer than this or your noodles will be mush. Nobody likes mushy noodles.
  • Enjoy your yummy lasagna!

The crock pot is my friend, but I just have trouble finding recipes that can stay in for 10+ hours while I'm at work. This one I did on Sunday night for dinner on Monday night. I just plopped my crock pot in the fridge and pulled it out on Monday night and reheated. It was just as good as freshly made! Do you have any crock pot favorites?

Linking up with What I Ate Wednesday and Thirty Handmade Days

Friday, August 2, 2013

Challenge Completed!

This popped up yesterday when I logged into Goodreads ... success! I completed my Reading Challenge. Here's the 30 books I read this year.
That's 30 books, in all their glory. I can't say that I read any terrible books, but some were definitely better than others. I think I'm going to add another 10-15 books to the challenge and see if I can complete more before the end of the year. I plan on finishing up the Stephanie Bond series The Body Movers (I have books 5 & 6 to go; she is working on book 7!). What else should I add to my list? Any recommendations? I have about 15 books on my "to-read" list at Goodreads but I always like knowing what other people enjoyed.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sneak a peek

Guess what I'm working on? This post is a hint! Go look, I'll wait. Ok you are back ... good! I'm gettin' crafty!
I had a layer cake of this Moda collection laying around. I knew it would be perfect for my next quilt! That's right, I'm making another one. It might be even more of a cheater quilt than my strip quilt because it's just layer cakes sewn together. Just because I don't make my own blocks, doesn't mean I'm not making a quilt. I'm just not advanced yet to try piecing, it scares me! So now that I had my fabric in hand, I did what any reasonable person would do. Went to Starbucks!
Once I had my energy boost I got sewing. I was supposed to be cleaning the house for DH's birthday cookout, but hey the sewing machine was calling my name. I couldn't say no. Here's a peek at the layout, I'll take more photos once the whole top is put together. I have terrible lighting my guest bedroom/sewing room so you'll just have to imagine how awesome all the colors are :)

I don't have plans for the backing yet. I hope to finish the top this week. I love the colors!! If it doesn't look right in J's room then we will use this as another camping blanket or a throw for the living room. I can't wait until it's done!