New blog!!

I wanted to take a moment to let you Ll know that I have started up a new blog at www.lifeatthelichters.blogspot.com

Please come join me as I share our family adventures and other fun things!


...Shopping from the Ad...

I am a work in progress when it comes to meal planning. In reality, I am quite terrible at it, but I try! Some people prefer to plan from what they see in the weekly grocery ad, some make a menu and then shop for those items and some people are able to look at their pantry\freezer that day and make something fantastic minutes before supper time (that might be exaggerated, but I bet those individuals exist and I salute you!)

Personally, I prefer to base my meal plan on the weekly grocery ad, I think its the cheapest option.

A friend and fellow blogger, Betsy, at Life as a Med Student's Wife, has recently started a little blog series about frugality. She is fantastic and inspiring! I offered to share with her my humble attempts at planning from our weekly grocery ad and she was willing to share this on her blog! So wonderful!

This first post is a very vague (and word heavy, link light, I apologize). I envision sharing my entire grocery list for the week, including my coupon deals! But for today, I am only going to list my ideas\menu plan from one of the weekly ads as time escaped me this week and I wanted to have a post done today! I chose the Hy-Vee ad this week and the first meal was basically handed to me off the beginning pages!

In no particular order...

Meal One: NY Strip and Baked Asparagus
--I have never seen NY Strip at this price and I think Hy-Vee meat is fairly good as far as quality. Hubby makes a really great steak! I will coat the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and parmesean cheese, then bake. I found the recipe on Pinterest and thought it was quite good!

Meal Two: Whole Chicken and Baked Potatoes
--Whole chickens are.79/lb this week! You can get a whole chicken CHEAPER than buying just the chicken breasts! No brainer, right? I like to make a whole chicken for supper and then de-bone the rest afterwards. Since there are three of us, we can usually get two more meals out of the rest. I might add the leftover chicken to soups, quesidillas, tacos, or a casserole. Really, the possibilities are ENDLESS! I snagged a 5#bag of potatoes last week for .88! Easy Peasy! And if I am really motivated, I may just make more chicken stock!

Meal Three: Casserole using leftover Chicken
--I always have pasta, vegetables, cream soups, etc on hand. Using the leftover chicken from Meal Two will make an easy supper dish!

Meal Four: CrockPot Roast w\ Vegetables
--It isn't the BEST deal this week for chuck roast, BUT the last time it was on sale, they were HUGE! I am going to check them out this week and if they are HUGE again, I may cut it in half. Make a roast with one half and then find a freezer meal recipe for the second half, perhaps a stew of some sort. Add the cheap potatoes and carrots I bought from last week and again, easy peasy!

Meal Five:  Pizza
--We LOVE pizza in this house! I am not seeing anything that is a steal of a deal for pizza topping this week, but we could easily make a buffalo chicken pizza with the left over chicken again. I am telling you, whole chickens are the way to go!

There you have it fellow readers! As always, menu plans are just plans and sometimes they change! But having a plan in place reduces the temptation to run to Subway for a last minute supper and homemade pizza beats ordering it to go!

I am really hoping to develop this idea of menu planning and getting the most for my dollar. Feel free to share your thoughts\ideas!

I am tossing around the idea of starting a new blog that will contain posts like these and general updates on our life for our friends\family who like to stay in touch and up to date on what is going on in life! Not sure if I will start it before or after baby, but we shall see! Stay tuned!


...Sweater Time...

If you remember last year, I challenged myself to knit my first sweater and to knit it in the month of February. Call me crazy, I did it. I may have been up until 2:00 a.m. the last day of February, but I finished it and wore it for my birthday!

I had so much fun doing it, I think I will do it again this year!

I am also joining Lisa with Knitting Blogcast  and her challenge of randomly chosing an item from our Ravelry queue to knit through in the month of February. The pattern Serra was randomly chosen and I am looking forward to casting on come February 1st!

I am going to be using some Patons Classic Wool in a gray color, forgot to look at the exact name.

Stay tuned for (hopefully) weekly updates on my Serra!


...Year of Projects Update...

I have been doing a TON of knitting lately, but of course, not much from my Year of Projects list! :) We have had some terribly cold days in MN and I finally took the time to make myself an ear warmer!

This was my first time working with Berroco Ultra Alpaca and I think I am hooked!


Fresh Start!

It has been MONTHS since I logged into my blog! The end of the year is always super busy no matter how hard you try to coordinate things!

I've been knitting, some off my YOP list and others not and it seems like my list is ever-growing and never-ending!

I haven't looked at my Year of Projects lists in awhile, so let's recap! I removed two items and added two more...Finished half of my Christmas knitting...and am adding a new section for our baby girl who will be coming in May!!

Hopefully I will be able to concentrate more on my list now that the holidays are past!

...2012/2013 Year of Projects List...

WIPS: (2/4)
*AD's Tie Sweater
*Garter Stitch Afghan--charity
*Afghan for our Room (REMOVED)

*Car Seat Blanket
*Coming Home Hat
*Kanoko Pants
*Puerpenium Cardi
*Snuggle Sack
*More Hats!

*Cardigan\Sweater for Me
*Fingerless Mitts for Me
*Pair of Socks
*Sweater for DH (IN PROGRESS)
*Ear Warmer (ADDED)
*12 for Self List


*The Miranda Hat

CHRISTMAS KNITTING: ( Definitely NOT a complete list ) 5/10
*Bengals Tiger Hat--Brother
*Fingerless Mitts--Mom
*Earflap Hat--Brother
*Bulky Scarf--Friend
*Christmas Stocking--A
*Leg Warmers x 3  2/3
*Brother Hat

THE TALLY: 11/29


...Toddler Time...

I am a day late posting our latest Toddler Time activity!

Last week, my in-laws watched A and brought lots of fun things for him to do, including popping bubble wrap and painting pumpkins.

My FIL says he knew exactly what to do with the bubble wrap. He laid it on the floor and A started stomping on it. Lots of fun I am sure!

He and Grandma explored painting pumpkins! She said he had a good time doing it, not surprised at all!

Thanks for stopping by! What fun things did you do with your toddler this week?


...Sweet Zion Paperie...

While checking Facebook earlier this week, I saw that a page I like, Sweet Zion Paperie, was hosting a giveaway! While I know my chances of winning anything from a giveaway are usually nil, I tried anyways! We had to guess Sophie's, the designer of SZP, favorite Fall beverage from Starbucks. Like many Starbucks junkies, Fall = Pumpkin Spice Latte. Many of us were close, but there was one little bit we were missing. Yes, she does like Pumpkin Spice Lattes but with what else?

Hmm..stumped. But like any loyal 'The Office' fan, I knew Pam likes "a sprinkle of cinnamon". So, that was my logic with guessing the next element of her favorite drink. And I GOT IT! I couldn't believe it! I had won a set of her beautiful stationary complete with a monogram of choice! NO WAY!!

Sweet Zion Paperie specializes in custom invitations, stationary and paper goods and is very popular among the wedding vendors.

 Stationary complete with monogram and matching envelopes! 

The originator behind Sweet Zion Paperie is also a college classmate of mine! She received my request for my free set of stationary on Wednesday and it arrived on Friday! Talk about great customer service!

I received a generous set of 12 cards complete with matching envelopes. And a cute gel pen to address my envelopes with! I am really looking forward to sending these notes out!

I am VERY happy with my gift from Sweet Zion Paperie and am planning on purchasing a set for a few friends for Christmas! Thanks Sophie!


...Toddler Time...

I have been collecting lids from various containers the past month (it's amazing how many lids that is!) and started creating a Lid Bucket for A.

Today was a great day to introduce it to him. He loved them! He likes to put the smaller ones in larger ones and put them back in the bucket.

An easy activity for sure!


...Year of Projects: September Recap...

Where did September go? I haven't posted a YOP update since the end of August and I wish I could say that is because I have been SO busy knitting away my list...but I can not.

(see that blurb up top? I started that LAST week!)

Here's the skinny folks. I have been knitting, request-knitting, that is! I have worked up Hoot the Owl, a Gap-tastic cowl and a Potato Chip Scarf. Of course, I do not have any pictures taken yet. :0) Hopefully soon!

As for my Year of Projects list, not too much has changed. I have started my hubby's sweater and am doing a KAL with my buddy Lauren! She is a bit further than I am! This is also a KAL with Project: Stash! My plan is to dedicate October to this sweater! I've done a sweater in a month before, I hope I can do it again!

The Miranda Hat KAL is now over and I didn't quite meet my goal of 5 hats. However, 3 will be going to Project: Stash and perhaps I will get to making the other two later this fall.

Here is a recap!

2012-2013 Year of Projects

...2012/2013 Year of Projects List...

WIPS: (2/6)
*AD's Tie Sweater
*Garter Stitch Afghan--charity
*DH Scarf
*Afghan for our Room

*The Miranda Hat

CHRISTMAS KNITTING: ( Definitely NOT a complete list )
*Bengals Tiger Hat--Brother
*Fingerless Mitts--Mom
*Earflap Hat--Brother
*Bulky Scarf--Friend
*Christmas Stocking--A
*Leg Warmers x 3 (maybe 6?) 1/6

*Cardigan\Sweater for Me
*Fingerless Mitts for Me
*Pair of Socks
*Sweater for DH (IN PROGRESS)
*12 for Self List



...Toddler Time...

A is switching to one nap a day and there is a time before lunch when he starts to fuss and get bored. That is when we try a new activity that is low prep!

Today we threw pillows on the floor. Does it get any easier?! His favorite was being "pushed" into the pillows :) There were lots of giggles and energy used!

I am loving trying out new activities with our lil guy! It keeps the day interesting and hopefully helps him learn!