Barn Studio of Dance

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hi, Everyone! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Although we tried to keep things simple around here this year for Christmas, I'm still recovering!  Grace has been enjoying all of the great presents that Santa delivered on Christmas Eve in addition to all the wonderful gifts given to her by our family and friends. 


Today is New Year's Eve.  In all the years that we've been together, this is our first year without plans for New Year's Eve.  We ordered some Buffalo wings from our favorite place and I have a huge pot of spaghetti sauce cooking in the crock pot.  We have lots of snacks and desserts to munch on, too!  Somehow I doubt that we'll still be awake at midnight tonight.  Or, since I'm the only night owl around here, I might be the only one still awake at midnight! 

I cannot believe that 2010 is over.  I really can't believe that Grace will be two in just 4 months!!!  Sigh! 

The past few weeks I've been thinking really hard about my resolutions for the new year.  I find that they are pretty much the same each year, only to be forgotten by mid-January!  Sad, huh?  But this year, I'd like to follow my resolutions at least until mid-year if not the full year.  Hopefully, blogging will help keep me accountable. 

This year, I want to save money.  Now, for us, this savings won't be cash in the bank.  Our house needs some sprucing up, so the money I save, I'd like to be able to put toward things that need fixing around the house. 

In addition to saving money/fixing up the house, I want to lose some weight.  I tried over the summer, only to give up after a month or so.  I'd like to stick it out a bit longer this year and really get a handle on my weight.  Not only to be thinner, but to be healthier.  I really need to start eating smaller portions and choose healthier foods for snacks. 

I also want to work on my character.  I tend to be judgemental and also lose my temper pretty easily.  These are two things I want to fix about myself. 

Blogging is something else that I want to work on this year.  I've taken too many "vacations" or "breaks" from blogging this past year.  I really want to focus on posting on a regular basis and try to get some posts on reserve for those times that I need to be away from the computer for an extended period of time. 

So, those are my goals for the new year.  How about you?  What are your goals this year? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of December 6th

Okay, so I know I say this with every passing month, but really?  Is it December already?  I really cannot believe how fast this entire year has flown by! 

Last month was such a busy month for me both at home and here on the blog.  Between my birthday, the giveaways, the kitchen contest that I entered and Thanksgiving. I've been really pressed for time.  Grace decided to put herself on a brand new schedule too.  One that is not convenient for me in anyway!  For the past few weeks, she's been waking up around 2:00 am every night.  That wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that I haven't been getting myself to bed until around that time....which means I don't really get to sleep until I get her back to sleep.  It's been brutal. 

Our first Thanksgiving as a family was a huge success.  I am so glad that we let go of all of our "traditions" from the past to spend the holiday together.  Just the three of us.  We're looking forward to nice and quiet Christmas, too. 

Aside from the quality family time, I really enjoyed seeing how far I could stretch that 12-ish pound turkey!  Of course, we had the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  With the leftovers, I made Turkey Corn Chowder, Turkey Noodle Soup.  I also threw together a mixture of diced turkey, stuffing, gravy and mixed veggies to make a casserole-type dish.  I still have 2 cups of diced turkey in the freezer that I plan on using in a pot pie this week.  Yum!  Oh, I forgot to mention huge pot of turkey broth that I made too. We have another turkey in the freezer that I want make over the weekend.  Grace really loves turkey and I love the challenge of finding new meals to prepare with the leftovers!  That second turkey will really help us keep our food bill low this month. 

While I took my little break from blogging, I've been using my time to shop online for Christmas.  It's difficult for me to get out shopping since I don't have a car, so I've been loving all of the online deals!  I've got more than half of my shopping done so far.  I really hope to get the rest finished up this week. 

Christmas shopping has been tough on us this year.  Money is extremely tight.  I managed to put some money aside for Christmas the past couple of months, but not enough.  I really need to start saving earlier for next year.

Luckily, we won't have to spend a lot on groceries this month and that will help us with the extra money we'll need to finish up our holiday shopping. 

After taking inventory of the freezer and pantry, this is what's on the menu for this week: 

  • Monday:  Pepper Steak, rice, broccoli and eggrolls
  • Tuesday:  Turkey Pot Pie
  • Wednesday:  eggs, potatoes, sausage, toast

  • Thursday:  Tuna Casserole, veggie
  • Friday:  Barbecue chicken, macaroni salad
  • Saturday:  Corn Dog Casserole
  • Sunday:  Turkey dinner
I have most, if not all, of the ingredients that I'll need for these meals.  I'm sure we'll make a trip to the grocery store for the normal essentials: milk, bread, diapers, etc.  Giant is offering a 30 bonus points when you spend $50 when you use the coupon in this week's ad.  We really depend on these points since they can be used to save money at Giant's gas station.  I'll be checking out this week's flyer to see what other items we'll need to bump the total up to $50.

As always, I'll be linking this post to Menu Plan Monday. 
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