Happy Wednesday. This past weekend we celebrated First Holy Communion at our Parish on base. And I reached out to the CCRE to see how I could help. We agreed that I would make cards for the children and cupcakes for the reception afterwards.
I am so blessed to have so many crafty tools… and per my agreement with my hubby I am using them. Here are the cards:
Card Recipe: TOOLS: StampinUp Stampin Cut & Emboss Machine. Cross Die (part of a set from Nestabilities). INKS: Soft Sky and Pool Party blue Inks from StampinUp Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pens. For the splatters I used the ink from two blues spectrum pens, mixed with a little water, and splatted with the fan brush. I splatted the ink over sponged on soft sky & pool party blues. STAMPS: The image and sentiments are from Doves of Peace, from SweetnSassy Stamps. PAPER: Both from my PaperTreyInk and StampinUp Stashes. Colors are Ivory, and various grays and light blues.
I love the way they turned out and I hope the families did too.
Now, for the cupcakes… I am a baker, and I have to say – the cupcakes were fantastic. A great recipe from the late 1970’s… just can’t be beat. But the icing… AACK. For some reason it was runnier than it should have been. I tried so many baking tricks… and the icing tasted good. But I wasn’t happy.
I have to tell you guys… God had my back. Somehow between that and the fact that my hand-mixer broke mid-beating the icing together… God helped me out and things went well. Thankful the CCRE is calm and knows I am working on my perfectionist issues that can make me awkward… and she laid it all out. It looked great.
It feels good to be getting involved again. I’m hopeful.
Anywhoooo it’s just a quick post for today. I have so many things to talk about… but I’m overthinking how to say them. HA! I’m not kidding. I want my blog to be loving and kind… and I am trying to balance it with real issues I want to talk about. Praying about it. But – please stay tuned.
Happy First week of January 2020! Are you a good steward of your money? Sadly – I suck at finances. 2020 is my year to be on a better path to fixing it. God has really laid people in my path to help. I am hoping to memorize Bible verses about self-restraint and being a good steward. I have to focus and live better within our means. Sigh.
One of the ways is with the Pantry Challenge. What is a pantry challenge? Well, Jessica over at Good Cheap Eats started doing these about 2008, or so.. You can read her explanation of the Pantry Challenge, and I’ll explain how I view it/use the challenge for our home! I have been doing it for 10+ years and it just feels comfy now.
If you’re like me, you need to purge your freezer/pantry shelves after six weeks of entertaining. First of all, January’s budget is always super tight… but more than that, since my hubs and I like to entertain, and typically cook for others from before Thanksgiving to after New Years. AND, in Italy, I’ve noticed that can mean you have way more extra than you need. Seriously! Because of where we are, we have learned to buy for “just in case”… because if ya see something and don’t buy it at the commissary, you may not get it. Bottom line, we have food for weeks… and we’re about to get creative!
For me, it represents, using what I have (aka minimal $$ spent on groceries); weeds out what I don’t normally keep as pantry basics (aka holiday entertainment items, extra flour, etc.) thus leaving room on our “pantry” (shelves we bought from IKEA) so that it’s not so unorganized looking; AND it allows me creative. Additionally, it allows me to really look at EVERY item in the pantry/fridge/freezer that may have expired, etc. (y’all do not want to know the science experiment-looking things I’ve found).
I typically start my challenge after my hub’s birthday (January 5th). This year, he turned the big 6-0! We had dinner with friends and ate leftovers. Y’all we’ve been eating so much he literally asked for no cake. HA – Serious business y’all.
So Monday, I spent the whole day in the kitchen prepping bento lunch items, and looking into creative ways to use leftovers. Here is what I did:
Cleaned and chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, onion, bell peppers.
Made stuffed bell peppers with beef, Italian sausage, chopped onion, and leftover rice and tomato sauce..
Made egg cups with the meat mixture that did not fit into the bell peppers.
Made chicken salad with leftover grilled chicken, boiled eggs and veggies.
For me, the rules are as follows:
Take stock of what I have using the worksheets Jess provides (Free). If this is your first time, buy the eBook. It’s the best $6 you will spend – trust me.
Use what I have.
Only buy needed items. Here it’s water (you can’t drink the water, though we do have a Berkey – and we use that for cooking), dairy, produce, and paper items.
No restocking till February 7th. We hit it super hard for a month.
After Feb. 7th, plug in more meatless meals and keep folks on track with lower carbs. We have weight to lose. BLAH!
To show what I mean about creativity, I took meat out of the freezer and create dinner and a week’s worth of breakfast with it. As a side note, I’m volunteering with the USO tonight, and my guys have choices for leftovers. BONUS!
It will never be my goal to lecture you about finances or show you what an idiot I’ve been. But when I find something good to share, and a lesson learned, I will do that from time to time. I pray you learn from this old lady’s mistakes.
I hope and pray your Tuesday is blessed. Join me in the pantry challenge if you want. I’d love to hear your tips too.
“Hi, My Name is Emily Davis (LadyEm) and I am an organization Freak.” Until I moved here and completely forgot how to function. I wish I was joking about that.
Anyway – I love Jessica Fisher OF GoodCheapEats.com and LifeasMom.com. If you don’t know her story or follow any of her blogs, you really should. She’s also on FB. I started with her in I think 2008 doing Pantry Challenges (be on the lookout for that within the next six months) and I just love her style. But I am an arrogant know-it-all from time to time, and y’all, I “didn’t need” to plan for breakfast and lunch, I just planned for dinner. Um – Dear Emily – that’s not how it works!
So – you’ll be shocked if I tell you I am a perfectionist at heart. It’s such a sin y’all… because there is NO SUCH THING as perfect. However, I’ve learned to give myself grace and that it’s ok to step up my game. Right? Anywhooooo… I have been flailing for the past year… you may have seen me flailing as I did it with all the verve of a car dealership blow up guy. HA And then I was reminded about the Kitchen Survival Workshop. So exciting y’all. There are lists, and homework – every organized mamas dream. But there is also solid advice and tried&true recipes. Frugal and healthy and make-sense.
If you need:
to get organized in your kitchen.
help with meal plans and meal prep.
to remember that YOU are important.
to improve your grocery budget.
learn to BUDGET YOUR TIME! That was mind blowing to me.
be supported by a group.
… and much more (because everyone is different).
You need to look into this class!
Once you take the class, we can compare notes. I hope you do!
As always, I’m Praying for you all! And if you want me to pray specifically for an intention, leave me a comment. Love, Hugs & Blessings,