Thursday, March 28, 2013

Love in the kitchen

Every now and then we all have one of those days, (sometimes I feel like there are few to many of those days), but the days that it seems like everything that can go wrong is. Let me tell you about mine.
So work sucks (like usual but I don't want to gossip so I won't tell you why) but I finally get off and after a brief trip to the store with my Sissy for some pasta sauce and soda, I get home and take out the fixings for dinner (3 hr before I plan on cooking it just so yall know) and I settle down to find the internet isn't working (Got this fixed even though I think the poor IT guy now takes me at my word when I say that most  technology hates me) I get a little down time till the Hubb calls me and says he is off work (which is my cue to start dinner) I go into the kitchen and guess what nothing is thawed and the pots I need apparently have not been washed. So I get to try and get the chicken thawed the potatoes peeled (which I didn't even use) and stuff clean, when Hubb walks through the door. Now I;m not in a good mood, nothing is ready, and its safe to say I was not looking or feeling my best right there, but he comes into the tiny kitchen and laughs at my grumpy face then proceeded to make a nuisance of himself to try and make me smile. (many kisses later I think I lost the grump somewhere) and then Hubb tried to help me in the kitchen but honestly two newlyweds in a small space just made dinner even later then it should have been.
But anyway I made awesomeness last night for dinner (thanks for the idea sissy) and I wish I snapped a picture of it (but I wasn't thinking straight yet) I made bacon wrapped chicken, served over pasta with some mixed veggies on the side. (Once I got everything worked out) It was super easy, I cut the HUGE chicken breasts I had in half then wrapped them in some bacon (no toothpicks needed it sticks just fine if you're careful and I don't like wood in my food) tossed it in the oven for about 30 min on 350 (you might want to baby sit a little because the time is really dependant on your oven and how thick your chicken is)
The bacon grease makes the chicken super moist and it smelled so amazing, my Mama Kendall called me with a SOS right before this finished to help her peel some coconuts, so as soon as it came out I packed it and John into the car and went to mamas (where I almost cut my thumb off, don't worry I just cut my nail down the middle <yeah and I thought work sucked yesterday>) But anyway It smelled so good mama stole a piece for her lunch tomorrow, bonus she sent me home with her homemade chicken and dumplings and I will have to wrestle the recipe from her to share with yall.
Much love--
Elizabeth

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I shalt learn from my mistakes

I tell myself this as I spent close to a half hour scrubbing dishes (and I'm sitting here not even completely done).  I am trying to remind myself that if I would just do them as I make them this wouldn't happen. Secondly if I would do them all while I am washing them instead of a little every day maybe it wont feel like I am constantly having to do a whole bunch of dishes everyday.
The Hubby was really nice and helped me dry (you know is it just me or do men turn into babies when asked to help with dishes, or is it just my big strong army man) but there are still dishes that needed to soak a while that (even though we are supposed to trade days) I will have to do tomorrow, and tomorrow is my day to go to my parents house, so it wont get done till really late and I will most likely be grumpy (yay)

Oh well such is life. I will not let the dishes bring me down! I had the most amazing weekend with my church and my God. Every Easter my church (LifeNow)  goes on a Resurrection retreat, but this year to accommodate family time on Easter Sunday we had a Rebuild retreat on Palm Sunday instead. Between Pastor Alan and Pastor Jesse the messages were amazingly emotional and insightful. We learned that sometimes to make a building better you just need to completely deconstruct it and get rid of all the junk and mess ups and everything that's holding you back before you can be made into the temple for God that you were made to be. Then we talked about how important a good biblically rooted foundation is in our lives and how easily it is to get things twisted in today's society. Next was how to build the right walls, not to isolate ourselves from everybody, but to protect us from our environment and to try to make living Holy as easy as we can for ourselves by building guardrails between us and sin. Then we talked about Interior and Exterior design (not decorating which is rearranging the junk you own to make it look like better junk, but intentionally and logically deciding where to put walls and doors and windows and how to make the space the best it can be) Pastor Alan went into detail about the temple Solomon built for God and how we upkeep the our temples for Him.
All in all it was a truly incredible time to recharge and reconnect with my wonderful church family and to remember how God wants us to be living and praising His name. We were rained in the entire time which was its own kind of blessing, I think everyone was saying how nice it was to just relax with each other and not always be running from one thing to the next (plus with work and everything else this was the first time I have felt fully rested in a loooooooooong time).

Anyway coming soon is a meal plan, some recipes that I want to try and share with you, as well as I want to tell you about my Grandma MacDuffie (with the help of my Mommy) who recently went to glory to spend some time at the feet of Jesus.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thou shalt clean your house

I know lent is almost over but I think I need to add something onto my Lenten fast. Cleaning.
Why? Because I suck at making myself do it, I  make all these plans to clean things and when I need to have things done and then nothing happens. My original lent fast was the snooze button. I gave up the 20 min I spend hitting the snooze button for some bible study time and its been great, BECAUSE I made a promise to God that I would do that every morning and you don't break promises. So I was thinking if I make cleaning a promise then maybe some of it will actually get done.
For instance Ive done about half of the laundry, and thats great and all but I have a kitchen full of dirty dishes that need to get done and I need to prepare John and I for church this weekend. I told my hubby I would clean out his car and I have to make some snacks, and instead im on Hulu and Pinterest (shame on me)
So I promise as soon as I finish this episode I am getting off of this computer and cleaning!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jesus who?

At my Church (LifeNow Church) we have been doing a series called Jesus who? where we have been learning about the facets of Jesus when He was with us. We leaned about Jesus was a shepherd, carpenter  healer, teacher, and servant in the past weeks and they were all very amazing sermons that I highly recommend yall checking out HERE. But this week our pastor didn't do a whole lot of talking, this week he reminder us that Jesus IS our Savior. Honestly today I was convicted about how little convicts me. I've grown very complacent in my faith, and if there is one thing I've learned through my walk with God is I can't do complacent. It just doesn't work out for me, I have to be VERY deliberate to do things like study, ready my Bible, and pray, otherwise it just doesn't happen. Then next thing you know God is no longer first in my mind, and my heart follows suit. I am very guilty when it come to making sure the He is number one in my life. I commit idolatry constantly in my heart, putting other things before him, worrying about pleasing me and others and not my Lord, and every now and then He has to remind me of it. So here is to deliberation, to directness, to making sure that while everything else is taken care of I take care of my relationship with my Lord first. My husband reminded me that marriage is a triangle with God as the top point and husband and wife as the bottom, and as they move closer to God, they in turn move closer together. So while obviously I need to make sure I am meeting the needs of my hubby, if I focus on the Lord then in turn I can be a better wife to my husband and on an even bigger scale be more like the creation that God wants and needs me to further his kingdom. So right now I think I need a little bit of the shepherd in Jesus, He has broken me to keep me from wandering to far and now I get to be carried till I can figure out how to walk better with my Lord.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

White beef stew


So last night I made beef stew for the Hubby and I, and I nearly killed him as soon as he walked in the door. A little back story on this... My husband knows because I don't know really how to cook I get really antsy when its time to eat something I've made (especially if its the first time I've done so) and he has learned that no matter what he has to make me feel like I did well before he can offer any changes (he can cook, just doesn't). Now I've been working very hard on planning and budgeting and shopping and all these things, before I even get the meat thawed (which I forgot to set out before I left for work so it got a bath in the sink to help things along as soon as I got home). I made one of his simple favorites (corn bread) to go with the stew, AND because I was so nervous I babysat the business out of the stew as it was cooking (ok, so this wasn't his fault but mine). I greet him at the door with a kiss and he peeks in the kitchen and BAM! almost gets killed by his wife ( viricide is the -cide word for killing your husband by the way, I know because I looked it up ten seconds ago) He looked in the pot and saw the stew was white and in his shock just blurted it out. Now I know most stews are brown but I had to change a couple of things around in the kitchen to make this meal work for me. For the liquids I used milk and in replace of beef broth, some water. Why? Well a couple of reasons, 1 I forgot, 2 it wasn't in the budget 3 water worked just fine with the beef bullion seasoning cube.  But it did make it white, and the hubby is alive because as soon as he saw my face he immediately started to kiss me so I couldn't get mad at him (his plan worked out sadly well). Oh well I will give you the recipe of what I did last night but the best thing about stew is, anything goes. I had celery going bad and that's why that in there, but look through your fridge and sneak those left overs in the stew pot, I dare you.

1 Package of beef stew meat,
Vegetables (The bigger chunks the better, I used a mix of baby broccoli  cauliflower and carrots as well as the celery that was going bad.)
Potatoes (doesn't matter red or yellow, I used yellow with skins still attached because I like rustic potatoes and I'm incredibly lazy and didn't want to go through the extra step of peeling.)
Milk and beef broth (or water with beef bullion cubes)
Flour (to thicken up the stew, I meant to throw rice in there to thicken it up some more but yet again, I forgot)
Seasoning (Thyme, Salt <quite a bit in all actually but if you treat your arteries better then mine you can regulate this> pepper and I used some chopped cloves and Italian seasoning cause I thought they would go good with the stew <they did > )
This is where you add the Worcestershire sauce but I forgot that to (maybe I should rename this the Forgotten stew)
1 start cooking potatoes in a separate pot 2 Brown your meat (you don't cook it all the way through you just have to brown it it will finish cooking in the liquid) cover with your liquids, add veggies and seasonings 3 stir in flour,  4 as soon as  potatoes are soft drain them and add to the stew 5 cover and try your best to leave it alone so everything can mix together and blend (I already told you how well I did at this, do try to be better then me) And Ta-Da you have beef stew!

Why don't you make some stew and let me know what you added to it and how it turned out (it was pretty good if I do say so myself and John sure seemed to like it, though he was really excited by the corn bread)
Much love-
Elizabeth

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The results

Its a little later then I had planned to post this but I wanted you all to know how I did shopping yesterday. I set myself a budget of $60 and for once it was hard mentally to stick to that because of how empty our kitchen had gotten. We needed SOOOO much to replenish, or so I thought. When I made my meal plan and shopping list I knew I would be pushing it, but some times what has to be done has to be done. I spent $62.48, first I have to say I'm proud of myself, second the only reason why I went over was my Hubby asked for some ice cream, it was the only thing he wanted and he even knew what type (he doesn't do that often so I knew he was really wanting it) and I couldn't deny him (almost did but when I saw that cookie dough ice cream looking at me I knew I had to take it home to John). I bought everything I needed for the meals I had planed and even ended up with enough that I can make some hamburger helper and curry next week (yeah two meals already on the menu!) The best thing about shopping at the commissary is there is no tax, which works out really well for someone who forgets to count for that in her head when she is adding up what she has in her cart toward her budget, (more then once I've had to put something back to pay for tax).

Tonight I am making the first cooked meal on my meal plan...... Rustic beef stew. In a post later tonight I will tell you all about it ;) until then my friends.....
Much love -
Elizabeth

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hur-ray!

Well today was a pretty good day, I donated some clothes to the Good Will and then I went to this awesome (and probably bad for me) place called the Chamblin Bookmine, where they bought some of the books I don't read anymore and I bought a book and a bunch of movies for like $10 (after the store credit from the sold books).
Sadly our little family is back down to 1 car as the van we were using from our parents is in the shop for an unknown time, but I will do my best to see this as a way to cut down on gas costs.
On the bright side of that my Mama had to pick me up from the auto shop and I'm going home with all their duplicate movies and a grocery shopping date with my Mommy, tomorrow after work at the NEX, which is where we should shop but is to far away from me to be worth it, (but if its not my gas ;) then its so worth it)
I cant wait to get started working on my meal plan and to impress my baby with the awesome homemade food I will cook for him :D

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring cleaning

My family is truly amazing, and most of all (for at least a week) is my wonderful like-a-sister aunt Cathy and my awesome sister Rachael. They were an awesome excuse to eat at Waffle house (even if I ate to much) then the came over and helped John and I clean and rearrange everything :D The beautiful Cathy cleaned the kitchen (HUGE undertaking) and the sweet Rachael vacuumed the WHOLE house then helped me figure out where I want the furniture.
So thanks to those to ladies help and my fantastic husbands willingness to move the couches 3 times we have a more organized house, a cleaner house, and waffle house. ;)
Aaaaaaaand do you want to know what I just finished... a meal plan complete with shopping list for this week (using the awesome feature at Southern plate) And I cant wait. I will post the recipes as soon as I make them, but on this weeks menu (other then chicken nuggets) will be tacos, beef stew, pepper steak, and chicken and pasta. All yummy and simple meals that I cant wait to try.
Much love-
Elizabeth

Friday, March 8, 2013

Awesome Sauce

Today has been a good day! Do you wanna know why???? Well it doesn't really matter cause I'm going to tell you anyway :D I cooked today. And not just followed a recipe cooked but on my own!
I don't know if I've mentioned it before but my husband and I are poor, do I had to invent dinner with what I had and that was not a lot. So while I was looking online for a recipe that needed only what I had I decided that I needed to try something without the help from other people so I grabbed my pork chops (the only meat I had) and I used what I had in the fridge... BBQ sauce, ketchup, some hot mustard and soy sauce (I saw it used a lot in the online recipes) grabbed some leftover chili seasoning from the cupboard, added some spices that looked good and tossed it in the slow cooker on high for 4 hr. Now I told myself I wouldn't tell the Hubby anything untill he told me if he liked it or not (I didn't want to admit it was just me playing in the kitchen unless he liked it) and do you know what? He liked it, a lot! And I had enough pork on hand to make so he could bring some as his lunch :D (yay me)

I call this learning to cook :D Now tomorrow the Hubby and I agreed that we need to clean house and I will have to let you know how that works out, but we are trying to get the kitchen back in order and the den where we send most of our time that and I would like to get my bed fixed and the couches moved around but those might be more of a Sunday thing. And I have to work a meal plan and shopping list because I need to hit the stores here in the next couple of days (of course I will keep you updated with how that goes).


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Southern Plate and Updates

So right now I'm playing around on Southern Plate (I absolutely love this website!) Mrs Christy is awesome and she has some pretty great recipes, that and I love the features, she has a recipe box so you can save your favorite but you could also save them to your shopping list and that will let you know what you would need to get for that recipe (obviously you would want to cross out what you have before going to the store so you don't buy what you don't need) But it makes my life a little easier when it comes time for meal planning and grocery shopping. I follow other blogs and get ideas from them as well but this one is my handiest. This week is rent week so we are to poor for me to do anything to outrageous, but I will meal plan! And I will shop with a list and I will be able to feed my husband good food when he comes home from a long  day at work, because I am just as Army Strong as he is (just in VERY different ways).

Sad news though, I am still in the process of motivating myself to do dishes (I  know shame on me) and the Lord knows the house needs to be cleaned (but would settle for being straightened up)

Good news time? I GOT MY WEDDING PICTURES!!!!!! They looks so good and I'm so happy with them! A really good friend Mrs Donna owns a photography business called Photos by Donna and they are so good :D  I will have to post some of these on my about me page as soon as I figure out how to add pictures to this blog (yay for beginners)

Prayer time? Only always, my Grandma McDuffie (moms mom) Is really bad off and in the hospital in AZ with congestive heart failure they have her stabilized now but she cant go back to where she was staying because she has to be on oxygen and so they have moved her to a hospice center so please keep her and everyone in your prayers. Also please don't forget about me, I have no time for life right now from working then spending time with my Hubby and I feel like I am neglecting everyone else, but money is so tight that going places to do things is out of the question (Man just going places is right now with how high gas prices are) So I could use a little heavenly help.
Much love---
Elizabeth

Monday, March 4, 2013

Baby steps

Yeah for chilling at mom and dads house :D between Husband time and work this doesn't happen very often, and I picked the perfect night to do it, my Mama is making one of my favorite things, my comfort food, and something that (even though I can make just fine on my own) just doesn't taste the same unless Mama cooks it. The best part is its really simple: peel, cut then boil a bag of potatoes with 1 onion and some celery a ( Mama uses 1 onion and normally 2 or 3 stalks of celery but you can add as much or as little depending on how you feel) once the potatoes are fork tender then add milk, butter, and salt and pepper and ta-da you have potato soup. You can eat it plain or make it loaded potato soup by adding bacon bits and cheese. Whats your favorite way to eat potato soup? Or potato in general? Hmmmmmmm?


That and I get to grab their spare printer which means I will be able to print out coupons now (Hurrah!), you know what that means, I get a free printer that will do things to help me save money. (I call that a big baby step when it comes to saving money.)
And speaking of saving money, I have an addiction. I know it is and I admit it. I have an addiction to buying apple fritters from the gas station every morning before work and I am looking for a good apple fritter recipe that I can make for my sister and I (who car pool to work, yeah saving money and our environment) in a big batch and eat on for a week or two, does any one have any suggestions? If so shoot me up with the recipe and I will make it and post the results for yall to see.

Sadly no cleaning to report and I have no excuses for this (bad lizzy, bad) Although I did have a birthday party for my Papa who is now 74 (way to go old man) He is a twice retired Navy Vet and one of my favorite people in the world, But sadly he is sick (like all the time) so add him to your prayer list for me and let me know what I can pray about for you.

Much love-
            Elizabeth

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The game plan


So here is the plan, I’m a bit conflicted about whether to do everything head first or to take things slowly. So I will do it my own special way. By doing both.
There are multiple things I want to accomplish and thankfully something’s will accomplish multiple things (like meal planning is organized, it will save money on the grocery bill, and it will get my rear-end in the kitchen) Let me break down my game plan for you (and me)
Get more organized:
1.      This won’t be easy but I have to get off my lazy butt and get it at a good base level organization then I can build from there, my plan was to do that today and instead I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, and starting a blog…..yeah.
2.      Then I can do the little things one weekend at a time. My idea of little things are: Books in a it makes sense to me kind of order, the kitchen (cure scary music), go through our clothes and be generous with them, get our wedding stuff in order, coupon book, and I’m sure many other things will need to be accomplished after I do all of those (isn't that how life always works)
Don’t be such a slob:
1.      Kind of like above the first step will be to just do it, and I will make myself do it by making myself accountable to this blog, I WILL go room by room every night and get that room CLEAN like clean clean not just Elizabeth clean (because trust me it is not the same thing)
2.      Then I will do my best to implement a schedule (look at me being organized) That way I will know that on whatever day it is I have to get done at least the required cleaning task (I will figure out the schedule after I finish step one because I don’t wanna do it right now, procrastinators unite…..tomorrow)
3.      I will stick to the agreement that my husband and I made about the dishes and not flack on my nights (alternate, it was whoever cooks the other cleans but that was back when we were both home off work with plenty of time till dinner, now I’m home hours before he is and if I wait for him to cook that late we’re going hungry )
4.      I will take out the trash bin and recycle bin the night before they are due for pick up (I know you think this is dumb but you don’t know how many times I will forget and only remember once I'm at work and can do nothing about it, then our trash can is overflowing)
Learn to cook
1.      Yikes! I will search through Pinterest and the couple wonderful blog ladies I follow and I will find their recipes and I will try not to kill them
2.      I will embrace my crock pot, and freezer meals (the hubby isn't the only one who works in the family I am plain pooped at the end of the day slaving away at work I don’t wanna have to do that at the stove/oven/microwave on my time off, I wanna watch Netflix and talk to you guys/myself on this blog and probably scroll through Pinterest at the same time because I can’t seem to help myself)
3.      I will plan meals in advance (so I don’t get the call my hubby is on the way home and I'm staring at the pantry like a crazy person.)
I will save us money:
1.      Coupons (I am going to plunge into the crazy world that is couponing and I will master it and I will save us crazy amounts of money, hopefully)
2.      Budget time, My husband I have had an informal budget that has worked fine but we tend to miss things or cut things a little too close for comfort and we have nothing in savings to show for all our hard work so it’s time to put things on paper and stick to it.( I have taken the Dave Ramsey Financial peace classes so this is nothing new to me but poor hubby)
3.      (there really is no #3 but I felt bad that this might be the most important section and there is like nothing in it, but hopefully between those two things and doing whatever odd tips I find online we will be fine)
Random-ness
1.      For lent I gave up my snooze button so I would have time for bible study in the morning, but I want to make the commitment to continue that on because it really has helped me and I wanna keep up my relationship with my lord.
2.      I will have date nights with the hubby.
a.      And I will do something small everyday to let him know that I love him and am thinking about him, whether it’s a text or food or back massage.
3.      I will open my house in Christian hospitably, it’s important to me that we use the house God gave us to do His good will and that include being generous.
a.      I will make the effort to host various people for dinner (maybe have a girls night while the hubby is at drill, I'm sure there will be many opportunities to practice this)

Starting Clean

Lol if you only knew me you would know that clean anything is a stretch, but that's what this blog is about, dragging you along with me as I try to clean up and be the best I can be, for God, my wonderful husband, my friends and family, but most importantly me. I am doing these things for others and hopefully they will benefit from it yes but I am doing this to better myself and to prove that I can do this. I can learn to cook. I can  keep my house clean. I can get a sense of organization ( really it doesn't have to make sense to anyone but me but I would like to be able to find thing every now and then) I can keep this brand-new family out of debt and our heads above water (way above water would be nice but beggars cant be choosers) And I will be the best Christian, wife, daughter, sister, friend Etc (you get the picture right)




Hopefully this wont kill me in the process





Hopefully