» September 2012 «


Farmstyle Wedding Corsage


During my two week hiatus from posting, Jack and I have been very busy baking 300 cookies, arranging wedding flowers, attending baby showers, and attempting to stay afloat with school and work. Yesterday my friend Laura was married at Meredith Valley Farms. This farm is seriously so so beautiful. They have small cabins you can rent down on the river and a beautiful large cabin up on the hill for wedding guests to rent during the event weekend. And of course, the views are stunning.

rustic wildflower corsage

I arranged the flowers for Laura’s wedding. You would think there would not be many flowers to work with for an end of September wedding but even I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of colors still available on the farm. Laura wanted a very “wildflower” look to her arrangements and I think we accomplished just that. I will be posting more pictures of the bouquets soon but for now I thought I would share one of the 22 boutonnieres and corsages that I made for the event.

rustic wildflower corsage

This corsage was for the mothers of the bride and groom. Included in the corsage is a small dahlia, purple sage, goldenrod, dusty miller, sedum and a little weed. I tied all the corsages, bouts, and bouquets with yellow raffia to continue the rustic wildflower theme.

rustic wildflower corsage


Lower Your Grocery Bill & Monthly Meals (Part 2)


I hope you enjoyed Lowering Your Grocery Bill Part 1 of tips to lowering your grocery bill and preparing monthly meals. Today I am going to show you a sample meal plan with various recipes.

I mentioned in our first post that you should prepare your meals on a different day than your shopping day. We shop on Friday evenings when people are out painting the town red, this allows us to come home, put away groceries, soak beans, relax and then start fresh on Saturday morning. Prior to preparing your meals look at all of your recipes to consolidate prep time. If more than one recipe requires onions, then by all means, chop all of the onions at the same time. Trust me, this will save you oodles of time. Also, look for alternate cooking methods–if you have two items that can be baked at the same temp, prepare them first, put them in together, and move on to the next meal while they cook. You can also throw lots and lots of meals in a crockpot (chili!) while others are cooking in the oven.

Month #1

Dinners:
Roasted Red Potatoes, sauteed onions & salad
Chili over rice (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it)
Curried Carrot Soup
Grilled Eggplant Tomato Aioli Sandwiches
Grilled Chicken Salad
Chicken and Rice (with a variety of marinades & seasonings)
Burgers
Jerk Chicken Sandwiches
Frittatas

Sides:
Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, pine nuts
Grilled Zucchini or zucchini salad
Red potatoes (smaller portion than the dinner potatoes)
dinner rolls
corn on the cob

Lunches:
PB&J
Tuna Sandwiches
Our favorite Rice and Beans with salad
yogurt
granola

Breakfast:
Toast
Eggs
Homemade granola

Here are some of the recipes I used and the ways I’ve adapted them to keep costs low. Although the recipes are simple you can mix them up quite a bit with different seasonings and by mixing up the paired sides. Also, most of my seasoning is done by taste and I am not shy at all with adding seasonings especially when it comes to garlic and curry so be generous, I’ll try to keep track of my amounts when these items come back into our rotation.

Dinners:

carrot soupCurried Carrot Soup:
Adapted to save money From Rachael Ray
12 servings/6 meals
(6 ziplocks filled with 2 c. each)

I used Rachael Ray’s recipe as a guideline for making a cheaper version of the soup. Since I was making a lot of soup (ended up being 12 individual meals), I used 1 whole bag of the giant carrots instead of the baby carrots, 1/2 stick of butter, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1-1/2 onions (chopped), salt to taste, cayenne pepper to taste, curry to taste (lots and lots of curry–don’t be shy). I also added 3 tbsps of honey to sweeten it a bit and break up the heavy carrot taste, you can probably just use a 2 tbsp or so of regular sugar for this. Last change was cutting out the sour cream to keep it healthier. Also, these soups always seem a bit thicker after thawing them so Jack and I will add water, milk or cream to them to make it more soupy and give us a bit more per serving.

Roasted Red Potatoes:
Makes about 7 meals for 2, 1-5lb bag)
2-3 potatoes/person x 7

Jack and I wing this recipe every time. We ended up cutting 2-3 red potatoes into smaller cubes drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, rosemary, pepper and a dash of salt. Toss potatoes to make sure they are thoroughly coated. Place in skillet, we use our cast-iron, place in oven at 350 degrees until they brown. Turn potatoes every 10 minutes to heat evenly and prevent burning. Pair with a larger portion of salad and veggies.

Also, did you know that according to food regulations, the bagged produce (like potatoes and onions) must weight at least what it says on the bag? Apparently this means that may times, distributors will throw in extra potatoes just to make sure they exceed the listed poundage. How does this help lower your grocery costs? If you weigh your bagged veggies, like onions and potatoes, you can end up with more bulk for your buck since the bags are a set price. Pretty neat, right?

Chili:
20 serv./10 meals
(10 ziplocks filled with 2 c. each)

My chili recipe changes each month depending on spices and what not but typically it takes 1 bag of beans (kidney, black or pinto–we like kidney best). Yes, I said bag, meaning you must soak them overnight or attempt the quick-soak method which requires bringing the beans to a boil then letting them sit in the water for 1 hour before cooking. I quick soak when we get back from the store and then throw them in the crockpot, cover with water and let cook overnight. In the morning, I brown 1 lb of ground beef and toss it into the crockpot along with lots of onions, chili powder, garlic, a little cumin, some tomato sauce (small can), 2 small tomatoes, Worcestershire and my favorite part of our chili recipe–cocoa powder! Seriously, this is the best discovery of my cooking life thus far. The cocoa gives the chili such an incredible savory taste. If your chili tastes too tomato-y, add brown sugar and Worcestershire to balance it out. I’ll be making a fresh batch next month and will write down my steps to share with you all. For now, don’t be afraid to use your favorite chili recipe. The main money saver is buying bagged beans, purcasing your produce from a produce stand or farmer’s market, making do with what you have on hand and limiting fancy ingredients.

Now, I must admit, we have a bit of a leg-up in the meat department. We buy local grass-fed beef once a year, and I work on the farm that we buy it from in the summer so that is extra money I don’t have to factor into my monthly totals (not that it would increase it too much). Just be aware this will raise your monthly amount a bit more than ours. However, if you are able to find some, I highly recommend buying grass-fed beef locally–it’s delicious! We buy about 30lbs and it lasts us the entire year, so we don’t actually eat very much beef.

Burgers:
Makes 10 burger patties

Since we have ground beef on hand it seems a shame to not make a round of tasty burgers. I hate preparing burgers for just one night, it’s a lot dirty work for just the two of us. I decided to see how well I could freeze these guys. I broke out 2 lbs of beef and added 1 chopped onion, about 1 cup of bread crumbs (depends on how juicy your meat is), garlic powder, pepper, 3 tbsp Worcestershire, basil and a touch of salt.

Perfect Burger PattiesNext, I made perfectly round patties by placing a large round cookie cutter onto wax paper and pressing the meat mixture into the cookie cutter as a mold which when lifted up, reveals a perfectly round patty. Yes, I like consistency that much. I experimented and wrapped some of the patties in foil then in saran wrap and some just in a healthy layer of saran wrap. Both seemed to keep well in the freezer. The 2 lbs made 10 burgers that we then paired with $.20 corn cobs from the produce stand down the road.

Egg, tomato, eggplant sandwichEggplant, Tomato, Aioli Sandwiches:
2 sandwiches/eggplant

I have already written an entire post on these bad boys. They are SO SO SO delicious. My favorite nights of the month are our hot sandwiches. Once again, be creative! There are so many different ways to combine your simple foods that turn them into favorite family recipes.

Chicken:
1 large package yields roughly 10 baggies for 2 people

We eat quite a bit of chicken but we have learned how to combine well with other sides to make it stretch. First of all, we almost always buy our chicken at Walmart, the large 5 breast packages, and usually when it is $.99/lb. We buy boneless, skinless breasts but there are other things like drumsticks and what not that you can buy cheaper if that is more your style. The reason we stick to breasts is because of their versatility.

chicken portionsThe only other prep task you might see us doing the same night of our grocery run is cutting up our chicken and placing it into smaller baggies. We slice the breast in half thickness-wise (so it’s half as thick making it a quick thaw) then cut into strips and place 2 serving sizes (3-4 oz–it’s a small handful) in one ziplock baggie. To give you an idea, Jack and I usually get about 10-12 baggies of cut-up chicken out of 1 large package of chicken.

Now you have chicken in meal bags ready to freeze. We typically pull out one bag of chicken/meal, thaw and cook to go on a salad or with rice. We also give variety to our chicken meals by adding marinades to the chicken prior to cooking or experimenting with the seasoning. One of my favorite ways to cook chicken is to sprinkle it with Salad Supreme, pepper and garlic, saute onions and serve with rice. Our first month we also ate Jerk Chicken sandwiches, where we simply pulled the chicken out, poured caribbean jerk sauce into the bag while it thawed, cooked the chicken and served on a burger bun kind of like a sloppy joe but with lettuce, tomato and onion. Delicious!

Since the chicken makes many loose bags in the freezer we store it in what used to be our ice bin. The bin seems to be the perfect size for a full month of chicken baggies.

Frittatas:
4-5 eggs/1 large frittata

Eggs are pretty stinking cheap around here. We buy ours at the little produce stand down the road for $.99/dz and since it’s at the produce stand we allow ourselves to buy it more than once a month. Jack eats one egg pretty much every morning but we have also incorporated eggs into our evening meals (the open-faced sandwiches and frittatas). The frittata ends up being about $2/meal for two people so it is great on the wallet. This is basically like scrambling eggs with veggies but here’s how we make it: Cut up some veggies (onion, green pepper, tomatoes) and sautee in olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan, season with garlic, curry, pepper and a little bit of salt. Whisk together 4-5 eggs in a separate bowl with about 1 tbsp of milk. Once the veggies are ready, spread them evenly around the bottom of the pan and pour the egg mixture over the top. Your eggs should fill all the space around the veggies and just barely reach the top of the veggies (so basically, you want to still see your veggies sticking out in various places, don’t cover them like a soup). Sprinkle the eggs with a bit more seasoning and place a lid over the pan and let cook for about 20 minutes. The eggs should fluff up nicely and create a little egg pie–kind of a quiche-like consistency without the crust. Cut into the middle to make sure your eggs are cooked all the way through. Pull out of the oven, allow to cool and serve with toast.

Sides:

I’m not sure I need much explanation on our sides. But here’s a quick overview:

saladSalads–just like any salad, we make do with what veggies we have on hand. Sometimes that can include many ingredients (cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, oriental noodles, onions, pine nuts, hard-boiled eggs) and other times we just use the last bits of produce in the house which may just be onion and tomato. Sometimes we buy salad dressing if it is on sale but often we make individual portions of dressing to go on our salad. This dressing is a mixture of balsamic vinegar(2 tbsp), olive oil(2tbsp), lemon juice (1/2-1tbsp), garlic powder and pepper. We just combine these until we’ve reached the right amount of zing.

The red potatoes we cook just like the dinner version but we usually just need 1/person, so it’s a smaller batch.

Grilled zucchini–cook however you normally would. We drizzle in olive oil with garlic and pepper sprinkled on top and place on the grill. We also grill it on skewers with peppers and onions.

Zucchini Ribbon SaladZucchini Ribbon Salad–Using a potato peeler, peel the zucchini in long ribbons and place in a bowl. Chop 1/2 of an onion and add to the bowl along with pepper and garlic (can you tell I like these two seasonings?). Prepare the balsamic/olive oil dressing listed above under “salads” and pour on top. I also usually have a package of pine nuts on hand for when I make pesto so I sprinkle those on top of this salad for a little added crunch. A small package of pine nuts costs about $2.38.

Corn and other veggies– just grill as you normally would. This veggie item varies according to which produce is the best price and better quality.

homemade dinner rolls Homemade Dinner Rolls– these are incredibly easy to make and cost nearly nothing if you typically have flour and yeast on hand.

Lunch:

Obviously sandwiches need little explanation but Jack’s favorite lunch meal, seasoned rice and beans, is so stinkin’ simple, I wonder sometimes why he loves it so.

On Sunday evenings I usually cook a small batch of brown rice (1-2 cups), pull out some extra beans that I’ve already cooked and put in the freezer and put about 1/2 cup of each into a lunch container. I also add a little pepper, salt and garlic along with a little chopped onion and tomato. In the other half of his lunch I chop up some lettuce and veggies and voila! A warm and healthy lunch for him to enjoy and it took me all of 10 minutes to throw together three for the week. Sometimes I’ll shred some cheese to go on the rice and beans, other times, if we’ve found tortillas on sale that month, I’ll give him a tortilla to wrap the mixture into, just to give a little bit of variety. Of course, he likes his staples and still swears the simple rice and beans mixture is his favorite lunch item.

Jack also makes homemade granola to eat with yogurt for snacks or lunches.

Here is a link to my grocery list from month #1. Keep in mind, I chose my menu recipes based on some of the ingredients already in my home. This is very important to keeping your grocery bill low. It takes a few extra minutes to take inventory of your fridge, freezer and cupboards but it lowers the cost tremendously. Google Recipes can come in handy here if you don’t yet have staple meals for various recipes. You can go to Google and type in “chili recipes” then over on the left column click the items you already have and see what links appear that use those items. From there figure out what else you would need from the store to make that recipe. This was very helpful when I wanted to find a carrot soup recipe.

Anyways, I say all that to inform you that if the item is not on my grocery list but I listed it above in my recipe instructions, I already had that item at the house. In month #1 this mostly pertains to seasonings. Also, although throughout the month we buy our produce at various farmer’s markets and the local produce stand, our first trip of the month we tend to buy the bulk produce and maybe a few other items if needed at the store.

Ok, I think that is plenty of information for you all to process. Keep in mind this was my very first month of monthly meal planning so, now looking back, the meals are terribly exciting but they tasted good and worked well throughout the entire month. We even had leftovers of some of these items to use in month #2 which helped break up the meal routine.

As always, let me know if you have any questions at all or if anything is unclear. Good luck!


Lower Your Grocery Bill + Monthly Shopping (Part 1)


lower grocery billThis past year Jack and I have picked up the speed on our ongoing money-saving mission. Although we don’t make very much money (we each work a normal job, an odd job for extra cash, and go to school full time), we have figured out where we can scrimp and scrape without robbing all the fun out of our lives. Despite bringing in very little money each month we are able to continually put money into savings and still afford a few niceties from time to time. We are not one of those insanely strict couples who never ever strays from the plan because, let’s face it, some days you just need a cheeseburger, but we do try to abide by our little rule set as closely as possible. However, allowing ourselves the flexibility to say, “screw the plan, we need a night out,” has actually given us motivation to stick to our budgeting strategy more consistently.

Now, this post is not meant to be a long lesson on how to save money and budget well, although I may be sharing some of our strategies and tracking sheets eventually. No, I tell you all this to say that our latest step in the long process of living simply and saving money one small piece at a time is to cut down our grocery bill. We don’t spend a lot of money on groceries, especially with just two of us, but we had been noticing that those unexpected mini trips to the grocery store throughout the month were causing the bill to be much higher than necessary. That realization is all it took for me to start researching–have I mentioned how much I enjoy researching? If you don’t believe me you will with this next bit of news…I ordered a book from the library that solely discussed lowering your grocery bill. Let me further emphasize to you how much I enjoy researching, this book was 300 pages long and I read every single page and loved every minute! The book I chose was, “Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family.” It was awesome! At first I didn’t think I would actually learn anything because I constantly read about cheap and healthy eating on blogs and I think Jack and I have learned a great deal about saving on groceries but trust me, if you think you know cheap grocery shopping, think again.

Although many methods of saving are presented in this book, you can choose to use just one or combine many of their strategies, for instance, I refuse to cut coupons so I disregarded that chapter of saving tips. The one strategy that has made the biggest impact on our grocery bill is once-a-month shopping. This was/is very appealing to Jack and I and our current lifestyle. Last year was our most difficult school-wise, we both had very full class loads plus work and we felt like we were losing our minds much of the time. Luckily though, I had the idea to make a bunch of freezer meals we could thaw to save time cooking once or twice a week. This idea of once-a-month shopping takes my random amount of freezer meals to an entirely different level. Shopping once a month can seem like a daunting task, but if you check into it with an open mind, I believe you’ll agree it saves time, energy, money and effort.

Last month we spent $90 at the grocery store and $14 in produce for the entire month. Keep in mind this is just for two people but still, with all of our extra trips we were spending about $100 more than that.

The idea with this once-a-month shopping trip is to stock up on items that are on sale and that complement what you already have in your cabinets and fridge. Once you decide what you have to work with, choose a few recipes(6 to 8). You want your recipes to be simple and freezable. Of course, if every single meal is frozen you may find yourself lacking in produce. Jack and I, remedy this by adding a side (salad, rice, red potatoes, or grilled veggies) to every meal. We also have one night a week where we make some sort of breakfast meal, usually something with eggs–eggplant, egg & aioli sandwiches or frittatas. This month we also added BLTs to our weekly mix because turkey bacon was BOGO at Ingles, so for $2.38 we bought 2 packages of turkey bacon (12 slices in each), one is in the fridge and one the freezer for later in the month. Be creative with your recipe selection, although a large portion of your food will reside in the freezer, there are many other ways to incorporate fresh vegetables and other ingredients that won’t break the bank.

The next step is to write a menu for the month (this is the trickier part). Once you’ve chosen your recipes see how many portions each will make and how many meals this will actually amount to for your family. If you made a fabulous vegetable soup that contains 8-1 cup servings, you can scoop 2 cups into a baggie, flatten, freeze and have 4 meals ready to go for 2 people (remember you are pairing this with salad and perhaps a roll, so 1 cup is a normal serving size). Not all recipes end up having exceptional accuracy on serving size so I’ve now reached a point where I make my final monthly menu (actually write the meals on each day of the month) after I’ve cooked everything and seen how many meals it made.

Now that I’ve touched on writing a menu, let me take a moment to address keeping your produce fresh. Shopping once a month has taken a little bit of the variety out of our produce, for instance I don’t experiment too much with the fruits & vegetables we buy and basically just stick to apples and bananas to pair with our lunches. Other great fruits and vegetables that seem to last longer include grapes, carrots, oranges, celery, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, & zucchini. However, you are still able to incorporate those shorter-shelf-life fruits and veggies as long as you plan your menus well. If you buy avocados, buy some that aren’t quite ripe so you can hang on to them a few more days. If you need them to hurry up and ripen, toss them in a paper bag for the afternoon and they’ll ripen up quickly. If you buy them ripe, plan your meal so that you use those items in your first week of meals. Since we buy produce about twice a month, our 1st and 3rd weeks typically have more fresh veggies incorporated into the meals but that is not to say the week 2 and 4 are lacking, it’s just a different type of produce. Make sense? Back to our shopping steps.

Now, of course, you need to go to the store (or brave it before menu writing but after choosing your recipes). We go to 2 stores now. The week that we end up buying food, instead of giving in to the idea of coupon-ing (I just won’t devote that much time), we buy a Sunday paper and look at which store has the most deals with their “club card” that fits the most items on my shopping list. For instance, this month Ingles had about 75% of the items on my list (or some version of them–be flexible!) on sale and most of those were BOGO. We went there first and I purchased the sale items only, then I brought along last month’s receipt from Walmart and checked some of our staple items to see how their prices compared. If the staple item was cheaper than what Walmart had listed last month than I bought it at Ingles, if not, I head over to Wally World and purchase the item there instead. So yes, two stores in one night, it sounds crazy but it only took 20 minutes longer than my old shopping trips used to take AND I am not having to go back to the store ALL MONTH LONG. We shop on Friday nights, if you go later in the evening you can get discounted meats and breads (discounted meat is OK to buy just smell it first, it shouldn’t go bad if you put it back in the freezer–take advantage of the discount!). Friday evenings are also typically a quieter time to go gallivanting about the grocery aisles.

Once you’ve purchased all your items, bring them on home, pat yourself on the back and take a break. I like shopping on a Friday cause I can get beans soaking overnight for chili or to go in our rice and bean lunches and then get to work on the other meals in the morning after a nice long evening of sleep. When you prepare your freezer meals, take extra time at the beginning to get organized. This one day of cooking goes by very quickly if you can recognize ahead of time how many onions you will need to chop up, how much ground beef you need to brown, which casseroles can go in the oven together, what you can place in a crockpot and so on.

Once your meals have cooled, break them into individual or family-sized portions to freeze. If a recipe makes 4 servings and you are cooking for two people, split the meal into two baggies or containers so you only have to thaw what you are going to eat that evening. We have also discovered strategies for making the most of a very small freezer for those of you without a separate one, like us. If you do have a separate freezer, I even more highly recommend reading the book mentioned above. The family has so many more tips for those of you who can buy multiple gallons of milk, cheese, and so on.

Alright, if you are still with me, thanks for hanging in there, we are getting close! If you didn’t write your menu on a white board or some other handy visual prior to shopping, now’s the time to do so. Once again, I now find this easier to do after I have all the food prepared and laid out in front of me. You’ll quickly find that many of the recipes make more portions than you will need in one month. This is when meal planning gets really fun! Now you get to start having more variety in the following months. Example: Last month I made a giant batch of chili and a giant batch of carrot soup so this month I still have 5 packages of each leftover. I can now add those meals into the mix for this month’s menu, make the same amount of new meals to mix in and then, voila! More variety and you guessed it, even more left over the next month. I also like having the extra meals because it makes giving away a meal so simple.

You may be wondering what about breakfast and lunch? Well, here’s where we may vary a bit on pricing. I rarely eat more than a piece of toast and a banana for breakfast and Jack has 1 egg and a slice of toast so we are very boring there. For lunches we typically rotate PB&J, tuna, or a little rice and beans mix (will share recipe later) with a side salad. All very inexpensive lunch items to incorporate into your routine and none of which require making and freezing ahead of time. So, our lunches add extra bread, PB, jelly, tuna, a large bag of rice, and bagged beans to the shopping list. These are almost always on our list and are usually pretty inexpensive even without a sale.

As I mentioned before, our sides typically consist of rice, salad, veggies or roasted red potatoes. I usually just rotate these around with the freezer meals so we aren’t always eating the same main course with the same side–break up that routine. We also bake a batch of homemade dinner rolls to go with our soups each month. These cost next to nothing if you already carry a few basic baking supplies in your kitchen. Which raises yet another point, baking a few items from scratch–bread, rolls, pizza dough–goes a long way to keeping you on budget while giving you variety.

Are you overwhelmed yet? I know it’s a lot of information to take in but I promise 2 months in you’ll be singing it’s praises just like I was. I will leave you to soak in this information but will be posting our first month’s grocery plan with recipes and more details in the next few days. I will also be posting tips on storing all this food in a tiny freezer, showing you menu options and my grocery price tracking system. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peak into the way we’ve learned to cut our grocery bill in half!


Knitted Stripe Baby Blanket


I recently finished this simple, sweet baby blanket for my friend Rachel as she and her husband prepare for the arrival of their second child, a tiny baby girl (name unknown). Rachel’s first child, Obadiah, is so incredibly adorable and sweet and has the cutest cheeks ever so I can’t imagine how precious her little girl will be as well.

knitted baby blanket

This knitted blanket is incredibly easy to make and has become my go-to pattern (if you can even call it a pattern) for all baby blanket gifts.

knitted baby blanket

To make this blanket, simply cast on 100 stitches of color A and knit the entire ball of yarn. Switch to color B, knit 1/4-1/2 the ball of yarn. Switch to color C and knit the entire ball of yarn.

knitted baby blanket

That’s it, simply knit on knit through 2-1/2 balls of yarn. Easy as pie!


Silence + Rejuvenation


The past two weeks have absolutely flown by. As you know, I am back in classes for what should be my last year. It has taken me seven years to get to this point so you can imagine my excitement as well as my exhaustion. While most of my fellow nursing peers are just now beginning to experience their “senior-itis,” my senior-itis has been ongoing for the past three years. All that to say, despite the chaos of the last two weeks–school, new job, studying–I have made an effort to set aside little portions of each day to simply sit back and enjoy a moment of quiet solitude. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 15, I feel like these little moments go a long way to helping the rest of my day seem more manageable.

peachbridalbouquet

And since the farm is my typical way of relaxing–being out in nature, away from distractions and the daily grind–I decided to share this picture from a wedding Linda arranged yesterday. I think this peach bridal bouquet is stunning, simple, and ever so elegant.

leaf bug

In the spirit of all things calm, simple and relaxing, I’ve also decided to share this picture of the lovely bug we found in our house a few weeks ago. Jack loved him and wanted some pictures so here is Freddie the leaf bug. I don’t know the technical name for these little guys, online everyone just calls them “leaf bugs” so if you know what else they are called, please fill us in.

Alrighty friends, I think that about does it for today. Coming soon I have 3 minutes brownies, soup recipes, a DIY wedding and our monthly shopping plan to save 50% on groceries (which worked!). Although I am unable to keep up three posts/week with classes back in session and more work hours, please keep checking back with us each week for new posts.

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”
-Anne Frank