New Project

My new project is to turn my 5 dollar Michaels binder into something awesome.  I am going to use materials I already have in my stash and a lot of creativity.  I’m converting this binder into my new Happy Planner binder.   I like the Happy Planner but not so much the rebidding of the pages once I am done with the weekly layout.   So I am going to make it easier by just switching to a binder and then punching holes is all I need to do.    Easy peasy planning is what I like.

I will be switching to a planner with rings next year, but for now this is my temporary fix.

Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is my version of Chicken Tortilla soup.  I reviewed several recipes and came up with what best fits my family.  I hope you try and enjoy. IMG_1179










1 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion diced

2 tsp. minced garlic

4 cups chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes and juice

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups corn frozen

1 tablespoon lime juice (or 2 small limes)

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced

2 cups water

Tortilla Strips

1 package of corn tortillas

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 salt to taste


Over medium heat use a Dutch oven and heat the 1 teaspoons of olive oil and let that get hot.  Then add in the onions and let look for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.  Then add in the garlic and cook the onion and garlic for about 4 minutes stirring frequently.  

Then add in the drained black beans, seasonings, and give that a good stir.

Next add in the cooked chicken, diced tomatoes, lime juice, and chopped cilantro.  Give this a good mix.  

Now add in the 2 cups of water and the 4 cups of chicken broth.

Give the broth a taste at this time for seasoning.  

Let this simmer for about 30 minutes and the soup is done.

While soup is cooking you can make the tortilla strips.

For the tortilla strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the tortillas into strips and place them on the baking sheet making sure they are separated.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt then give them a toss to coat all the strips. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.   Set them aside until ready to eat.

Tuesday Morning

It’s 7:30am and I am at work ugg.  I don’t start work until 9am, but my husband has a client presentation and some of the higher-ups from the company will be there, so he needed some extra time to prepare.  I am not a fan of getting to work this early, because by the time 3pm rolls around (which is my peak time) I am tired and want to go home.  Right now I feel good and I am taking advantage of this time to blog some.  I know it has been some monthly since my last blog, but I am finding it very hard to keep up.  My work hours are very long and by the time I get home I do not want to be on a computer.

I might consider getting to work at this hour though because it does give me the time to blog, so maybe not such a bad thing huh.  I do plan on doing more blogging just might not be on a daily basis.  I have several new recipes, and I am also trying to put some cooking videos together to upload on my site.

I hope you have a great Tuesday and enjoy some of the day for yourself.

Happy Planner Full Box Template

I put this together and wanted to share with you.  You can put any image and save the template for later use.  All you need is a printer, ink, and Avery label sheets 8 1/2 x 11 is what I use and they work just fine.



Bulk Buying

This is something that can be a pro and con depending on the individual and their needs. I personally think that buying in bulk is a good thing for my family.

When it comes to bulk buying you tend to shop at whole sales places like Costco or Sam’s Club, which is great, places to buy in bulk. However, you do need to do a comparison with prices. Not all the time does these types of whole sales places have the best buys or prices, so beware and know your product prices.

I shop at Costco and get some great buys but again not all products are good deals and that is why I make sure to do my price comparison.

Sure there is a membership fee, but if you do the math you would save more money that year than the membership was.   Costco does give back money on the membership fee per the percentage you spend yearly, so if you can make back that membership fee plus some.   Who can argue with that type of logic?

When you are buying in bulk you have to remember that you are buying in quantity so the prices may be a slightly higher but that is when you need to do that math on the product. If the unit cost is more than what you can buy else where then it is not a deal. Only purchase what is a deal. Example: I bought 115-count name brand dishwasher soap for 13.00 dollars, and I normally pay 10.00 dollars for a 60 count that is 55 more washing for 3 more dollars. I think that is a great buy for a family of four.   You just have to know you prices and products in order to use these whole sales places. They are not bad places to shop as some might say.

For storage of items when buying in bulk can be tricky if you really don’t have the room for extra food, but you just have to find or make the room. I have to find the extra room when I purchase from Costco, and I will find a way to fit the extra items in as this is saving me money.   If you are buying meats you may want to also invent in a Food Saver machine. This will help keep the life of your meat to last a little longer. I have one and it is great. It was one of the best buys I did do last year.

You also have to consider the expiration date on these items you are purchasing. You want to make sure they have a long shelf life and don’t expire in a few months. If you were planning to use the items in that amount of time then it would be fine, but if not then you should reconsider that purchase.   You should only buy items that you know will not go to waste in a certain amount of time. You are not trying to throw you money in the trash.

When you do shop at wholesale places you may tend to want to go buck wild, but don’t   Just like any store set a budget and stick to it. These places can lure you in and make you spend more than you should I know.

Lastly, please just make sure to do your comparison-shopping first. You can and will find great deals at these kinds of wholesale places, but not all items are a great buy so do the math first per unit price and see if you can’t find that cheaper elsewhere.

I hope this helps you. This is what I do every time I go to Costco.

Upcoming Meals

Today is my meal plan day for the next week. I have put together a list of meals that my family will be having for the next week coming. Hope you enjoy and try a few of them.
Sunday – Super Bowl Food
Monday – Pepper Steak (crock pot)
Tuesday – Pork chops with rice a Roni
Wednesday – BBQ chicken legs with stuffing
Thursday – Beef and Broccoli (crock pot)
Friday – Pizza
Saturday L.O. (left overs)

My Chicken Wings

I will be making these come Super Bowl day   img_0955

3 lbs chicken wings
1 ½ tsp Garlic powder
1 ½ tsp Onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp Cayenne seasoning
2 cups Oil

Wash the chicken wings and place in big bowl. Season the wings with all the seasonings listed and set aside.
On a flat plate or pan put in 2 or 3 cups of flour. Add in the same seasoning listed above. Note: you can omit the cayenne on this step if you don’t want it to be spicy.
Heat a pan with enough oil to cover the chicken wings.
While oil is heating, dreg the chicken legs into the flour and coat very well. (You can also use eggs and dreg with flour and eggs; I don’t due to allergies in my family)
Carefully put in some of the floured wings into the oil (don’t over crowd as this will bring down the temperature of the oil)
Cook on each side about 10 minutes then turn and cook on other side for another 10 minutes. Note: if you are using big wings then the cooking time should be a little longer)
Once the chicken wings are golden brown, remove from oil and place on a paper towel line plate to soak up any remaining oil. Repeat the cooking process until all wings are fully cooked.

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