Menu Plan Monday

It’s another week of eating what we have from the freezer and cooking with what’s in the pantry.  (Can I just say this saves oodles on the grocery bill!)  I’m planning on going grocery shopping this week for ingredients for tasty meals to serve Jared’s family when they’re here next week!  It’ll be fun to cook for them.  🙂

Main Meals:
BBQ pork roast, mashed potatoes, salad
Taco Twist Casserole (from freezer), salad
Cheesy Chicken Empanadas (from freezer), raw veggies, fruit
Zesty Marinated Chicken (from freezer), veggies, rice
Steak, veggies, roasted potatoes
Mexican Chalupas, cottage cheese fluff, raw veggies

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday

Frugal Finds Friday

I took a week off from couponing, due to the fact that I wasn’t feeling well and I had most meal ingredients on hand already.  I planned on just purchasing a few essentials from Jubilee, the grocery store across the road from our apartment.  While I was in Jubilee, I found some good sales…including cheese…yay!

16 oz bags of cheese:  $3.49 each….or $1.75 for 8 oz (not perfect, but a lot better than I have been paying!)
Butter:  $3.34 (I know, yikes!  But, I refuse to buy margarine even if butter’s not on sale)
Half & Half:  $1.69
1 dozen eggs:  $1.31
Kemps sour cream:  $2.65
Frozen vegetables:  $1.00
Steak (yum ;)):  $3.79
Braeburn apples:  $0.99 a lb…paid $3.47
Lettuce:  FREE (with $15 purchase)
Total OOP:  $27.67

I also ran into Rainbow for 3 cans of cream soups, a pack of chicken breasts, ginger ale, carrots, and celery.  I spent $12 at Rainbow. 

So, even though I didn’t coupon, I still spent within our weekly budget and found some good deals.  Sometimes, couponing isn’t always possible…and that’s ok!  You just have to work with what you can!

Where’d She Go?

Works for Me Wednesday didn’t well…work for me yesterday!  I’ve neglected Simply Thrifty Living the past couple days as I’ve worked on another amazing project….

My New Piano Studio Website!

Emily’s Piano Studio website was in serious need of updating; while I’m building an amazing group of students in MN, I wanted my webpage to have a professional and fun edge!  I’d be tickled pink if you took a look and offered up any suggestions!

Besides working on the website, I’ve been living and breathing piano as I review new repertoire, process new students, and work on new lesson plans.

I promise, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow with Frugal Finds Friday.  (I found some good deals this week without any couponing…*gasp*)  I’ve also got some yummy, yummy recipes to share with you next week, and a fun Works for Me Wednesday post for Wednesday.  (Think organizing, cuteness, and refrigerator all in one project!)

Have a fabulous Thursday!!!  I’m off to finish my piano website, teach some lessons, and review some new repertoire!

Book Review: The Power of a Praying Wife

(photo source)

When I picked up The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian I expected to be reading a book that exclusively taught me how to pray for my husband.  And it did…but in so many ways that I never before considered.

The book turned out to be deeper than teaching me how to pray for Jared.  The first chapter in the book is titled His Wife.  “Praying for a husband must begin with praying for his wife.”  Stormie explains that when you pray for your husband, you must have a pure heart, free of resentment, unforgiveness, or ulterior motives.  In order to do that, you need to pray and beg God that you will have those right motives…you need to pray for your husband’s wife.  That’s me.

I think we’ve all prayed that our hubbies would change something at some point.  On the surface, that’s really not a bad thing.  The question we must ask ourselves is, “Why, am I praying this?”  Am I praying because I want things to be better for me, or with Jared’s best interest in mind?

Um.  Conviction!  Woven throughout the chapters was the underlying principle of the need to be selfless, loving, and generous in your prayers for your husband.  To pray with his best interest, not yours, in mind.

Another thing that stuck out to me in the book was the need to pray for your husband BEFORE you talk about something difficult with him.  Our hubby’s aren’t perfect (though mine might be pretty close 😉 ), and there are times that we will need to lovingly discuss a difficult problem or situation.  In my bull-headedness, I like to rush into those conversations, but this book challenged me to pray first.  Pray that my own heart is right.  (Because, often I’m the one with the problem, and not him!)  Pray that God would point out those areas to hubby.  Pray and ask if I should even talk to hubby about whatever situation.  And then wait…don’t speak quite yet, but continue praying!  If I do feel led to speak…finally pray that God would prepare His heart and guide my words.  Stormie points out that praying before these conversations often makes the conversations completely unneccessary.  However, if they do remain necessary, the conversation and situation will go so much better with God’s help!  And, isn’t that how we are supposed to do everything in life anyway?

The majority of the book was composed of short chapters brimming with specific matters of prayer regarding our husbands:  His Purpose, His Mind, His Reputation, His Priorities, His Past, His Marriage, His Finances, and many more!  The end of each chapter included a prayer full of applicable Scripture verses to pray.  I’ve never been big on pre-written prayers, but it was a blessing to me to read through the Biblical prayers and pray them to God specifically for Jared.  I was also challenged to include more Scripture in all of my personal, daily prayers. 

The Power of a Praying Wife was a beneficial read that was a help to my prayers for Jared, myself, and our marriage.  I appreciated Stormie’s heartfelt writing and transparency as she taught Biblical models and principles for prayer.

1,000 Gifts

41.  sanctification
42.  learning from Titus 2 women
43.  the gift of music to worship my God
44.  a sweet, blue-eyed baby girl calling my “Emmy”
45.  holding my man’s strong hand
46.  free bread
47.  God’s strength to endure the long week
48.  rest
49.  crunchy leaves beneath my feet
50.  “in whatever state I am…to be…content

I am truly blessed!

Menu Plan Monday

Main Meals:
Asian BBQ Chicken (from freezer), potatoes, green beans
One Pot Macaroni & Cheese, raw veggies, fruit
Cheesy Chicken Empanadas, raw veggies, fruit
Taco Twist Bake (*recipe coming soon!*), salad
Chicken Pot Pie
Slow Cooker Potato Soup
, salad, Baking Powder Biscuits (*recipe coming soon!*)
Breakfast for Supper

Freezer Cooking:
Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Pull Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread
Banana Muffins
Cheesy Chicken Empanadas (With our crazy week last week, these didn’t get done!)

linking up with Menu Plan Monday

Yummy Smoothies!

I *love* making homemade fruit smoothies!  I’ve been known to drink them for breakfast, a snack, or even my dinner meal (we eat our big meal at lunchtime since Jared works 2nd shift).  I love that I can use whatever fruit I have on hand to mix up a filling and tasty concoction!

I freeze fruit in quart size Ziploc bags; having the fruit frozen and ready to go for smoothie-making is soooo handy!  (note:  This time of year is a great time to buy fruit while it is on its end of season sale…go visit your local Farmer’s Market to see what deals you can find…) 

I throw a handful of yummy, frozen fruit in a bowl…

Now comes the sneaky part…making the fruit smoothie even more nutritious!  I always put flax-seed in mine, usually throw in spinach, and occasionally add grated carrots as well!  I promise, you won’t taste the spinach.  (Depending on how many carrots you add, you might taste them a bit…but it really doesn’t bother me.  I love the fact that I am eating veggies and barely tasting them!)

Next, I add the milk.  When we have soy, almond, or coconut milk, I use them.  (a quick side note on alternative milks:  I have used them in making *my favorite* The Perfect Iced Coffee…and it tasted just fine and dandy!)  However, we don’t always have that on hand…so regular milk works just fine too.

You can add more or less of any of the ingredients for the taste and consistency you desire.  (I never measure any of my ingredients.)

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my immersion blender; I love how small it is for storage and how easy it is to clean!  I mix everything up in a bowl and pour into my favorite cup…

There are countless fruit soothie variations…google or Pinterest for a recipe, and you’re sure to come up with a yummy conglomeration of fruits!  One I often make is strawberries, blueberries, and peaches (with the added nutritional punch of spinach, etc.).  I also like the watermelon frosty. 

I recently came up with an INCREDIBLE tasting smoothie using peaches, vanilla soy milk, flax seed, and spinach.  Promise, promise, promise you won’t taste the spinach; in fact, the smoothie tastes like a peach milkshake.  Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmm.  I’m pretty convinced the secret ingredient is the silk soymilk!

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?  Do you sneak veggies in too?