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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Let's chat about meal planning.... What are we eating this week?

Y'all. I love saving money. It's no secret to anyone that knows me. I will cut coupons, shop for bargains, and most of all meal plan. 

Meal Planning helps solve the constant question: What's for dinner? 

It helps to curb spending. 2018 our goals are to save more, spend less. 

So, we have kicked it into high gear meal planning. 

Now, we are a family of 5. Two adults, a 16 year old, a 6 year old and a 5 year old. We spend around $100 a week. 

We live in SE Alabama - so we have a wide selection of grocery stores. We have a lot of "cost plus 10%" stores. 

This week, we did our shopping at Walmart. We did not need much, since we had stocked up last week. 

So, let's chat about meal planning. 


Today is Saturday - and we have planned through Friday.

I will include links to recipes so that you can follow along. 


Saturday: Chili with cornbread. Most of the United States has been under a deep freeze. Alabama included. It’s been 20-30 degrees which is COLD for us. Today it is a bit warmer, 45-50 so hopefully we are headed back in the upward direction.

My chili recipe is as follows.

2 lbs. of ground beef ground
2 cans light red kidney beans
2 cans dark kidney beans
2 cans of diced potatoes.
2 packets of chili seasoning.


Simple with lots of cheese.

Today, we are making Jiffy cornbread. I love making cornbread in my cast iron, but today I am all about convenience.

Sunday: Taco Bake with Mexican rice and refried beans.

MMMMMM. Taco Bake. This was one of the first Pinterest Recipes I discovered. This is a family favorite. We will never eat traditional tacos again.

The recipe I started use is as follows
2 lbs. ground beef 
2 packets of taco seasoning
1 can of light red kidney beans
1 can dark kidney beans
Shredded cheddar cheese. 

Preheat oven to 350 F

Brown ground beef and drain. add taco seasoning 
Open and drain kidney beans stir into taco meat
stir until well combined. 

Spray a 13x9 pyrex baking dish. 

Add mixture and spread out. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese until covered. 

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. 



Most of us will spread refried beans on our tortilla, then add the taco bake and then rice. It helps bulk up the burrito and fills you up faster.


Monday: Breakfast for dinner. Super simple. Super Yummy. This week it will be pancakes, bacon, eggs and hash browns. We LOVE breakfast foods. I will probably make some French toast for my husband.


Tuesday: Chicken and potatoes.
Crock Pot Chicken.

Chicken breasts. Cream of chicken soup, 1 can water. Slow cook for 6-8 hours.
Most likely will make mashed potatoes. However, I have spoiled my children with making a lot of homemade ones. They did not eat the instant ones I made a few weeks ago. We always have veggies and stuff with our dinners – this one will be peas or green beans.


Wednesday: Left over/Sandwiches. David and I bowl in a league – so dinner will be left overs from the week or sandwiches.

Thursday: Baked Spaghetti. Another family favorite. You can find the recipe: Here

Friday: Frozen Pizzas. We love the Great Value Brand of rising crust Cheese and Pepperoni.



What is on your meal plan this week?


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Book Review: Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason Blue Justice Book 1


Book Summary: 
Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. With three brothers and two sisters, she's never without someone to hang out with--or fight with. And she knows they'll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Determined to discover exactly what happened, Izzy's investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll--including someone from her own family. With her dead partner's handsome homicide detective brother Ryan shadowing her every move, Izzy's head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she's had a secret crush on for years won't leave her side?

With her signature fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Lynette Eason invites readers into a captivating new series where justice is a family affair.


About the Author

Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Business Degree she used for a very short time, she moved to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. She started her teaching career at the South Carolina School for the deaf and blind. In 1996, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door!

She is married to Jack Eason, who speaks, leads worship, and consults ministries around the country. They have two teenage children.
Lynette’s books have appeared on the ECPA and CBA bestseller lists and have won several awards.

MY THOUGHTS:
 When I read the summary I knew that it was a book that I wanted to read. I started it Christmas evening. Y'all. I read the entire book in one sitting.  I was hooked after a few pages. Izzy had me so drawn in that I could not sleep until I finished the story. I loved the storyline with the two families and their connections to Law Enforcement. I am a huge fan of Law and Order SVU, the Chicago Series and always try and solve the case. With this book, when I thought I had it figured out, I was so wrong. There was a point where I threw the book because it took an unexpected turn. If you like on the edge of your  seat, have to finish once you start then THIS is a must read book. The writing flows so easily, the characters are so real. I CANNOT wait to read book 2. 
I received a copy of this book through Revell Publishing Blogging program, all opinions are my own. 





Thursday, December 21, 2017

Book Review: Imperfect Justince - By Cara Putman

ABOUT THE BOOK
Imperfect Justice
Imperfect Justice (Thomas Nelson, December 2017)
The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?
About the Author:

CARA PUTMAN
Cara Putman is the author of more than 25 legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at 16, college at 20, completed her law degree at 27, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

My Thoughts. 

Wow. Just wow. It's not often that I am left speechless by anything. But I could NOT put this book down. Within the first 10 pages my heart was pounding. I wanted to scream at the detectives and police throughout the entire book. This is the first book that I have read by this author. I can't wait to go and see what else I can find by her. Her characters are crafted so beautifully that they seem real. The storyline could be featured on Law and Order. I did not read the first book in the series, but had no problem following along. 
I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Blogging program, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

BOOK REVIEW!!! SEEDS OF HOPE By Barbara Cameron

ABOUT THE BOOK
Seeds of Hope
Seeds of Hope (Gilead, November 2017)
A heartwarming tale of discovering love right in front of you
Miriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since she was a teenager, but she knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney and an Englischer. Her Amish community is too far removed from all he knows–and she loves her quiet way of life.
Mark has always loved his visits to his grandfather’s farm, but he’s convinced the Amish life isn’t for him. There’s so much of the world to see and experience, and the excitement of his successful law practice can’t be matched by the slow pace of life found back home in the country.
But when things go wrong and his firm distances itself from him to try to save themselves, Mark finds himself back at his grandfather’s farm. Could life in this simple world be worth living after all? Especially when the teenager he remembers has grown into a woman that could be his future. Suddenly, these two people whose lives seem so far apart may get a chance to really see each other for the first time.
BARBARA CAMERON
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

MY THOUGHTS
This is the first book that I have read by this author. I enjoyed the meshing of Plain life and English life. The two different ways of living are woven together in a delightful story.  The characters are well developed and the story draws you in.  I love Amish Fiction, and now am a huge fan of this author. 
I was provided a copy of this book through Litfuse Blogging Progam, all opinions are my own. 

BOOK REVIEW! Prayers for a Heart Shaped Life By Karen Moore



BOOK REVIEW!!!!

First and foremost I want to thank Barbour Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. I received a courtesy copy of this book, and was under no obligation to write a review.
I love Bible Snacks throughout the day. When I know that I cannot get my full quiet time, I like to read daily devotions ,emails, etc. This book was a perfect edition to my daily habits. Each page had different prayer topics that included scripture to back it up. I love how God works, Each day that I started, it was exactly what I needed. If your looking for something to "snack" on through out the day, this is the perfect book for you.

Thank you again to Barbour Publishing for sending me a copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review Like Moonlight at Low Tide Author: Nicole Quigley On Tour with Celebrate Lit

like moonlight at low tide FB cover copy

About the Book

Like Moonlight at Low Tide Cover - F2
Title: Like Moonlight at Low Tide
Author: Nicole Quigley
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: 2012
When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor’s pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom’s latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Quigley - Book Signing 2Nicole Quigley is the author of Like Moonlight at Low Tide, a winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers “Carol Award” and “Genesis Contest” for best young adult fiction. Nicole works in public relations and spent many years in Washington, D.C. She now lives on Florida’s Gulf Coast, where she grew up. Nicole holds a B.S. from Appalachian State University, where she majored in Communications/Public Relations and minored in English. Her favorite place in the world is Western North Carolina, and her favorite place to write is a late night coffee shop, wherever she can find one open.

Guest Post from Nicole Quigley

Three Things I Hear from “Like Moonlight at Low Tide” Readers
When I first wrote “Like Moonlight at Low Tide,” I thought my readers were going to get the same things out of it that I did. The book gets off to a start when Missy Keiser sneaks into her neighbor’s pool to go nightswimming. She thought no one was home until she sees the figure of an unknown guy standing in the dark, at the edge of the pool.

Missy was bullied when she was younger, but this story is about what happens after she is bullied. What happens if you got everything you ever wanted? Would it be enough? I think that when we really look at the reasons behind why we want things and why the things we want can become so big in our lives, especially in high school—we often find that there’s really a bigger question left for all of us.

Who is going to love me?

Since “Like Moonlight at Low Tide” debuted, I’ve been so honored to hear from readers who could relate to Missy’s story. One thing that has surprised are the things I hear about from readers time and again.

First, I always hear about the ending! I definitely wrestled with how to bring the book to a close. I won’t say more about it (no spoilers!), but I have to laugh because most readers tell me I was really close to hearing a lot more from them! Second, I always hear about a certain guy who becomes the male protagonist. Yes, girls, I have to admit that I loved writing him!

Lastly, I often hear the book was written “just for them.” That’s what touches me most of all. I wrote this story from the heart. It means so much to hear that it reached others, and often in ways I never predicted. I love that.

Once a reader picks up my story and brings her own experiences to it, it becomes something new. And it’s really special to connect with a reader on some of these heart questions that we all have in common. One reader who has really made an impact on me sent me a hand-made charm bracelet based on the book. She took Missy’s story, and she turned it into something entirely new. Her creativity is really special, and the bracelet is now one of my most treasured possessions

I love hearing from readers about what they liked (or even didn’t like) in Missy’s story. As it turns out, listening to readers is one of the very best parts of writing for them.

MY THOUGHTS

Here's the fun part --- since this was a young adult book, I have a guest review on this. My 16 year old Stephanie who is a HUGE book lover got a chance to read this story. 
Here are her thoughts:
The story of Melissa was very well thought out. Her terrible home life, her rebel brother Robby, and a little sister to look after. Her character development was very progressive, which I enjoyed. She started out as a terrifed girl who was afraid of the bullies. She ended as a girl who was so sure of what she wanted who would not let peoples words change her mind. I had a lot of hope for Robby. Josh made me very happy. He never let his true feelings through and he was always there for Missy. He was the perfect solution to help her through her problems. 
I loved how the story started. It gave me a glimpse into the end and made me  wonder who that person was going to be. This book was a page turner and I was always wondering how things were going to turn out. I quite enjoyed book and I would recommend it to my friends.


My thoughts: Well written characters, great storyline. The appropriate audience is young adults. While I am considerably older, I did enjoy this book. My daughter gave a great review above :)

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

amandainpaDecember 9
Multifarious, December 10
Rembrancy, December 11
allofakindmom, December 11
SusanLovesBooks, December 12
A Greater YesDecember 13
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
Power of Words, December 14
Janices book reviews, December 17
Blogging With Carolecember 17
Carpe Diem, December 18
Pause for Tales, December 20
Red Headed Book Lady, December 21
Bigreadersite, December 21
Pursuing StacieDecember 22

Giveaway


e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af
To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a $50 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c402

Thursday, December 14, 2017

BOOK REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!!! The Hope of Christmas By: Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, Linda Shenton Matchett

the hope of christmas fb banner copy

About the Book

The Hope of Christmas-high res
Title: The Hope of Christmas
Author: Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Historical Christmas
Release Date: November 24, 2017
Picking a Bride for Paul
When Teddy Love’s neighbor and best friend breaks his leg, she pitches in to do whatever she can to help him on his farm. But when he enlists her aid in finding a wife, she comes to realize she has feelings for him.
Paul Baker follows his heart mother’s wishes by looking for a bride from the East who is refined and gentile, two qualities Teddy isn’t. When his potential bride arrives, he finds himself comparing her to Teddy. How can he go back and change things before he makes the biggest mistake of his life?

Typhoon Prompting
A destroyer escort is among the smallest of warships, but the USS Tabberer has the heart of a giant. A typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific during World War II, days before Christmas. The men of the Tabberer stand tall as they rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. For Seaman Jerry Collier, the typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive.
A Dr. in the House
Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?
Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

JodieJodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

TerriTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Classic BoatingMagazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
lindaLinda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, author, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey (named for the famed inventor of the light bulb) and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (reputed to be the oldest summer resort in America). She volunteers at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a trustee for her local public library.



MY THOUGHTS

First and foremost I love this trio of authors. They are so talented and master crafters of their time periods. Such heartwarming short stories just in time for Christmas. All three have well developed characters. They throw you into the story and you cant put it down. 

Picking a Bride for Paul 
I loved Teddy and Paul. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways and you don't know what you have until it is right in front of you.
Typhoon Prompting
I love all things military history  and this story reminds you of the dangers and country before self that our service men and women face. 
A Dr. in the House
Emma made me smile thoughout this book. Such a strong woman in new uncharted territory. 

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit - all opinions are my own.  

Blog Stops

Blogging With Carol, December 10
Genesis 5020, December 11
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 11
Have A Wonderful Day, December 12
Mommynificent, December 13
Inklings and notionsDecember 13
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14
Mary Hake, December 14
The Power of Words, December 15
A Greater Yes, December 16
Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Radiant LightDecember 18
Janices book reviewsDecember 18
Carpe Diem, December 19
margaret kazmierczak, December 21
Pursuing StacieDecember 21
Maureen’s Musings, December 22
BigreadersiteDecember 23

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af
To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c514