Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Project "Read More"

I am employing several sneaky little tactics in an effort to promote healthy reading habits in our home, one of them being to create a couple of fun little reading nooks for the kiddos!  Today I FINALLY got around to working on (and, SHOCK, actually finishing) this first's in our playroom, and the kids L-O-V-E it!  I still need to add a light, and this weekend we're installing rain gutter bookshelves like these and these.  I can hardly wait!  This is the PERFECT solution to adding bookshelves (ideally allowing books to be forward-facing) without taking up any of the shrinking floor space in our family/play room!'s the new Book Nook!  Enjoy!

So, there is a 36 inch space on either side of our entertainment center between it and the wall.  
This little corner used to be a cluttered heap of toys, 
but I had a vision that it would someday be a fun, inviting, whimsical little nook 
just begging for a little pre-schooler to curl up in with a good book.

I have a 4-y-o boy and a 3-y-o girl, so I needed something gender neutral, 
so I was super excited when I found this smokey blue fabric with 
multi-colored circles...some pink--her favorite, and some orange--his favorite!

My little bookworms!

Pennant this scallop stitch on my sewing machine, and I love the extra little pops of color achieved by adding the ribbons in between each pennant.

I'd love to hear how you promote good reading habits in your homes!

The Important Things...:0)

So my house is a DISASTER zone, BUT I made this adorable 4th of July wreath!  Priorities right?

I hope you all are having fun red, white, and blue-ing your houses!  I sure am!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dinner Dip

One of the perks of being a stockpile shopper is, of course, spending very little--sometimes even nothing at all, and sometimes even making money--when shopping.  Another perk is being able to shop from my own stockpile, rarely having to run to the store for missing ingredients halfway through cooking a meal.  I usually post pictures of my loot when I get home from a shopping trip, and the pictures usually contain a few food items, a few toiletries, and a few household cleaners and such.  When I post pictures of 6 bottles of Windex, 4 bags of shredded cheese, 8 cans of diced tomatoes, 3 rolls of biscuits, and 2 bottles of lotion (or something of sort), I am often asked, "but what will you eat?".  Yes, I can see why this is a recurring question...Windex and cheese for dinner anyone?

So, I thought I'd post a few of our favorite and most economical meals that were made from my own stockpile of ingredients.  They are NOT fancy, but they ARE tasty, and they are CHEAP!!!!

Tonight, we had Dinner own concoction of ever-changing ingredients served with corn chips for a dip-tastic supper.

For tonight's Dinner Dip, I used: 
2 fairly large chicken breasts (I had already cut one up when I realized I needed to take the picture!)
1 can Ro-Tel
1 tub Philadelphia cooking cream, Santa Fe flavor
1/2 bag Sargento shredded cheese
Tortilla chips

First, I boiled the frozen chicken (save the cooking water for soup on another night!).  Then I just chopped it up:

Then I added the cooking cream and Ro-Tel and stirred it all up.

Then, I topped it with a couple of handfuls of cheese...YUM!

Then I cooked it at 350 until the cheese was melted, and it was warm throughout.

Dip in the chips; top with homemade salsa...and ta da!

Dinner Dip from my own stockpile...I did pay full price for that bag of chips, so this meal cost around $5 and fed my family of 4 (2 of which are preschoolers), and there's enough for hubby's lunch tomorrow or for both of the kids to have it for lunch tomorrow!  I'd say that's a pretty good deal!