Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall Recipe - Beef & Vegetable Soup

Beef & Vegetable Soup
A blustery, Fall day filled with lots of playing and jumping into leaf piles, calls out for a warm, hearty dinner!
Inspired by Mom Saving Mom's Hamburger Vegetable Soup recipe - but altered to make it more like my Momma's recipe!
1 lb ground, local grass-fed beef
3-4 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup brown rice
1-28 oz. can, diced tomatoes
the following, I don't really measure - just go by sight and preference
some frozen corn
some frozen peas
some frozen cut okra
tomato or vegetable juice
to season, dried oregano, dried basil, 2 bay leaves and black pepper
In a large pot, brown beef then drain.  Add in potatoes, onions and carrots.  Then add the diced tomatoes, frozen vegetables and rice.  Add enough tomato or vegetable juice to cover the ingredients.  Add in the seasonings, then cook over medium low heat until potatoes and carrots are done.  I usually let this simmer on the stove on low heat for 2 hours.  And the smell of the soup cooking, fills the whole house!  During cooking, stir and add more vegetable juice or water as needed. 
Mary Ellen 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

*LAST DAY* Money Saving Mom's 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life Only .99!

Hello Friends!  Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to purchase Crystal Paine's (Money Saving Mom) new e-book 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life for only .99.  After today, the price will increase to $4.99.  Don't delay!

Mary Ellen


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Polka Dots & Another Year Older

Thank you for the wonderful birthday wishes!

Dress - Goodwill

For my birthday, I decided to wear my newly thrifted polka dot dress.  One of the ladies at my favorite thrift store refers to me as the "Polka Dot Lady".  It seems like I'm always wearing polka dots when I come.  So, I'm sure when she was hanging this dress on the rack, she figured it would probably end up in my hands! 

Mary Ellen

pleated poppy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

*NEW* Money Saving Mom E-Book - 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life

Have you ever wished you were more disciplined in some (or all!) areas of your life?  Have you tried to establish new habits but found yourself frustrated and ultimately gave up?  I most certainly have!  Well, today through Thursday, October 29th, Crystal Paine - the Money Saving Mom - is offering her new e-book, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, for ONLY .99!  After Thursday, the price will increase to $4.99.  So, don't miss out on this great offer!

Mary Ellen 


It's My Birthday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Sweet Note From A Stranger

After spending the morning at the State Fair with the kids (and having a great time!), we stopped for lunch on the way home.  As we were eating, an older Asian lady approached our table and handed Dave a folded napkin.  She smiled, then turned and walked away.  Dave opened the napkin to find this note written on the inside:

"Your wife is so pretty and act so refined.  Your children gorgeous like her Mom."
I was so touched by her act of kindness.  And my husband was the proudest man in that restaurant!
Mary Ellen   

Monday, October 15, 2012

Look What the Storm Blew In...

An early morning thunderstorm brought more than just cooler temperatures our way!  Meet "Stormy".

While Ashleigh was outside playing, she heard a tiny meow coming from our outside storage building.  Then, she saw a cute, little face looking back at her.  So, Ash ran inside to get Daddy to come out and investigate.  After several minutes, Dave came back inside doing his best Turtle Man "live action" holler!  It was indeed a little kitten that had taken shelter from the rain in our storage building.  There was no Momma Cat around, nor other kittens.  We have no idea how she found her way to our house.  Our neighbors don't have cats and she seems too young to be at a wandering age.  But, Stormy has settled in nicely with our other kitties.  Kiss-Kiss has been acting as her adopted Momma.  Though the nursing didn't go as Stormy would have expected!  Most of the time, you will find them both cuddled up together.  Don't you just love kittens! :)

Mary Ellen  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Division of Labor

Vintage half apron from SuzAnna's Antiques

A recent study revealed that couples who share housework equally, have a significantly higher divorce rate than those where the woman does the majority of the housework.  In addition, women who did more of the housework did so of their own choosing and were just as happy as couples who took a more modern approach to household chores.  In our own home, we take a very traditional approach to homecaring tasks.  My husband handles the outside work.  And, I (along with my Mother) take care of the inside. 

Inside of our home, I take care of the cooking (including meal planning, shopping, baking, canning), daily cleaning tasks, most of the dishwasher loading/unloading (my Mother also helps with this), pet care, maintaining the calendar and appointments, taking care of clothing needs for the children, decorating and making things pretty around the house!  My Mother does the great majority of the laundry, sewing and all of the ironing because when she moved in with us, she made it known that her way was the only and best way!  So, I just make sure she has all the laundry supplies she needs :)  Outside of the home, my husband handles lawn care, car maintenance, gutters, garbage and home repairs (doing them himself or hiring out).  He also handles the finances and bill paying, discipline of the children and has the final say on major family decisions.  Oh, and squashing bugs and reaching things that have been placed on the top shelf and pushed all the way to the back!  There are a few areas where roles are crossed. The garden is outside and that's primarily my little hobby.  My husband is much better at organizing.  So, he usually organizes the pantry, closets, the kids' toys, even the refrigerator.  And, he prefers to make his own lunch.  Which is usually a combination of leftovers from dinner and his own creations.  Child rearing, of course, is something we both actively take part in!

Even though I work outside of the home, our approach to homecaring has never struck me as being unfair.  I grew up watching my own Mother work and maintain a home.  It just felt natural to me to take on the bulk of the housework when I became a wife.  Call me old-fashioned, but it works for us!

How is housework handled in your home?

Mary Ellen