Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 9.2.12----9.8.12

Is everyone ready for a long Holiday weekend!?  I know I sure am!  Even though we have nothing exciting planned; it will just be nice to get a few things done around the house/yard.  Since I plan on getting groceries this morning I thought I would share my meal plan a bit early.  I think I might start posting it on Friday's.  That way anyone who wants to copy it for next week has time to get their groceries. 

Weekly Meal Plan:

Sunday: Chip-less taco bowls (rice, lettuce, sour cream, taco meat, salsa, guacamole, cheese). 

Monday: Grilled burgers, sweet potato fries, veggie

Tuesday: Homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese

Wednesday: Italian chicken potato veggie bake.  This is seriously our new favorite meal.  It takes 10 min to prep and 45 min to bake.  I will be doing a recipe on this!  You will LOVE it!

Thursday: Crockpot Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, asparagus 
Friday:  Homemade white chicken chili.  It will be made with leftover chicken and I have been CRAVING this!

Saturday: Out to eat

Happy cooking this week!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mopping Your Floors

I am a self proclaimed germaphobic neat freak.  My house is far from perfect 100% of the time, but I try to stay on top of things.  Floors are something I'm a stickler about.  I LOVE clean floors!  If your floors are clean, your whole house just looks and feels better.  A few years ago we tore up all of our remaining carpet and put down Pergo (laminate) flooring.  I LOVE this because of my mud lovin' dogs.  It is so much easier to wipe up my floors vs. scrubbing carpets.

When we first had the flooring installed I bought a Swiffer Wet Jet.  Needless to say, I was dumb.  Dumb!  It was AWFUL!  I had streaks and a film on my floors.  After using it for a week I was just about nauseous because my floors looked so horrible.  It took me several "washes" with vinegar water to even start getting that nasty film off.  After I did, I vowed to never use that horrid device again.  Those cleaners are expensive, wasteful, and not environmentally friendly.

Then I found a microfiber mop very similar to THIS one and really liked it.  I would just fill a bucket with warm vinegar water, put the pad in, ring it out very well, and mop.  No streaks, no film, cheap.  Have I mentioned that my husband HATES the smell of vinegar when I'm cleaning.  He knows it will disappear, but he still hates it.  I used this method and this mop for the last few years.  My mop still works, but I wanted something different.

Once I discovered Shaklee my floors sang a song of praise! They have a two cleaning products I'm absolutely in LOVE with....Basic H2 and Basic G (germicide).  The Basic H2 is seriously the best cleaner I've ever used.  It is so versatile,  eco-friendly, cheap, and NON TOXIC!  I bought my 16 oz bottle of Basic H2 a year ago (before we joined Shaklee) and I still have 1/4 of it left.  Don't think it is because I don't use it.  I do!  Several times a week.  Two DROPS of it in 16 oz of water makes your streak free window cleaner!  So I use it for my all purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, and window cleaner.  It can also mixed up as a de-greaser, but I don't really have a use for it.  Talk about saving money!

I decided to upgrade my microfiber mop to a Rubbermaid Reveal mop and I love it!  It is so much sturdier than a Swiffer wet jet, requires no batteries, and I'm able to make my own inexpensive and eco-friendly floor cleaners!

How clean are your floors?  Are you using toxic chemicals?  I used to never care about what I cleaned with, but that has changed!  I now use Basic H2 on my floors twice a week and Basic G on them once a week.  They look wonderful and I am confident the products are safe for my family and pets.

 If you are interested in a FREE sample of Basic H2 please let me know. 


Monday, August 27, 2012

$5 Savings Plan

Have you ever heard of the $5 Savings Plan?  I hadn't until I found it on Pinterest.  It is one of the coolest things ever!  Honestly!  Here is how it ALL your $5 bills.  That is it.  Pretty darn simple if you ask me!

I started this plan 6 months ago.  I decided to also add my change (when I remember), but you can do whatever you want.  Once the jar gets too full I swap the $5 bills our for $20 bills.  I decided to count it all just to see how much I had.  **Drum roll please**  I have saved $336.37 in six months!  That is incredible because I honestly do not miss a $5 here and there when I pull it out of my wallet.

It might not seem like much to some people, but that is money I'm not missing.  I RARELY take money out of the jar (I have for the car wash a few times) because I want to see how much I can save in a year.  I love knowing that I could buy Christmas gifts with it.  Use it towards a vacation, or just not spend it at all.  It is just nice to have a little cushion of money you never think about spending.

This would also be great for $1 bills or even $10 bills.  You can even use it just for your change.  It is your savings plan, so you make the all adds up.  I bet you could have your Christmas paid for by November if you start this today!  Maybe you have a family vacation planned this summer.  Why not start saving with this?  You can use it for WHATEVER you wardrobe, new shoes, down payment on a car, ect.  You set the rules and time limit.  

Now there is a down side to this plan.  Unlike budgeting $X in your monthly income, you don't exactly know how much you will be saving each month.  So if you have a specific dollar amount you want to reach in a specific time frame you may want to rethink this strategy.  But I would still do this "jar savings" plan as well.  I have not missed a single dime that has gone in this jar. 

I hope this inspires someone to start saving today!

This post is linked up to Frugal Tuesday Tip HERE!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Weekly Meal Plan Aug 26-Sept 1

Hello!  I hope you are all having a great weekend so far!  Weekends mean meal planning around here.  I am not 100% perfect at meal planning, but I find it absolutely necessary for me to stay organized and a bit more stress free during the week.  Having a meal plan helps me shop for my groceries needed for the week, keeps me from racking my brain at 5 pm wondering what we will have, and helps us from caving and getting take out. 

I do not live in a large town, so take out consists of driving 20+ miles, or calling in an order at one of out three "greasy spoons".  Neither of them seem very appealing to me.  My husband and I do go out to eat about once a week.  I really do like having one night off where we can just relax and someone else can do the dishes.  And in being completely truthful...we don't eat dinner at restaurants very often.  We really like grabbing a late lunch and then in the evening we will either have popcorn, or fruit salad.  We like to live on the edge around here. ;) 

If you want to save money, help your waste line, and save time...stick around and meal plan with me!  Here is what we will be dining on this week...

Sunday: Boyscout casserole, watermelon
Monday: Roast, cabbage, carrots, watermelon
Tuesday: Grilled burgers, sweet corn, sweet potato fries, watermelon
Wednesday: Beef stirfy over noodles (using left over roast), watermelon (can you tell I bought a huge watermelon!?)
Thursday: Brats, sweet corn, fresh green beans
Friday: Grilled chicken breast (possibly), quinoa, steamed cauliflower and broccoli
Saturday: ????


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scour Off-1, Dirty Oven- 0

I CAN'T believe I am about to show you this.  This is the one place in my house I am absolutely embarrassed about showing you.  My oven is used constantly and it is neglected.  Let's face it....I don't clean it.  I HATE the self cleaning portion of it because I need to carve out 3+ hours to run it.  It gets really hot in here, the windows and fans need to be in full force, and it STINKS.  Sure, if I would do it frequently these downfalls might not be a problem.  However, that just isn't me.

**WARNING:  This is the might be the most disgusting thing you will ever see on this blog....EVER!**


This before picture makes me look like a disgusting slob.  I promise I'm not.  If you know me in real life please vouch for me. ;)  Here is the deal...that white junk you see all over...see it?  How can you miss it!?!  That white stuff is residual baking soda.  Yeah, I attempted to clean the oven with baking soda and vinegar MONTHS ago.  It obviously didn't do a good job and I obviously was lazy and didn't scrub very hard.  You see that junk all over the bottom?  That is my lovely sweet potato casserole that bubbled over early in December.

Please don't look down on me.  Please...pretty please.  I'm going to take that disgusting before picture and turn it into a positive.  That picture just goes to show that I really do cook at home 6-7 days a week.  I generally like one night off, but on occasion that doesn't happen.

Here is the deal...the other night I had enough of that disgusting oven.  I grabbed my Shaklee Scour Off Paste and started scrubbing.  I gave myself a 30 min time limit and wanted to see what I could accomplish.  Well, 30 min wasn't quite enough because...face it...this oven was GROSS.  Instead, I spent 40 min and my end results are very impressive if I do say so myself.


It doesn't even look like the same oven!  This Scour Off is AMAZING!  It smells like berries, I wasn't in a full hazmat suit, and my husband wasn't complaining about dying of fumes/smoke.  I just used a small amount on a damp microfiber cloth and kept scrubbing in circular motions.  I would then rinse and repeat.  This is my end result.  I'm going to do a spot treatment on a few areas that were super nasty and gross, but for the most part I am pleased.  I PROMISE I will never let it get that bad again.  Now that I have found a safe product I actually like it will be much easier.

 Off and finding something else to Scour Off,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I am so excited you decided to hop onto Blissful Firefly Lane and see what I have to offer!  If you want to know a little about me and my mission in life PLEASE read my "About Me" at the top of this page.  Some of you might be wondering what Blissful Firefly Lane is.  Besides the fact that I think it is cute there is some meaning behind it. :)

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE fireflies.  I always have.  They bring back so many wonderful childhood memories for me.  Happy memories that I will cherish forever....thus the "Blissful" part of the title.  Fireflies remind me of summer; wonderful summer nights!  Growing up my grandparents owned an apple orchard.  I used to spend all of my summer days there and MANY summer nights as well.  Those days and sleepovers are my favorite childhood memory.

I feel that every child should be as lucky as I was.  I have amazing grandparents who I am still very close to.  I also had great parents that allowed me to experience this.  My sister, cousin, and I used to spend all of our time at the orchard.  Our days were filled with playing in our tree house, swinging from our tire swing, playing with baby chicks, snuggling with our many cats and kittens, taking long walks through the apple trees, riding bikes, swimming, and simply using our imaginations as much as we could.

We created so many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever.  To this day I look forward to sitting out on my deck when the fireflies come out.  As a kid they held so much magic for me.  I would sit amazed at how something so small could glow so bright.  We used to catch them in our jars and watch them light up.  Now I sit on my deck, reading my Nook, with a glass of iced tea and wait for the firefly magic to happen.  

Photo Credit