Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy Anniversary

In some ways, it seems like just yesterday I was finding my wedding dress, buying the bridesmaids dresses, picking out bouquets, and ordering the cake.  However, in other ways, it seems like it was 5 years ago when Tyler and I were in our last semester of college (in all actuality, it's been 5 years since I graduated high school).  For the most part, this year has flown by!


This past year we have:

  • put studying behind us (finally!).
  • lived in 3 different cities:  Springfield, MO; Oklahoma City, OK; and St. Louis, MO.
  • said goodbye to our families and moved even farther away from them.
  • learned what it means to really be part of the Body of Christ, that while they knew we didn't want to think about moving, they prayed that God would reveal His plans and supported us in our move.
  • learned to fervently pray with each other for God's plans to be exposed to us.
  • put thousands of miles on our cars visiting family.
  • learned that we absolutely hate Oklahoma.
  • learned that everything is more expensive in St. Louis.
  • learned that it stinks to go church shopping again,
  • but also learned that finding the right church is a good feeling.
  • went on vacation for the first time without family (our honeymoon).
  • both gotten fantastic jobs.
  • found even more ways that we're alike.
  • learned so much more about each other.
  • realized how blessed we are.

These are just a few of the things that we've done and learned.  There are soooo many more, I just can't write about them all.

I can't imagine what my life would be like without Tyler.  He's a blessing to me, and I am thankful to have such a wonderful best friend.  We have a really good relationship, and I'm excited to see God grow us even more.  

I pray that God will allow us to have many more years together.  God is shaping us both into the man and woman He wants us to be, and I'm excited to be able to worship and serve our King with him.

I am so proud to be Tyler's wife.  He has grown immensely in the Lord since we first started dating.  It's so neat to think back on how he was 3 1/2 years ago and see how far he's come.  I am proud of him for listening to God instead of his own wants, when he moved his little family to St. Louis.  God has shown us continually since we've been here, how this was His plan.  

I'm so proud of Tyler getting involved so quickly with the worship team at Harvester.  I love getting to listen to him worship God through his drums.  

I am proud of how hard Tyler works.  He comes home and tells me what his co-workers have said, or shows me through different gifts he's received from them.  It makes my heart swell with pride, and I want to shout, "That's MY husband, people!"

I love going home and bringing him along (although he hates it sometimes).  I get to show him off to all my friends, and show them that I found the most wonderful man to spend the rest of my life with.

I do love him more every day.  I thank God for placing him in my life.  I am excited to see the future plans God has for us.


(Our first date:  May 1, 2009, and more specifically my first date.  I was a sophomore in college; he was a freshman...he was my first and only boyfriend.)




(Our wedding day:  July 30, 2011.  The happiest day of my life.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Real Life

I'm sorry, today I'm not sharing any recipes with you.  Instead, I'm going to tell you the reason why.


I'm exhausted.

Tyler and I have not really had a weekend to ourselves since before the 4th of July.  We went home to my home the weekend after the 4th of July, Tyler's parents came the weekend after that.  This past weekend, my family was here.  Tonight, we're driving to Kansas City for my best friend's wedding reception.  Next weekend, I may have a chance to breathe.  All that's on my radar screen is a Cardinals game.

Let's just be honest...because this is what this blog is all about:  Real life.  I don't remember the last time I cleaned my apartment.  Yeah...it's a disaster because we're never home.  I come home from work at night and all I want to do is sit on the couch because I've been so tired.  I go to bed at 10 every night so I can get my full 8 hours of sleep in (yes, I am that person).

So my house is a mess.  The laundry hardly gets done anymore, as it sits in the dryer most of the time.  And I'm tired.  Oh, and I hurt my back last week, so now I've been going to the chiropractor after work.

If you think about it, will you pray for me?  I've been taking an iron supplement.  I've been eating really healthy and paying attention to the things that I'm eating.  I've been trying to tweak my diet to get the nutrients that I need.  I make myself walk a lot, but I'm still tired.  I don't really know what's going on, other than I've been running and running and running and I haven't caught my breath yet.


I am not superwoman.  I can't go all week long and then keep going every, single weekend.  And honestly?  Superwoman needs a break too.  She has to recharge her batteries somehow.  I don't even think Tyler and I have had a moment to ourselves because we just keep going.  

Maybe next weekend will be the puzzle piece that I'm missing.  I hope so, but I'm wishing it would come sooner.  God has been sustaining me these last few weeks, and I'm not kidding.  Every day I pray that I can just make it through the day.  He is good.

How about I make ya a deal?  You pray for me, and I'll pray for you. :]  That's what being a Christian is all about...praying for each other; carrying each other's burdens (Galations 6:2).  If you have specific requests, leave it in the comments and I'll put you on my dashboard and pray for you everyday on my way to work. :]

Sometimes real life sucks.  But because God's Grace is sufficient, His power will be made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Family Weekend Getaway

Monday has come and gone.  I hate Mondays.  They're awful!  Especially coming off of a really great weekend.  I was really tired yesterday, but let's hope that it won't be a week long thing...I don't know when I'll be catching up on my sleep any time soon.


My family came up to St. Louis on Friday afternoon.  They haven't been up here since we moved, and I was really excited to show them around.  Our joke was that it wasn't going to be until Thanksgiving that they would be able to come up since Dad and the boys are so heavily involved in farming right now.  However, they took a little break and made it up early!  We were excited to see them!


On Friday night, we ordered pizza and just hung out at our apartment.  It was a nice relaxing, low-key night.  We hit up our pool, and it was actually really cool...a little too cool.


It's so awesome to have a couch that [most] everyone can sit on!  They loved it, and some of them even took a nap on it! 






On Saturday morning, Tyler and Ben went to see the new Batman movie.  I'm glad Tyler had someone to go with, because I didn't want to go see it.  The rest of us headed to the zoo.  We saw the sea lions (I want to see the show sometime), and the elephants, and a whole lot more.








We rode the train around the park...super fun!  We even rode on the carousel!  I really wanted to ride on the caterpillar, because butterflies are my favorite.  But my family was way ahead of that one, so I rode on an ostrich instead.  Dad rode the lion...fitting. :]









We met up with Tyler and Ben, ate a super late lunch (around 2:30) at Subway, decided that we were gonna go to the Cardinals' game the next day, ordered tickets, and then headed out to the cemetery.  Mom wanted to visit her grandparents because she hadn't been there since they had passed away.







Later that evening, we headed downtown via the Metrolink.  Tyler and I are huge fans of the public transportation because we don't have to deal with game traffic or even having to pay to park downtown.  




We got off at the Arch and were hoping to go up in it, but it was all sold out.  Bummer.  






Instead, we walked around the Arch museum, and headed to go find supper.  And yes, it was a late supper...about 9:00. :]  But it was at this quaint little restaurant and we got to sit outside near the street.



We got to see fireworks from where we were sitting.  They were pretty sweet. 




By the time we got our food, the people from the game were coming down to party it up.  We sat around for a little bit before we decided to head back to our cars.  


         I had the Crab Cake Sandwich...but really, I just ate the crab cake.




There was a Nelly concert that night, and a ton of college aged kids crammed into the Metro.  It was ridiculous!  It was so hot and loud.



By the time we got back, we were exhausted.  I checked my pedometer, and I had a reason to be tired.  I met my daily step goal by an excessive 6,000 steps.  I had also walked over 7 miles.  Whew!



On Sunday morning, we headed to the early service at church.  We ate a quick bite at the Galleria Mall before we got back on the Metro to head to the baseball game.  We were so excited to go with the family!  Ben had gotten us super awesome seats (even if it was nose-bleed section).  We had the perfect view of the game!




On the way to the game, we saw these girls with these shirts!  I just had a take a picture!  


Ben took this picture, so he's not in it.  Brian and Hailey had gotten seats in section 101, so they didn't sit with us.  


Brian and Hailey are sitting in the 7th row.



This guy in front of us got this huge helmet full of nachos!  Took 4 people to eat them all!


Ben wanted to show off his guns. :]



After the game was over, we all went to IHOP to eat.  I got some lovely Red Velvet pancakes.  They were delicious!!!  Two of my mom's brothers came up for the game.  We also called my cousins to come meet us for supper.  There were lots of people, but I wouldn't have it any other way. :]



From there, my family had to leave.  It was really hard to say goodbye because we had such a wonderful weekend!  Hopefully, they'll get to come up again sometime.  But it really might be Thanksgiving before they come again.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

I can't believe it's Friday again!  This week has just gone by in a blur.  We had a low-key week, which I'm okay with.  Today's recipe I want to share with you is from Pinterest, yet again.


At first when I saw the name, "Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas," I thought it sounded disgusting.  But I pinned it anyway.  Tyler and I ate at The Global Quesadilla Company, which isn't too far from our apartment, and they had all sorts of things in their quesadillas.  I decided to try this recipe after that visit.


Ingredients:

  • 8 flour tortillas  (I used low carb, low fat, whole wheat tortillas)
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 lb pepperoni
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of pizza sauce
  • 1 small can black olives, optional
  • 1 small can of mushrooms, optional
Directions:
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat, and fry the pepperoni until they are crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel and let them drain.

  • Brush each tortilla with a thin layer of pizza sauce.  It should be so thin that when you turn it over, it won't run.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce and the bottom tortilla.  Add pepperoni, black olives, and mushrooms.  Sprinkle more cheese on top, then add the other tortilla to the top (sauce side down).

  • Pre-heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Lay the quesadilla in the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.



  • Cut into quarters.  You can serve with more pizza dipping sauce if you'd like.


These were so yummy!  They even are fantastic as leftovers!  I thought that between Tyler and I we could eat the 4 quesadillas.  I was mistaken.  One quesadilla filled me up!  Each quesadilla turned out to be 292 calories, which I didn't think was too bad. :]

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prayer Changes Everything

Prayer has always been important in my relationship with God.  Most anyone who has a personal relationship with the Father will tell you that prayer is important.


Recently, I have just been convicted that I don't pray enough!  It's true.  I know God is there.  I know He listens to me, and I do pray everyday.  But how is it, in the busyness of life, do we forget about Him most of the time?


Frances Chan says in his book Crazy Love, "On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves.  On the average day, we don't consider God very much.  On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor."


It's true.  It's our nature to be caught up in our lives and what's to come, rather than focusing on the moment.


James 4:13-14 says,
"Look here, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year.  We will do business there and make a profit.'  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like a morning fog--it's here a while, then it's gone."


My mom would tell you that I've counted down my whole life.  First it was to when I could get my ears pierced.  I had to be 13 years old before my parents would let me get it done.  So I counted down to that.  Then it was my driver's permit.  Then my driver's license.  High School graduation.  College.  End of semesters.  College graduation.  My wedding day.


Yes.  I like to count down.  But I don't have anything to count down for right now.  Wanna know something?  That's okay.  I feel so perfectly content in my life right now.  I'm trying to find the joy in each day, and just live in the moment all while praising my God who gave me that day.


Every morning on the way to work I pray.  I stuck a post-it note on my dash and wrote down the people and things that I need to pray for that week.  Every morning, as soon as I get on 270, I pray.  I thank God for my blessings and pray over my family.  This is the only good thing about my 25 minute commute.  I'm focused on praying for others and not the traffic getting upset about the traffic.  


It's helped me become a more thankful person.  I'm grateful for time with my Savior each morning.


Frances Chan goes on to say, "When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love.  You'll drive for hours to be together, even if it's only for a short while.  You don't mind staying up late to talk.  Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying.  You'll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you're crazy about.  When you are far apart from each other, it's painful, even miserable.  He or she is all you can think about; you jump at any chance to be together."


This is true.  When Tyler and I were dating, we'd make plans to be together when we were far apart.  We would go out of the way to see each other for only a few minutes.  When we weren't together, we'd be talking on the phone to each other.  


Why don't we do this with God?  The same is true...when you're far from God, it's painful and miserable.  We should be so in love with Him that all we can think about is Him!  We should be thinking about what ministry we could invest in, rather than investing in our 401 (k) or in worldly possessions with that extra money in our account.  We can't take those things to Heaven, but we can take people.  We should be making time to talk and listen to the One who created us.  I pray that I will always be yearning for that precious time.


I also have found that my attitude has changed when I'm praying for someone or something.


Frances again states, "The fact is, I need God to help me love God.  And if I need His help to love Him, a perfect being, I definitely need His help to love other, fault-filled humans.....Our prayers for more love result in love, which naturally causes us to pray more, which results in more love..."


It doesn't happen right away, and I'm still praying for a complete healing of my heart, but it will change.  The only way I can change is if God changes me.  We should always be striving to be better.  We should always want God to change us.


I pray that you will take time in your day to talk to Him.  He's the only One who can really help you and really change you.  Find the joy in each day.  Live in the moment.  Thank Him for the blessings He's given you.  Remember Him throughout the day.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Freezer Cooking Part 2

Yesterday, I got the chance to do more freezer cooking.  It only took me a couple of hours and now my freezer is stuffed to the brim!


I only ended up making meatballs, breakfast burritos, soft tacos, and marinated chicken. However, if I would have made any more, I wouldn't have any room to put them in the freezer.




Italian Meatballs:
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup almond flour 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt, optional
  • 28 oz organic tomatoes, crushed
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, except the tomatoes.  Shape into golf ball sized meatballs.  

**Place into the crockpot that has been lightly brushed with olive oil to prevent sticking.  Pour tomatoes over the meatballs.  Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.

***This recipe wasn't specifically a "Freezer meal," but I knew that I was going to freeze them anyway.  Instead of ground beef, I used ground turkey (which is cheaper) and I used oatmeal instead of almond flour.  Technically, this is supposed to be a Paleo-friendly meal, but I'm not Paleo.

The meat balls were too sticky to put into a freezer bag right away.  So I got a cookie sheet out and covered it in parchment paper and stuck my meatballs on it.  Then I cleared out a space and stuck the pan in the freezer for about an hour.  This froze them just enough to put them in a freezer bag without problem!

This whole meal cost me about $7.12.




WW Breakfast Burritos
Ingredients:

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 12 egg whites
  • 18 slices of shaved deli ham, chopped
  • 8 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Directions:
Beat the whole eggs, egg whites, and ham until well blended.  Heat a nonstick skillet, sprayed with cooking spray, on medium high heat.  Add egg mixture; cook until set.


Spoon egg mixture into center of tortillas; top with cheese.  Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up burrito style.


Wrap in foil; place in freezer bag.


**This is a Weight Watchers recipe.  I'm not sure how many points it's worth though.  It is only 190 calories per burrito, though!


These burritos only cost $0.75 a piece, or $6.03 total!



WW Chicken Burrito Wrap
Ingredients:
  • 1 oz ranch dressing salad mix, dry
  • 7 oz picante sauce
  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 8 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 8 oz light sour cream
Directions:
In a saucepan, combine dressing mix, shredded chicken, sour cream, and picante sauce.  Mix well and heat through.  Fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup chicken mixture.

These burritos cost $0.97 each or $7.75 total!

Marinated Chicken:
Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle of your favorite Italian salad dressing
  • 6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
Directions:
Put the chicken in a freezer bag.  Pour the Italian dressing over the chicken.  Seal the bag.  Freeze.

**Pull the bag out of the freezer.  Run it under hot water to thaw a bit.  Throw the contents of the bag in the crockpot.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours.  Serve over rice, with steamed veggies on the side!

Here's the haul from yesterdays cooking fest:





I am excited to have food in the freezer that we can actually eat!  I'll have to let you now how they all taste! :]

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Freezer Cooking Part 1

I told you earlier that I would share the recipes of the first two freezer meals that I put together.  Here they are!  Each recipe makes 2 meals.  So you'll have 2 freezer bags per recipe.


Teriyaki Chicken:
A large bag (or 2 small bags) of baby carrots split between the 2 freezer bags
1 Red onion cut in chunks and split between the 2 freezer bags
1 (20 oz) can of chunk pineapple, undrained in each bag
2 garlic cloves, chopped in each bag
2 chicken breasts in each bag
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag

At this point, close the bags and freeze them!

**Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to the mixture. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.



This recipe turned out to cost me $6.61 per meal, so $13.22 total.



Healthy BBQ Chicken:

2 green peppers cut into slices split between 2 bags
1 red pepper cut into slices, split between 2 bags
1 zucchini chopped and split between 2 bags
3 onions chopped and split between 2 bags
6 red potatoes, chopped and split between 2 bags (you can also use sweet potatoes)
4 garlic cloves chopped and split between 2 bags
4 chicken breasts split between 2 bags
1/2 TBSP quick cooking tapioca per bag (I used flour as a substitute)
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce split between 2 bags
1 TBSP of brown sugar per bag
1 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce per bag
1 TBSP of mustard per bag
1/4 tsp of salt per bag

Close bags and put them in the freezer!

**Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice or egg noodles.



This recipe cost me $5.42 per meal, so $10.84 total.


I'm looking forward to eating these!  They sound delicious!

Meal Planning 101

I've had some questions from people lately about how I meal plan.  First off, let me tell you that what works for me, may not work for you!  I have learned by trial and error.

Someone told me right when Tyler and I got married that I should meal plan.  I was like, "Huh? What's that?"  My mom didn't meal plan, but she was a stay at home momma (which I'm SOOO thankful for) and at least had a bit of time to think about meals.  Ask her that and she might have a different answer for you. :]  My mom is pretty much Wonder-woman, though (and my dad is Super-man...but that is a post for another day)!

So when I got to thinking about meal planning, I had no idea where to even start.  I started by writing down a list of the meals that we frequently eat and like.  From there, I just started penciling in meals for each day of the week.  I would write my grocery list from the meal planner and go from there.

When we moved to St. Louis I had some time to really get organized.  I made a calendar on Excel and I just print it off each month and fill in the dates.  I only plan suppers because Tyler and I both take our lunches to work.  Occasionally, I'll plan breakfast like it did with the Easy Egg Breakfast Casserole, but not too often because Tyler isn't a breakfast person.

It's on the weekends that I have time to sit down and plan meals for the next week.  I tend to go grocery shopping on Tuesday or Wednesday night since The Bachelorette is on Monday nights. :]  I know, priorities! 

I sit down with my Excel meal planner calendar, the family calendar, my list of meals, which has now become the "quick fix meal" list, as well as my cookbooks or recipes I've found on Pinterest that I want to try.  As you all are familiar with, I try to make one new recipe a week to share with you as Friday's Fabulous Foods!  Some weeks it doesn't happen, though.

I will begin my filling in my meal planner with any weekends we will be gone or nights that we have supper plans elsewhere.  This helps eliminate nights that I don't have to cook on and makes it easier to plan.  I do try to use the foods in my pantry, so I will make recipes using those ingredients.  This also helps with our budget.  

I write my grocery list based on the meals I've planned.  I only buy what is on the grocery list, and I try to use the foods we already have.  I tend to only shop for a week's worth of food at a time, sometimes a little more.  This week, in preparation of freezer cooking (see below), I shopped for 3 weeks worth of food at a time.

I tend to "pencil in" our meals because things can come up during the week, in which I have to rearrange meals or move a meal to the next week.

This past week, I decided to try freezer cooking.  I've been reading a ton of blogs and doing some research.  I've heard nothing but good things about it.  Pinterest has been a big help, as I have pinned a ton of freezer cooking ideas.  Feel free to follow my board if you need ideas.  I found quite a few recipes to try, and I will give you those recipes later in another post.  They were super easy, and now all I have to do is stick them in the crockpot on the day we're going to eat them!

I hope to do some more freezer cooking today, but this time with some breakfast burritos, chicken soft tacos, marinated chicken, and meatballs.  I'll have to let you know how it goes!

If you still have questions after reading this post, please leave me a comment.  I'll try to have a follow-up with all your answers!  And if I don't know the answer, I'll do a little research!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Confetti Chicken Pasta

This recipe is for the more advanced cooker.  So if you're just beginning, I wouldn't advise you to start with this one...


I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it looked delicious so I thought I would try it.  There are two sections to this recipe:  the veggies and pasta and the spicy cream sauce.


Ingredients:
Veggies and Pasta:

  • 16 oz of whole wheat penne pasta (I got the 13.25 oz and it was PLENTY)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes



Directions:
  • Cook your pasta and let it drain.
  • Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done.  Remove and let rest in a big bowl.



  • Add the remaining oil and begin sauteing the onions for 2 minutes. 



  • Add in the garlic and the bell pepper (I used orange and yellow...I'm sure you can use whatever color you'd like).  Saute for another 2 minutes.



  • Then add in the broccoli and asparagus (I couldn't find any fresh asparagus, so I left it out).  Saute for another 2 minutes.



  • During the last minute, add in the tomatoes.



  • When everything is cooked, combine the veggies with the chicken in the big bowl.
Ingredients:
Spicy Cream Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup feta cheese
Directions:
  • In the same pan you cooked the chicken and veggies in, melt the butter over medium heat.  Toss in the flour and stir, cooking 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly add in the half and half while stirring to prevent any clumps forming.  Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and allow to simmer until you see boiling action.  Stir periodically.  (We don't like hot things, so I left the red pepper flakes out.)

  • When the sauce begins to thicken and bubble, turn off the heat and add in the cheese.  Stir until it's melted.
  • To assemble everything, add the pasta to the sauce.  It gives it a nice coating before you add the veggies.  The pour the chicken and veggies it and mix.



  • The recipe says it will feed 4, but I think it could definitely feed 8 normal sized people.  (I say "normal sized people" because I come from a family with boys over 6 feet tall and they love to eat.)



Happy cooking!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freezer Cooking Trial Run

This week I have been totally exhausted.  I'm still trying to recover from this past weekend, and I'm SO thankful that tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!  I will definitely be sleeping as long as I can on Saturday morning. :]


Keeping in mind that I'm not what-so-ever a morning person, I got up on Monday morning and thought, "Oh crap! What are we eating for supper tonight?"  I am sooooo proud of myself.  I must have known I was going to be tired and wouldn't want to cook.  Ya know what I had planned?  A crockpot meal.
Me: 1.  Monday: 0.


As the day progressed, I kept thinking about how much I love my crockpot.  I love the ease of coming home and smelling whatever is for supper.  I love coming home and not having to worry about cooking supper.  It's fantastic.  It has helped me out so much, and I don't have to stress about it.


I got this awesome idea to start freezer cooking.  I looked up recipes on Pinterest, as well as used one of my favorite websites, Money Saving Mom.  Crystal (MSM) does a lot of freezer cooking herself, so I thought I would see what kind of things she has blogged about in the past.


I found several recipes, made a ginormous grocery list, and set out shopping for my groceries.


This is what I came up with:




I was so excited about my deals that I got, that I wanted to start right away. Here are some pictures of the process it took:













I only finished 2 of the recipes.  I'm hoping to do some more freezer cooking on Saturday when I'm rested and have more time.  However, I'm very excited about having complete meals in my freezer!  All I have to do is dump it in the crockpot and forget about it until I come home from work! Woo!!