Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Falling for Fall

Happy Fall! It seems like the rest of the country is finally getting some good fall weather and, while it's still hot & humid here, I am excited for the idea of sweaters, apples and crisp fall air.

The first day of fall was overshadowed here by our Kashi craziness, but in real life we celebrated by making a delicious hearty fall dinner adapted by a recipe in Runner's World. Honestly, it was a lot of work and I don't know if we've ever made anything this "from scratch" before (even though we used canned beans). We were both a little skeptical and had a backup plan in case dinner was a total flop but it turns out this stuff is AMAZING! It's full of fiber from the beans and rice and has a lot of flavor from the sausage, peppers and onions. It is the perfect fall recipe and you'll have lots of leftovers!

5 c. chicken stock
2 c. brown rice
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red peppper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. turkey sausage, cut into coins
1 15 oz. can white kidney beans
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
Hot sauce, to taste

In a pot, bring stock and rice to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absored (about 40 min.). Saute peppers, onions and garlic in oil until softened. Add sausage and saute until brown. Add beans, 1 cup of bean liquid, diced tomatoes with juice, thyme and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with hot sauce to taste. Add rice to bean mixture and stir to combine. Remove bay leaf and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Ice Cream!

If you're not following the Southern Savers Blog, you should. Why? Because it has lots of fun information that you need to know. Like the fact that Carvel and Coldstone are giving away FREE ice cream today!

Carvel is giving away Oreo Lil Rounders from 3-7 for their annual Customer Appreciation Day and...

Coldstone is giving away cups of Jack's Creation (from 5-8), to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I love both Make-A-Wish and Coldstone so I'll be there and you should be too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kashi Crazy

We've only been "couponing" for a few weeks now, but I think today was the most monumental day we're going to have for a long time...Let me explain...

About a month ago, David signed up to work at Kashi Day at Publix through an independent contractor. Basically he just handed out coupons and samples and got paid a lot of money. The money part was great, obviously (although the check came in the mail today) but he also came home with dozens of boxes of cereal, crackers, cookies and other snacks as well as hundreds of recyclable grocery bags (which we now use for everything) and thousands (literally) of coupons. We use the coupons occasionally when Kashi stuff goes on sale or if we have a craving for "7 whole grains on a mission" but today was the big kahuna.

All Kashi frozen food is 50% off at Publix! And our coupons are for $1 off. So today, we made 2 trips to Publix simply to stock up on frozen pizzas, waffles and lunches and after majorly clearing out the freezer, we...

spent less than $15 (for 9 frozen meals, 2 boxes of waffles and 3 decent-sized pizzas) and saved over $40!

Between the sale and our coupons, each frozen meal was less than $1, waffles were like $0.30 and the pizzas were less than $2! I know this isn't a big deal to everyone, but we are on a super strict budget and it is so fun to see the final price change right in front of your eyes. We still probably have over a thousand of our little coupons left so we'll be eating Kashi for a very, very long time.

If you need to stock up on your Kashi stash, let me know and we'll send some coupons your way!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away

It's Saturday, but we're not watching football. We are spending the weekend church-hopping between Christ Fellowship's campuses. This morning, we had a meeting about leading a college small group at the Gardens Campus. But now we are stuck in what I imagine a monsoon would be. We are headed to Royal Palm tonight, if we ever feel like braving the run to the parking lot. There is some major rain going on outside.

Luckily, we knew there would be a lot of downtime today, so we brought laptops, books and snacks. But really, really?!

...come again another day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's already Thursday?!

I can't believe that today is already Thursday. The week sure does fly by fast when Monday is a holiday. I vote for 4 day weeks every week!

Even though I don't actually work a normal "workweek," I'm glad Monday was a holiday for everyone else - we had a really good weekend! My sweet husband took us on a fun surprise morning date to eat bagels on the beach on Saturday and spent the rest of the day watching football at our condo with friends. Georgia lost and we are 600 miles away from Athens, but we wore our red and black proudly (and I unsuccessfully tried to make G-shaped brownies, but that's another story...)!

After resting up on Sunday, we headed to the First Annual Smith/Stallings Labor Day Olympics on Monday for a day of pool relays. These people are serious about their Olympic pool sports and even though Stephanie and I came in last, we had a lot of fun and came away with only minor injuries. I wish I had taken more pictures but I thought I forgot my camera - of course, it was in my bag the whole time.
The rest of the week has been good too. David just started his internship and is loving it so far. Yay! And is having a shoe sale - they are buy one, get one half off so I stocked up today and got 3 pairs of sandals and a pair of cute grey flats (for those blistering south Florida winters) for $50 with free shipping.

Thanks Labor Day for an awesome weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Football is here!

I've been a bad blogger, but really not much has been going on. I'm definitely not complaining though - it is great to have time to spend at the pool, the beach or doing absolutely nothing (literally. We are stretched out on the couch watching "Rambo." What a Friday night!).

I do have a few fun things worthy of note though...

The first is the kickoff of Georgia football this weekend! No one else here really seems to care about college football, but I wore red & black to work today to start cheering on the dawgs a day early! I'm already sick of Lou Holtz's lisp but I digress...

In honor of the kickoff of college football, check out BooMama's DipTacular weekend. This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen. I LOVE DIPS! ...and if you do too, check it out. Or post your own and link to her DipTacular Post. Yum!
In other exciting news...last week was our 4 month anniversary. Can you believe we have been married for 1/3 of a year already?! I know that it's not a very long time in the long run, but it feels like our wedding was just yesterday. To celebrate, David surprised me with pretty flowers and a giant piece of Chris' Outrageous Chocolate Cake from the Cheesecake Factory. He's fabulous!He is also fabulous because this week, he committed to a year long internship at Christ Fellowship Church here in Palm Beach. Yes, that means we're living here for at least the next year, so there is lots of time to come visit. Seriously though, I'm really proud of him and I think he will really enjoy his time there working with life groups. I'm also excited about getting involved with him!

To celebrate (kind of), we went to $1 Taco Night at Havana Hideout in Palm Beach with our friends the Stallings and the Litters. It POURED (and of course all the seating is outside, uncovered) - so we were all soaked (hence the lack of pictures) but it was fun, and definitely something I think we'll remember for awhile. We're just happy to finally have made some fun friends here!

And...even though this post sounds like all we do is eat, we have really enjoyed eating healthier lately and playing with coupons. How lame is that?! We've actually both lost about 4 lbs. in the past couple weeks and yesterday we dominated at Target with all our coupons and savings. We spent $25, saved $17 and got a free $5 gift card. YEAH! We've had pretty equally good trips to Publix lately too, basically just planning our menu for the week around whatever is on sale/what we have coupons for. We've also been using The Grocery Game (click for a free trial!) which rounds up all the sales and coupons going on at stores so you can save the most. As lame as it is, we have had a lot of fun trying to figure out the best deals and we've saved a lot of money.

Oh and here are some obligatory pictures of our beautiful, scenic "backyard." Be jealous!

Happy football weekend! Go Dawgs!