Author Archives: Courtney

Enchilada Sauce {YUM}

Enchilada Sauce {YUM}

Here’s another thing I have added to the list of things I don’t have to buy…enchilada sauce!!  I tried a few FAILURE recipes before this one…and this one is AMAZING!  For the effort it takes to make a batch, I usually double or triple to have some to freeze.

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3TB butter
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1/4 C tomato sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp cummin
  • 3 TB chili powder
  1. Melt butter in skillet on medium high.
  2. Stir in flour.
  3. Add broth gradually, whisking constantly until smooth.
  4. Cook until it boils and thickens.
  5. Stir in tomato sauce and spices.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min, stirring occasionally.

 Other posts you might like…

A LIghter Version of Tacos

Making Money by Living Lighter

He Dosen’t Fit the Mold…and We’re Okay With That


Homemade Mint Extract {Christmas in July!}

Homemade Mint Extract {Christmas in July!}

Last year I tried my hand at homemade vanilla extract, and gave bottles away as Christmas gifts…it was a hit!  So…this year, I thought we would try mint extract!

We have an abundance of mint growing in our garden area, and if you’ve ever grown mint, you know it is actually a noxious weed…it is EVERYWHERE!  So I have been finding all sorts of new ways to use it!

What you need…

  1. 3-4 cups of mint leaves

  1. A pint of vodka…the cheapest kind is fine!
  2. A glass jar


Chop your mint leaves into smallish pieces…you want to break up the leaves so they can release the flavor.

Add your leaves to your jar…I had to STUFF mine in!

Pour your vodka over the top and wait…it should be ready in two months!  When you are ready to use, strain the liquid from the leaves.  The extract will be tinted (green-brown) from the leaves.

{My mint is behind my vanilla jars…a litle hidden!}

I hope to aquire some cute little jars to put my mint extract in and give some away to friends I know love to bake for Christmas!


{MORE} Frugal Summer Fun

{MORE} Frugal Summer Fun

We’ve been trying to come up with fun ideas to keep our kids happy, busy and outside this summer.  Time is going TOO fast, as it always does in the summer…

Here is our latest activity!  Pretend fishing!  Yep…my boys love fishing, but daddy’s not home much during the week and this (pregnant) mama is NOT taking these little people fishing alone…my boys found a way to make it happen anyway.

We took their little poles, took the hooks off, and attached a little washer to the string.

We have a little sunken area in our backyard  that the boys fill with a little water…this is their “pool” this year since setting up their real pool is too scary with a overly cuious one year old.

They use a slide from a little playset as their “dock”…and fish for hours.  As a warning, we usually end up with some serious tangles the lines, but we leave those for daddy to fix!

Other posts you might like:

Fugal Summer Fun (ONE)

Being Prepared Emergency Car Kits for Kids

Thoughts on Anger and Dicsipline

Frugal Summer FUN!

Frugal Summer FUN!

I saw an idea similar to this on Pintrest and thought I would give it a try…I knew my boys would love it!

I filled a big bowl with water,and added various toys.  Some that sank, and some that floated.  Then I added some blue food coloring…because that’s what the lady on Pintrest did, and it looked like fun.  Let’s just say…my kids look like smurfs.  Seriously.  Next time, no food coloring.

I froze the bowl for about 18 hours, until all appeared to be solid.

We tipped the bowl over…(see…WAY too much blue!)


I had the boys put on OLD swimsuits and T-shirts…gave them some of daddy’s small chisels and other tools I don’t really know the names of and let them at it!

The baby girl even joined in…

They chiseled and banged and scraped away until all of their toys were free! 

Now I have two very blue, but very happy little boys! *Maybe* they’ll nap today!?

Other posts you might like…

DIY Magnet Letters


Cloth Diapering





Grilled Glazed Pineapple

Grilled Glazed Pineapple

Last week a local store had whole fresh pineapples on sale for a dollar each!  I was super excited because, well, I LOVE fresh pineapple.  We bought a whole bunch and have been enjoying them all week-long.

We had tried a grilled glazed pineapple at a restraunt we love (Tucano’s anyone?) and decided to try on our own!  This was mostly my husbands idea and concoction, and he’s the family grill master, so I left it up to him.  It was fantastic!!!

What you’ll need:

  • A whole fresh pineapple
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 T. lemon juice

Cut your pineapple like this…

Cut the top off…

Slice the skin off lengthwise, from the top down.

Mix together the brown sugar, (melted)butter and lemon juice…rub the glaze onto the pineapple.

Set it on the grill, with low heat, for 5-10 minutes, rotating it to grill all sides.

Slice pieces from the top down and ENJOY!  An amazing and healthy summer treat!


Why I {heart} Line Drying!

Why I {heart} Line Drying!

10 Reasons I Love to Hang Our Laundry Out to Dry

  1. It makes my whites whiter…the sun is a natural bleach for my clothes!
  2. I love the crisp air in the early morning, when I hang our first load out to dry…
  3. No ironing…wet clothes and a hot sun are like an iron and starch for clothes…perfect for all the little girl dresses I wash!
  4. It’s a must for cloth diapering!
  5. I love the compact clothes-line my hubby built me…
  6. The dryer isn’t heating my house up on already unbearably hot days!
  7. Our summer power bill (already inflated for AC) is a little lower
  8. The sun is also a natural sanitizer.
  9. I’m “going green,”(you’re welcome Al Gore)
  10. It makes me happy to see clothes on the line when I am at my kitchen sink…like I have gone back in time.

Cloth Diapering: Part Two…Homemade Baby Wipes

Cloth Diapering: Part Two…Homemade Baby Wipes

As I mentioned in my first cloth diapering post, we love cloth dipaering!  I didn’t cloth diaper my first two, but wish I would have!  One thing I did do with my boys, was make homemade baby wipes.  They are SO easy!

Home-Made Baby Wipes

  • 2 big squirts of baby shampoo
  • 2 big squirts of baby oil
  • 1 TB. rubbing alcohol
  • 4 cups of water
  • Paper-towels, cut in half, baby wash rags or pieces of thin flannel cut to size

When I made wipes with my boys, I used paper  towels…but now I use thin flannel blankets cut into small pieces…and throw them in with my dipaers to wash.  Pour your liquid concoction over your wipes…that’s it!  I also love that they smell like baby shampoo…as far as I am concerned, baby shampoo is one of the best smells ever! 

 I keep mine in an air-tight container on the changing table.  I *used to* lay them all out flat before I put them in…then I realized there were better things to do with that time…so now I throw them in, and they work just as well! 

Next time I will give you my tips and tricks for successful cloth diapering!

Other posts you might like…

DIY Laundry Soap and Softner

DIY Face Wash

Choosing to Live on One Income








I’m in love with…

I’m in love with…

So, in my quest to learn to do and make things on my own…I found a new trick!  Well, in reality, it’s probably an old trick, but it’s new to me!

Hydrogen Peroxide!

I know…it’s really not that exciting…but it does have a ton of uses that I had no idea about!  AND it’s incredibly cheap!

  1. It brightens your laundry…similarly to OxiClean!  A great addition to our homemade laundry detergent and softener!
  2. It whitens your teeth and is an oral debridment agent!  Hey…Whitening Strips are REALLY pricey!
  3. Sanitizes toothbrushes
  4. Cleans contact lenses
  5. Great for cleaning scrapes and cuts, and with lots of littles, there are lots of those!
  6. Add a little to the swimming pool to keep it fresh.
  7. Treats acne.
  8. Gardening…yep, really!



Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

We have been making these muffins for a few months now…and they are amazing!  I was attempting to copy Costco’s amazing and huge lemon poppy-seed muffins…and these are doing the trick.  As a fair warning, these are NOT the healthiest muffins I have ever made…but, what ya gonna do?  Some things just need to taste good!

Lemon Poppy-seed Muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 small package instant lemon pudding
  • 1/4 cup poppy-seed
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Add all dry ingredients to mixer bowl.  Add shortening and butter, mix in.  Add all of your wet ingredients and mix on a medium speed for a few minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 mnutes, or slightly brown.

I always double this and put some in the freezer.  They are perfect to pull out for easy breakfast, snacks or when we have company!  I freeze in quart bags with about seven in each…perfect for our family!


Monday Menu…{sort of}

Monday Menu…{sort of}

My little boys are spending a wonderful week on Grandpa and Grandma’s farm…aren’t they brave?!? (They still have six kids at home!)  Needless to say…with most of my kiddos gone, and a one year old who would rather eat Cheerios and bananas than anything I make, I am not cooking much this week!

I am going to try to do some freezer cooking…I am an “early nester” and baby is coming this fall, so I want my freezer full when she arrives!

My Freezer Cooking Goals

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (new recipie…I’ll let you know how it goes!)

Bran Muffins

Lemon Poppy-seed Muffins

(3) Fiesta Chicken Pot Pie

(3) Lasagna

(3) Shredded Beef Enchiladas


Other things I want to do while my house is quiet(er)

Read Upgrade by Kevin Swanson

Re-read Loving the Little Years…I reccomend this to ALL moms with little ones!


Make (a million) copies to be ready for school in the fall

Create binders for the boys for school in the fall

Go to lots of thrift stores…because it’s my favorite, and my boys hate it!

Spend some one on one time with my beautiful little girl!!!

Celebrate EIGHT years of marriage to my amazing husband!