Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy, budget friendly meals.

I am honestly writing this post so I can "pin it" as a "go-to" for when I make my Sunday night meal planning list.  Sometimes I feel like...I know I cook, but for the life I of me I can't remember what I cook.  I wrack my brain for meal ideas and I can't come up with anything besides toast and cereal.  So I am writing down 20+ "go-to" meals that are SUPER easy, SUPER fast, and SUPER budget friendly so that come Sunday night, I can head over to my "dinner recipes" board and come up with a budget friendly meal plan for the week.

* Spaghetti with tomato & basil sauce, salad, & garlic bread
*Penne pasta tossed with sun dried tomato pesto, (or basil pesto) and pea's.  Serve with salad and garlic bread
* Spaghetti Pie, salad & garlic bread
*Mac N' Cheese (homemade & boxed)

*Home made pizza (with tomato pizza sauce, or pesto)
*Pizza bagels
*pizza English muffins
*Pizza muffins

*Vegetarian Taco's
*Mexican beans & rice
*Vegetarian Enchilada's
*Vegetarian Fajita's

Breakfast for Dinner
*Pancakes (sweet potato, chocolate chip, blueberry etc...)
*French Toast 

*Egg frittata's
*Egg & Sausage sandwiches on home made biscuits
*scrambled eggs
*Quiche (variations)

Soups & Stews
*White chili
*Lasagna Soup
*Potato Soup
*Canned Soup & Grilled Cheese
*Canned Soup & french bread

*Baked Potato
* Potato Casserole
*vegetarian chicken pot pie
Ham & Swiss pie

{I may be adding to this list in the future.  If you have ANY fast, cheap, and easy meals to add to this list (ideally they would be meat-free), then PLEASE share! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011



The biggest thing I have learned in the past 7 months is to be thankful.  Always.  

I have had to fight the feeling of pity daily because this year, things have not turned out the way I thought they would....or should.


A very serious cancer scare for my mom...

My husband's field of study still has very few job opportunities...

A lost pregnancy...

Numerous health scares for myself, and even my daughter...

~the list, unfortunately could go on and on~


This has all taught me to be grateful for how much I have been blessed with.  Because when you focus on the negative, hope slowly slips through your fingers.  Among the many, many things I have to be thankful for-my specific reasons for gratitude this season are...


My mom is healthy, and despite all the worries and two major operations-she's still kickin' it.

Michael has a great job that is flexible, and he works for people he loves.  We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear, and extra room to still have some fun.

Though I will always grieve the baby I lost, I have learned that I am not in control. There has not been a day that has passed where I haven't thought about and grieved for that child....for myself.  My mind knows I have one child, my heart knows I have two. My miscarriage story was scary and uncertain.  We loved that baby, "organized ball of cells" that he/she was.  I am so thankful that I am safe, healthy, and that I am beyond blessed with an amazing little girl.  What a privilege.  

I am so thankful that Laura DeMars Photography has experienced so much growth this year.  I have learned a lot, and I am so excited for what the future holds.


This year has been filled with some definite downs....but there are also a lot of up's.  I choose to focus on those up's.  I am so filled with thanksgiving for the life and family I've been blessed with.  

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-- Melody Beattie


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ingrid Nightingale

I used to love to take a million (literally) close up photo's of Ingrid when she was a baby.  I want to catch every little facial expression.  I swear I could just stare at the sweet face for hours.  I haven't taken pictures like that for quite a while, mostly because home girl rarely sits still.  But, yesterday when I got her up from her nap we snuggled on the couch -she was all warm and her cheeks were red, her hair was messy, and she had the distanct "just woke up" face.  

I love her.

{Looking at her painted finger nails}