Mavis’ Remodel Blog Day 51- Nearing the Finish Line

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painting with puggle dogs

I am happy to announce.. . I am FINISHED painting all the trim work in the kitchen. Holy canolies people, I thought I was going to die of a panic attack there for a while and call it quits and hire a painter to do it instead.

But I didn’t. I think the reason I took so long to get the job done was because I was afraid of any sign of a visible brush stokes on the wood trim. But then I came to the conclusion that it was OKAY. After all, the house is 20+ years old and saving $3,500 by not having a painter come in and paint the walls and trim with his sprayer was worth a few brush stokes here and there on my part.

But still, it was kind of stressful. Especially when you have a little helper… ;)

roman shades from the home depot

Moving on….

What do you think about these fabric roman shades for the two kitchen windows? I think they’re cool, the HH says they’ll get dirty. {One would be placed behind the cook-top and the other behind the kitchen sink}. I tried to explain they would be “rolled up” during the day time and not down when I was cooking be he still thinks they are a bad idea.

Maybe white wood blinds wood be a safer {read:boring} bet. What do you think? It’s not like I’m a messy cook or anything so I am not concerned about them getting dirty. But still popular opinion is king, right?

emser tile white

Unless of course we are talking about my Bounty Paper Towel patterned tile that will be installed tomorrow. ;) I know 85% of you liked the dark brown tile… but I like the off white patterned tile better. {Let’s hope there won’t be a THIRD tile, Ha!}

*For those of you wondering… Cameron the carpenter took all the brown tile we peeled off the wall {and the extra pieces still in the box}. He and his wife just bought their first home together so it will come in handy since they will be remodeling their entire house.

outdoor laundry line

And last but not least…

Not that I thought  it was possible because they are so much fun, but I like my sweet 85 year old neighbors just a little bit more than I did yesterday. When I went out this morning to snap a picture of my potted cabbage, I spied a CLOTHESLINE just behind our trees. What a bunch of rebels!!!!

I love it.

Take that HOA!

Have an awesome day,

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Free Kindle Books, KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment, Half Off Learning Resources Toys, Coupons, and More

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ipet egg bed

Lucy spent the entire day yesterday napping on the couch and later in your egg bed… poor thing. I think she’s feeling a little better this morning though. We’ll see how she does later when I take her for her morning stroll… if she tries to chase after the squirrels it will be a good sign.

Have a great Thursday everyone, stay warm out there and SMILE. :) :) :)

Mavis

Kitchen aid ice cream maker

 Hurry on this one!!!

Amazon has the KitchenAid  2 Quart Ice Cream Maker Stand Mixer Attachment on sale for $59.99 shipped! Wowie Zowie that is a great deal. My mother gave me one a gazillion years ago fro Christmas and I use it all the time to make homemade ice cream for my family. It’s AWESOME. See my KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment in action HERE.

educational toys

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 50% Off Select Learning Resources Toys and Games

Some of my favorites:

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

hills bros cappuccino

These Hills Bros Cappuccino Mixes are great to have on hand around the holidays…

Learn About Amazon Subscribe and Save

leapfrog medical kit

Attention Target Cartwheel Shoppers…

If you’re headed to Target today you can save 50% off the LeapFrog Mobile Medical Kit with the new Cartwheel Offer. {Log into your Target Cartwheel account to view the offer}  Limit 1 item per guest. Item availability varies by store.

Homemade-Soft-Scrub

Anytime you combine baking soda and vinegar, you know that cleaner means business and will work wonders! Find out How to Make Your Own Soft Scrub. Plus, see more homemade cleaner recipes and cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board.

botanical interests free shipping

My favorite seed company, Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on all online orders over $50 through December 23rd, 2014. Sweey diggety! I’ll have to review my seed order from last year and see what I need for 2015. I know artichokes are at the top of my must buy list.  Shop Botanical Interests.

polka dot scarf

These polka dot scarves would make a great last minute gift!!!

Martha Stewart Magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Magazine  for only $9.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 11/20/14 at midnight EST.

Butternut-Squash-Spinach-and-Pasta

One of my very favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Ever. Pretty please make this Butternut Squash with Spinach and Pasta. I bet your whole crew will gobble it up too {hee hee}. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

REI Stoke 29 Pack

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - REI Stoke 29 Pack $49.73 {was $99.50}

Fisher Price Little People Toys

Amazon has some great deals on Fisher-Price Little People Toys:

purex printable coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Grandmas Cherry Cola Jello Salad Recipe

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Cherry Cola Jell-O Salad

I grew up eating my grandmother’s jello salad creations at every holiday meal and they were awesome.  In fact I’m fairly certain she had stock in Kraft Foods because I don’t remember ever sitting down to a meal without some sort of jello salad on the table. This recipe for cherry cola jello salad is my all time favorite though and it’s perfect alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

Cherry Cola Jello Salad Recipe

Ingredients

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 can cherry pie filling
1 {20 oz} can crushed pineapple
1 large box cherry Jell-o
1 cup cherry cola {I used cherry Pepsi}

Cherry Cola Jello Salad Recipe

Directions

Pour cherry Jell-o into a large glass or ceramic serving dish and set aside.

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add pie filling, stir and bring back to a boil. Carefully pour hot liquid over gelatin and stir until it is all dissolved. Add pineapple and cola. Stir well. Refrigerate until set.

Serve alongside turkey instead of cranberry sauce or as a dessert with a little whipping cream.

Looking for more dessert recipes? Check out my Dessert Recipe Index or my Dessert Board on Pinterest.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Tips For Teenage Babysitters

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10 Tips For Teenage Babysitters

When the kids were little, it seemed like just finding a teenager to babysit the kids for a couple of hours was a triumph.  First, you had to know their parents…and then feel comfortable about the kind of house they were coming from.  You also had to get a teenager who was actually available to watch the little critters on the weekends–because it seemed like they all had an endless list of obligations that made playing Monopoly with my kids on a Saturday night seem like an scheduling nightmare.  Once, I did score a sitter both the kids and I like, though, I tried reaaaaaallly hard to make sure they wanted to babysit for us.   I stocked the fridge, I had kids bathed and in jammies…and I paid well.

Flashfoward 10 years, and The Girl started babysitting.  I never really thought about the whole babysitting gig from the teenagers perspective until The Girl took her first job.  They are kind of walking into the unknown–other people’s houses, with their rules, their kids, their everything.  Over the years, she became one of those babysitters that the kids loved and the parents adored.  She was responsible and  reliable.  What more could you ask for?  {I might be biased :) }  I think that had a lot to do with her learning what to ask and what to expect.  So, if you have a teenager about to start babysitting, here are a couple of tips for them:

  1. Make sure to ask about food.  Not just for you own munching pleasure, but for the kids.  Are they allowed to have a snack?  Have they had dinner?  If not, what would they like you to cook?
  2. Even after the kids go to bed, it doesn’t mean it’s time to pop in a horror movie.  Air on the side of caution, out of the respect for the unknown expectation of the family you are sitting for, and keep all television watching light and airy.
  3. Get a very clear understanding of the kids’ routines.  What time should the kids go to bed?  What is the bedtime routine–do they get a story, snack, etc?
  4. It’s absolutely okay to ask what time you can expect Mom and Dad home.  In addition, once you know, let your own parents know what time they can expect you home.
  5. It’s best to talk money BEFORE you babysit.  It’s awkward and hard at first, but if you say it right away, it usually goes better.  Have a number in mind.  For example, when Mrs. Smith calls to ask if you would be interested in babysitting this Friday, you can say, “Yes.  I charge $5/hour per child.  Does that work for you?”  Believe me, most adults are not put-off by a kid who seems to have their ducks in a row.
  6. As a general rule of thumb, just don’t answer the door or phone while babysitting.  {I am assuming you will have a cell phone, otherwise, you may have to answer the phone.}  It’s airing on the side of caution, and a black and white rule just makes life easier.
  7. Bring a pen and paper.  Write down the address and cell phone numbers of the parents.  Ask the parents if their is a neighbor they trust home–in case you need help.  It’s just best to have all of the information written down because in the event of an emergency, it will be hard to remember.
  8. Bring activities with you.  It’s what sets the really great babysitters apart.  It can be a craft, a board game, etc.  Make it age appropriate for the kids you are watching.  Trust me, it will make the time go by much faster too.
  9. Let the parent know if they are having you do something you aren’t comfortable with…like administering medication, or adding additional children than you originally thought {i.e. little Tommy invited a friend to spend the night…surprise!}
  10. Stay with the kids at all times.  Put away your phone, and give the kids your full and undivided attention until after they are asleep.  Afterall, that’s what you are getting paid for.

The Girl got busy her last years of high school and didn’t babysit much, so I must confess, I am not sure what the going rate is for a good sitter right now…maybe some of you can chime in and let any potential new sitters know what a fair rate might be?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

And Then Lucy the Puggle Dog Barfed on the New Sofa

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cleaning couch cushions

Having a dog is a lot like having a 3 year old.

They follow you everywhere, whine when they’re bored, hungry, or want to go outside and they also throw up everywhere. Your car, bed, carpet, your brand new couch.

A lot people would flip out if this happened. But really, it’s just a couch. Yes, it’s a brand spankin’ new only been in our house 18 hours kind of couch, but still, at the end of the day, it’s just an object.  And I love my dog more than any object I could buy in a store.

Plus, it can be cleaned. The joy that Lucy the trouble puggle brings me is worth so much more than the little hiccups that happen along the way.

lucy the puggle dog

Stuff happens. If you let an animal or a person into your home, BE KIND. We all have bad days, and nobody is perfect.

Just keep that in mind next week when your relatives come over for Thanksgiving and they  break one of your favorite wine glasses, or one of their kids runs through your home at top speed with a fistful of markers.

~Mavis

*As I rounded the corner and noticed Lucy’s mess on the couch, I immediately thought of the passage in the Last Lecture Dr Pausch at around 6:07 minutes.

I first heard the talk a few years ago and since then the talk has really put a lot of things in perspective for me. It’s a great talk, and you should listen to the whole thing when you have the chance.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

12 Goals for the New Year Week 46 of 52

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I came up with 12 goals I’d like to accomplish this year with the hopes of being able to cross one off my list per month to make them more manageable. I thought a great way to hold myself accountable to the things I want to accomplish this year would be to do a weekly update.

After all, we all need a little help staying motivated sometimes. Here’s how I am doing so far:

messy family room

1. Clean, de-clutter and organize my entire home in 30 days or less. – So far this year I cleaned my closet, organized my kitchendecluttered my bathroom, organized my office, gutted the garage, and tackled the laundry room.  But that was at the old house. Bit by bit I’m getting there! My goal is to have this room cleared out my friday morning so the carpet guy can stretch the carpet a wee bit.

old jeans

2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our {now old} house. Mission Accomplished!

I’m not sure if it was because of the It Works Ultimate Body Applicator {I wrapped twice} or working as Chino the Handyman’s sidekick for the past month, but the muffin top is gone. Let’s hope she doesn’t come back!

horse drawn sleigh Old Sturbridge Village New England Living History Museum

3. Travel.   So far this year I have been to Boston, London, Paris, Portland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia,  North Carolina,Virginia and Victoria B.C. Anyone want to guess where I’m headed next?

Silver Laced Wyandotte chicks chickens

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing.  The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird is feeling much better after being sick last week. While I was in Costco the other day I spotted Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett and rushed home and ordered it for her. Amazon Prime rules people, seriously it does. It makes sending little care packages and treats a breeze to college students. It should arrive today, I hope she likes it. :)

Mavis-Butterfield crappy british teeth

5. Get 3 new teeth. – Oh.My.Word.

So, I was snacking on a homemade granola bar over the weekend when all the sudden I noticed a GIANT CHUNK OF MY TOOTH was gone. It NEVER ends people. I am fairly certain that by the time I’m done getting all my teeth repaired, the money spent would be the equivalent of a new car. It’s insane. Really, it is.

the adventures of lucy the puggle dog

6. Pay off my car. Done!

I’m pretty sure the Volvo wagon was the best car that was ever invented and Lucy loves looking out the back window.

primitive hooked star rug

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Finished! It took me 6 months but I’m done.

primitive turkey hooked rug

I’m working on a second one and I hope to have it finished by Thanksgiving. Which means of course I’ll be sitting on the couch all weeekend finishing it up! Perfect timing if you ask me.

8. Do something together as a family ever Sunday. Last weekend we raked leaves, trimmed branches and cleaned up the garage a little. It was the stuff dreams are made of. ;)

9.  Secret Plan #1 - Sell our house. It felt like it took us forever, but we were finally able to downsize both our home and yard and let me tell you Bob, it feels good. Really, really good.

10. Secret Plan #2 Buy a smaller house.  Done!

11. Secret Plan #3 – Working on it. ;)

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. Done! We didn’t buy a house in Colonial Williamsburg, but I did find us a vacation house on the east coast and we LOVE it.

Japanese maple tree

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden.  On the agenda this week: finish cleaning up the yard, chop down a few more rhodies, and plant a few more bulbs. 

So there you have it, my goals for the new year.

How about YOU? How are your 2014 goals coming along?

~Mavis

P.S. YES, I know I wrote down 13 goals. I’m fairly certain I won’t be able to attain one of them. {gee, I wonder which one?} :) But I wanted to add it in there anyway because I believe in miracles. 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, Sherpani Bags, TOMS Ponchos, Dr. Who, GoVert Planter, Recipes, Coupons and More

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dania chaise

Our couch arrived yesterday {4 weeks early!} and let me tell you Bob, it’s nice to be able to sit on something other than a kitchen chair or bar stool. The funny thing is, I thought I ordered a brown couch, not a grey one. But I’m not complaining, because it goes PERFECTLY with the fireplace and bar stools in the kitchen. Ha!

Funny how things work out, isn’t it?

Have a great Wednesday everyone,

Mavis

cookware set

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 60% Off Top Cookware Sets $54.99 – $199.99

rubbermaid storage set

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - Rubbermaid 42-Piece Easy Find Lid Food Storage Set $14.99

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

rose levey Beranbaum pie plate

Today only Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate is on sale for as low as $14.65 {and ship FREE with Amazon Prime}. There are 4 colors to choose from!

DIY-Homemade-Granite-Cleaner2

There’s no need to buy granite cleaner when you can use this 3-ingredient recipe: How to Make Your Own Homemade Granite Cleaner. Find more homemade cleaner recipes and cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board.

sherpani bags purses and luggage

I was so excited this morning when I spotted Sherpani Bags and Luggage on sale. I LOVE THIS BRAND! A few months ago I purchased the Sherpani Nau Vertical Messenger Bag for my laptop and it seriously the best laptop bag I have ever owned. The quality is excellent and well, it’s black {with a little grey!}. I picked up the Sherpani App Bag for my new “around town” purse. So excited!!! TODAY ONLY you can save an additional 10% off your order when you use code 6PMEU111920141013 at checkout.

toms for Target

Wahoooo! TOMS has a new limited edition collection for Target stores this year. The  TOMS for Target Collection includes over 50 items, all under $50 including these totally RAD Women’s Ponchos for $28 {Yes, I totally just ordered the grey one for my daughter for Christmas!} Check out the entire TOMS Collection for Target. Weeee! I love shopping online.

taregt christmas sale

Target also has Christmas Decor on sale today for 40% off as well.

dr who ornament

This Kurt Adler Doctor Who Tardis Figural Ornament would be a great gift for a Dr. Who fan.

mushroom farm

Zulily has the GoVert Vertical Planter Frame Kit as well as mushroom kits {cheaper than Amazon too!} a bunch of other cool garden stuff on sale today. :) :) :)

DIY Living wall sedum succulent planter

I used this same kit for my DIY Sedum and Succulent Living Wall Planter and it ROCKS!! If you are a gardener it’s the perfect gift for Santa {or UPS} to bring you for under your tree. I love mine. :)  New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up.

Giftcard_Holiday_2014_Static_Banner_v1_300x250

Celebrate the holiday season at Chili’s with a special offer. Get a $10 free gift card with a $50 gift card purchase. I’m buying these as Christmas gifts and getting a little gift for myself while I’m at it! Head on over HERE to get your FREE $10 Chili’s gift card offer!

eating well magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Eating Well Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 11/19/14 at midnight EST..

Broccoli-Cranberry-and-Almond-Salad-with-Feta

If you are looking for a vegetable alternative to the green bean casserole, this Broccoli Cranberry Salad w/ Feta and Almonds will do the trick. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

roasting pan

If you still need a roasting pan for the big day, Amazon has the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster with Rack on sale for $32.00 today only {retail $110}.

disney big hero 6

Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) is available for pre-order for $19.99 and ships Free with Amazon Prime. Don’t forget when you place a pre-order if the Amazon.com price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price. AWESOME!  Pre-Order Big Hero 6.

hot wheels gift packSnag a Hot Wheels 9-Car Gift Pack to put under the tree for only $7.99. {Ships free with Amazon Prime!} Find more Hot Wheels Deals

gymboree sale

Today ONLY save 50% off everything from Gymboree.com {including markdowns!} Wahoooo! Free shipping on all orders over $75. Time t stock up!  Shop the Gymboree Sale.

infinity scarf

Snag a Cents of Style Color-Blocked Knit Infinity Scarf + FREE Bangle Bracelets today only for just $9.95 shipped. These would make great teacher, hostess and teen/young adult gifts for girls/women. Shop Infinity Scarves.

earbuds

Amazon currently has JLab JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds on sale starting at $6.49. I have these for traveling on planes and they work great. Shop  JLab JBuds.

french manicure stickers

Love the look of a French Manicure but can’t seem to get the lines just right? Now you can get 10 sheets of Nail Art Designs French, Chevron & Teardrop Nail Tip Guides Stickers for just $1.50 shipped and the reviews are great!

Great Wolf Lodge

AmazonLocal  has Great Wolf Lodge Deals for all across the county on sale right now. Pop on over HERE and find your local Great Wold Lodge to view the deals available. {Great Wolf Centralia, Wa is on sale for $209}

aveeno-body-lotion-couponCheck out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How Much Sugar Should We Be Eating?

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How Much Sugar Should We Be Eating

Sugar is kind of becoming the new buzz word in the nutrition community.  Have you noticed?  Where people used to cut calories, now they are trying to limit their added sugar intake–and according to an article I just read, with good reason.  Sugar contributes significantly to “heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and liver disease.”  It offers basically nothing nutritionally, and takes the place in our stomachs of other things that we might otherwise eat–cupcake, broccoli, cupcake, broccoli?  If taste were the only deciding factor, I think we know what would win…everytime.  But, I think, in general, we are all kind of catching on that our sugar intake is out of control, the schools are cracking down on treats and tons of people I know are doing 30 day no-sugar challenges.

sports drinks

The article highlighted a new program called SugarScience.  It’s a project aimed at educating people about hidden sugars that sneak into our daily diets without us really getting to enjoy them.  They are everywhere–I imagine dressed in tiny ninja suits, just waiting to attack.  The biggest culprit of excess sugar intake {no surprise here} are sugary drinks–sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, etc.  Cut those out, and if you are an average American, you will have cut your sugar intake by 1/3.  But, sugars are also hiding in foods, particularly processed foods.

So, how do we know HOW much sugar we can safely eat?  Now, brace yourself and prepare to have your mind blown:  adult males are only supposed to eat 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day, while women are only allowed 6 teaspoons.  {BTW, added sugar means sugar not naturally occurring in the food–like fruits have sugars, but they aren’t being included in the added sugar problem.}  Guess how many teaspoons the average American consumes a day?  19.5!!!

In one cup of the Cinnamon Chex cereal Monkey Boy had for breakfast {which, in reality, he did not measure out a cup, so it was probably a double serving} there are 8 grams of sugar.  For the record, approximately 4 grams equals 1 tsp.  So, saying he had two servings, he’s already had 4 tsp of sugar, just for breakfast.

slice of carrot cake

So, here’s the deal:  I love cupcakes, pies, pastries.  I love them.  I wish sugar really could be one of the major food groups–like Buddy the Elf.  But, since it’s not, I am going to have to start counting how much excess sugar I eat above my allow 6 tsp.  I know it’s over–and I am a little scared to see how over.

So, I say you keep track today and report back in the comments below–no shame, no judgement, it’s just for curiosities sake.  {Really, I just want to know there are others out there with my same problems :) }

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Freezer Meal – Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Manicotti

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Freezer Meal - Chicken and Spinach Stuffed ManicottiI love a freezer meal that doesn’t feel like a quick, cheap meal. For some reason, when I make this meal it seems a bit more sophisticated than some of the other freezer meals I make. I’ll even go so far as to say it tastes more sophisticated. Which is to say it tastes awesome. Holy taste buds explosion!

Freezer Meal - Chicken and Spinach Stuffed ManicottiIngredients

1 lb shredded chicken {I use  Zaycon chicken and shred it like THIS}
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 {24 oz} jar of spaghetti sauce or 3 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce
2 cups cooked spinach leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 {1 lb} tub cottage cheese {you could use ricotta if you’d rather}
2 tbsp parsley
9 manicotti noodles, cooked then placed in cold water to cool
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese {I sometimes bump this up to 2 cups}

stuffing manicotti shells

Directions

In large skillet, mix onions, salt and garlic powder {I add a dash of olive oil} and cook until onions are translucent.  Set aside to cool.  Combine spinach, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley in a separate bowl. Mix until combined and then add onions and chicken.

Next up, you’ll stuff the shells. I try to divide my chicken mixture out into 9 parts in the bowl to get a feel for how much should go into each shell. Then I gently stuff each shell and place into the bottom of a disposable 9×13 pan {I always coat the bottom of my pan with a bit of spaghetti sauce to keep the noodles from sticking}. Once all 9 shells are stuffed and arranged, pour sauce over shells and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Recipe makes one freezer meal.

Freezer Meal - Chicken and Spinach Stuffed ManicottiTo Cook: Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.
To Freeze: Cover with foil and place pan on a cookie sheet so it freezes flat. When ready to use cook from frozen for 60 -75 minutes at 350 degrees.

freezer mealsLooking for more easy freezer meal ideas? See the full list of freezer meals HERE. Here are a few of my favorites:

Roadside Sliders Recipe

Easy Freezer Meal Meatballs

Peach Crisp Recipe

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Casserole with Mashed Potato Topping

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Dogs as Shopping Companions: Where Should We Draw the Line?

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Dogs as Shopping Companions Where Should we Draw the Line

Okay, so right off the bat, I am going to admit, I have totally taken Lucy into Home Depot with me.  She benefits from the adventure, and I get a kick of having her around.  I have never taken her to the grocery store, or any other place with food, though.  So, when I stumbled onto an article about service dogs {both for physical and emotional disabilities}, I started to wonder what the boundaries are with taking pets into the stores.

The article highlighted a woman from Idaho who likes to take her companion service dog into the grocery store with her, as it comforts and distracts her from her back pain.  The dog was suggested to her by her physician, who felt that it might help her manage the emotional side of her pain better.  She gets mixed reviews having the dog with her.  Some people make rude comments, while others seem completely unbothered.  While she is careful not to set the dog down {she carries it in her arms}, or let it touch anything, technically the dog is not covered under the service dog code, and is not allowed any place that food is prepared.  Service dogs that perform a service that the person cannot function without {i.e. seeing eye dogs} are exempt from this rule.

Because Lucy isn’t a service dog–just my buddy, I know exactly where my boundaries are.  I wouldn’t take her into a grocery store, restaurant, etc…ever.  I don’t particularly want other people’s animals where my food is, either {though, since I have virtually no idea how the food got to the grocery store , it’s impossible to say that it hasn’t come in contact with all sorts of critters}.

In general, keeping animals away from our food is probably a compelling sanitary argument, but what do you think?  Should animals kept for emotional well-being be allowed to accompany their owners into the grocery store?  Where should the boundary lines be drawn?

~Mavis

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