Author Archives: jjohnson527

About jjohnson527

Hi Ya'll! I am a South Texas girl that loves evenings on the porch, sweet tea, sunday dinners. I have a precious little boy who starts Kindergarten this year and a little princess who is 2. I have recently quit my job and have been focusing on my family more. I have become interested in cooking, baking, and saving money!

Because two is better than one….


Every Sunday, I make a weekly menu, purchase the groceries, and think I am set.  Sometime during the middle of the week, I begin to lose momentum and my menu goes out the window.  I am just not that organized.  I am trying to get better, but this is a weakness!  This week I decided to try something different.  I decided to cook ahead on Sunday.  Maybe, this week will be a little smoother.  🙂

I found two birds together at Wal-Mart for $10.  I cleaned them up and roasted them in the oven for about 3 hours.

Chicken buddies

Okay, these were not my chickens, I forgot to take a photo, but you get the idea.

Once they were fully cooked, I pulled the meat off of both birds.  It is really amazing how much chicken you can get off of two birds.

Chicken Stock

Once I had the meat off, I put all the remains (carcass and skin) into a dutch oven.  I added onion, celery, carrots, parsley, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf.  I covered it all with water and brought it to a boil.  Once it started to boil, I turned it down to low and let it cook for about 5 hours.  After the 5 hours, I strained the juice from the other and poured it into 5 individual freezer containers.   WAH LA!  Homemade Stock!

Chicken Salad

Lunches are hard for me.  If I do not have something made, I will not eat.  Not a good idea!  I decided to make chicken salad for a few lunches this week.  Here is what I used:

2 c cooked chicken                3 boiled eggs (diced)            salt/pepper

2 celery stalks                         1 c mayo

1/4 c pickle relish                  1 onion

Mix all together and enjoy!

Chicken Chili

Hubby came down with something awful yesterday, so I thought he needed something special to help him feel better.  🙂 Originally, I was going to make regular chili because of the cool weather, however hubby and the chicken changed my mind.

4 c cooked chicken                           2 c black beans                        2 tsp cumin                  1 c green chilies

1 red bell pepper                                1 c diced tomatoes                   1 tsp coriander

1 onion                                                 2 tbsp chili powder                 2 c chicken stock

Saute pepper and onion.  Add chicken.  Add spices and green chilies.  Add beans, tomatoes, and stock.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mix.  Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese.  YUMMMMM!

I had 3 cups of chicken left over.  I put a cup in the fridge for chicken and mushroom stir-fry that I will make tomorrow and I put the other two cups in separate containers in the freezer.

After all of that, I sat down!  Hope you have a blessed week!



Still figuring things out…


As you know, my family and I took a 100 days of real food pledge.  Well I am not sure what day we are on, but I know we have had tacos from the Mexican restaurant down the street many times.  Changing your eating habits in a world where food is enticing is EXTREMELY difficult.  It is also difficult to retrain your brain to make healthier eating choices. I am really struggling at the moment with my kids in particular.  Due to the fact, that before I started paying attention to what was fueling our bodies, my kids lived on the boxed, preservative filled, treats from the store.  I grew up eating them, so they must be okay.  WRONG!!!  It has really hit me this past year how much the food we eats affects the health of our bodies.  I have really started paying attention to diseases and such that are very common today that were not heard of 50 years ago.  

Where I messed up…

When I first decided that my family would take the pledge to 100 days of real food, I jumped head first without a paddle.  What I have realized now, is that you must take baby steps and change things slowly.  I was told this very piece of advice, but I didn’t heed the warning.  I have now stepped back and am proceeding in caution.  

Here are a few of the things that have changed so far:

*  Cut out all enriched white flour

*  Cut out high fructose corn syrup

* Have fruit and veggies at every meal

*  Cut out processed snacks  

The number one thing I have learned is to PAY ATTENTION and have AWARENESS!  Make healthy choices is how we should all aspire to live.  Good luck!  

Leave a comment or share the steps you are taking to live a healthy lifestyle.

100 days of Real Food


It has come to my attention that my family has been purging on “fake” food.  What I mean is, food that is not too healthy for ya.  Fast food, boxed food, food that contains major preservatives, yada-yada-yada.  We have taken a pledge of eating 100 days of Real Food (  I know this journey will not be easy, but I am hoping to stick with it and stay accountable through this blog.  

We started by cleaning out the cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer.  I threw away three bags of stuff… YIKES!!!  I did keep some stuff because I had just bought it, but I did throw out stuff we haven’t touched or that was way too perservativy (this is not a real world).  

Second, I went to Sprouts and bought whole wheat flour, real maple syrup, honey, rolled oats, whole wheat pasta,  lots of fruit, and veggies.  I already had some veggies at home, so I will make do with  what I have, and stock up as I go.  

I came home and immediately started a batch of whole wheat honey bread in the bread machine.  Man does my house smell good!!  

Here is the link to the recipe I used.

I also whipped up some whole wheat banana pancakes with sliced strawberries.  This was a big hit!  

I am half way through day 1 and I am not really hungry.  I am going to munch on some fruit, cheese, and chicken for lunch.  I haven’t figured out what is for dinner yet, but I will post later.

Tot School


I have been hearing a lot about the phenomenon of Tot school.  Since Maddie is not in school and wants to do school with Mommy, I decided I better have some planned activities for her.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled out my apple unit from my Kindergarten days.  I had some red and green foam apples and then some fake red and green apples that I let her play with.  We practiced saying the colors red and green and then I taught her how to put the red fake apples on the red foam apple and then the same with the green. I then let her glue red and yellow tissue paper on one of the foam apples.  She loved that!

This week we begin to discover fall.  I went to Hobby Lobby and explored their fall stuff.  I found all sorts of cool little things that I put together in a plastic dishpan (found at the dollar store).  Here are some of the things I included:

fake leaves
small pumpkins
fall bells
felt leaves
wooden acorns
fake corn
plastic squash

She loves to take everything out of the box and put it back in again.  I am working on new activities so I will keep you posted on what I put together!

Trip to the Dentist


Caden had his first visit to the dentist this week.  I know what you are thinking… he is 5 and this is his first trip???? I have no excuse really except that it was terribly hard to take time off of work.

He did OKAY…. The dental assistant was overly chipper for 10 o’clock in the morning.  It reminded me of the Kindergarten teacher from the Robert Munsch book We share everything!  Caden liked her though, so I guess what she was doing was working.  She started by counting all of his teeth.. good news he had brought all 20 with him, we didn’t forget any at home.  Then she began to brush his teeth with cookie flavor paste.  First she asks him what his favorite cake is- chocolate maybe?  His response… “My mom doesn’t buy me chocolate cake, because she doesn’t have any money.” WHAAAT?  Where in the heck did that come from?  Seriously, I wanted to melt into the wall.  Just when I thought we were going to get through this ordeal quick and easy, Caden Beau decided that he had enough of the cake paste.  He sat up thrashing and screaming…”I don’t like this stuff”.  After that it was like a battle to get through the floss, and the actual tooth brush brushing.  GOOD GRIEF… See I knew there was a reason I hadn’t taken him to the dentist, yet.

Needless to say, we made it out of there with NO cavities!  His teeth looked great!  We will try it again in 6months!

Summer Days


As summer vacation comes to an end, I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed my two rug-rats this summer.  Sure.. I have had trouble going to the grocery store with both in tow, haven’t been able to sleep in due to a precious little boy that wakes up at the crack of dawn, and am completely exhausted by the end of the day, but this summer has given me my identity as a mom back.

MB: 5years old

MG: 2years old

I realized that by working full time, I had completely lost the notion of ENJOYING my kiddos.  They are funny little people that have a lot to say about well everything really.  I also realized this summer the importance of my family and what I really love the most about my life is just hanging out with my munchkins and my hubby.  We have had Sunday family dinners with my parents and grandad.  We have had summer evenings on the back porch with a glass of wine, we have taken the kids paddle boating, swimming, and to the beach.  Most importantly I have reconnected with my family and completely forgotten about that thing called work.  I am looking forward to the fall season and all that it brings with it, but I have to admit I am not ready for Summer to end yet.  I need a little more time to sit barefooted outside, listening to Carrie Underwood, and sipping my wine.  I need a little more time of morning cuddle time and figuring out what adventures will await us during the day.  Most of all, I need a little more time to hug my baby boy, tell him how much I love him and how proud of him I am.  You see I don’t want summer to end, because when it does that means my baby is going to Kindergarten.  😉  (Sigh… sniff…sniff)

Road Trip


My husband and I had a notion that we would take the little monsters to a water park about 3 hours away.  We decided that we would spend the night, thinking it would be easier to stay the night then pack the kids back in the car after being in the sun all day.  My plan was to leave the house around 8:30 in the morning, at 10:00 we were still in the city.  Trying to get the monsters out of the house is an almost impossible quest.       MG had to take 2 babies, a barbie, 3 snuggies, 3 binkies, a blanket, and her pillow pet.  MB had to bring a back pack of books, transformers, his blanket, his puppy, and his pillow pet.  After packing up their entire room ;), we were finally on the road.  Before we could even get 30 minutes out of town, we had already made 3 stops, and MG had  one arm concocted out of her car seat.  I was starting to have second thoughts about this fun filled trip we were about to embark on.   Good thing I had packed some snacks because every 10min. those two little monsters were wanting something else to eat.  I was happy to oblige as long as it kept them quiet.  The rest of the car ride went pretty smoothly.  Thank goodness for our portable DVD player, Toy Story and Transformers were our saving grace with MB.  The water park was fun, but it was hard to keep up with those little monsters at times.  Daddy decided to take MB on one of the big boy slides, so that meant I was nominated to stay with MG in the kiddie park.  MG would climb up the slides and then hide in the corner.  I had to ask several little kids to go up and rescue her.  She is a stubborn little thing though, really didn’t want to come down at all.  I am sure I was a sight, dancing around, trying to get her to come to momma.  Shoot. Me. Now.  I took her over to the lazy river, but it was not lazy by any means.  She didn’t want to just sit in the tube, no she wanted me to hold her arms and let her bounce on my legs while I walked.  (Hard visual, however, just know that it was more of an exercise, than a lazy jaunt in the river)  I was so thankful when Daddy and MB were coming back.  By this time I was ready to sit and have a rest, but the little monsters had other ideas.  They just played and played and played.  I knew it was time to go after I was sitting in the water and some kinda funk floated past me, yep that was enough public water fun for me….  We decided to head over to the hotel, Booking a hotel online after 4 glasses of mommy juice, not a good choice.   This hotel was more than disgusting.  I took one look at it, and told my husband that I could not stay there.  The room was hot as hades, the bed looked like it had dirty sheets, holes in the wall, torn chair….. you get the picture.  After driving around, we finally found a rather nice hotel, that I was much more content with.  Hubby says he will help with the booking next time… (it was the wine… I promise).  Needless to say, our little vacation notion turned into one heck of an adventure.