Thursday, April 29, 2010

March Giving

We are a little behind on our March giving so we better do this before April's giving comes around!

For those of you who may be out of the loop about why we post our giving, we are simply doing it to spread awareness about the different organizations out there that are important to us and the ways they serve others. We try to focus on food and water organizations because the money we donate is what we save as a result of cutting our food budget.

This month we will be shining the spotlight on the Houston Food Bank!

The Houston Food Bank is the largest source of free and low-cost food for hungry people in 18 southeast Texas counties. A network of more than 400 charities, feeding a total of 137,000 people each week, receives more than 46 million pounds of food and prepared meals annually. Fresh produce, meat and nonperishables are distributed from Herzstein Center, a 73,000 square-foot warehouse, and hot meals are prepared and distributed from Keegan Center, a 15,000 square-foot industrial kitchen. Additional community services range from nutrition education to assistance with food stamp applications and hands-on job training. Red Barrels offer a convenient way for grocery shoppers to donate nonperishables for their neighbors in need. The Houston Food Bank, founded in 1982, is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network. The organization plans to grow to an annual distribution of 120 million pounds of food by 2018.

Lately we've been focusing our giving on mostly Haiti aid which is important, but it's also important to reach out to the people in your own neighborhood. Food banks, clothing donation centers, and churches are great ways to do that!

Here's to you Houston Food Bank! Keep up the good work!

(Also, on the news last night, they announced that Houston Food Bank will be purchasing and moving into a new center within the next year that will make it the largest Food Bank in the nation! Wow!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Monday

We had a great time while Brady was visiting! But, it did cause us to break down and go to Chili's! (It was fun going out to eat and we had enough money in our overflow to cover it.)

Since Brady works at HEB, we also took advantage of his Partner Perk's Card while he was here! We picked up a few things to supplement the stock from Mom last week, like peanut butter and jelly, bread, mac and cheese, flour, eggs, and we also splurged and bought some OJ and apple juice! Oh my! We did alright, but then Brady realized he forgot his card and we didn't really get the discount. But my kind brother left us some cash to make up the difference!

So we're set to go this week with help from Mom and Brady and we're looking forward to some delicious fettuccine alfredo, more homemade pizza, pot roast and veggies, and lots more PB&J!

We saved a bit this cycle and continue to add to our pot which has actual purpose now! Today we purchased our plane tickets to Connecticut to visit our friends! So excited about our summer trip! Our extra money will come in handy when dining out up north! :)

Sorry for the lack of posts last week. Frankie worked a lot of late nights and our computer totally shut down (turns out we just need a new power cord but Brady kindly lent us his laptop until then!) It's gonna start slowing up, though, as I finish classes in the next couple of weeks and summer vacation begins!! We'll try to keep you more informed between Menu Mondays and I'm sure there will be a lot more adventures in the next few months! Have a great week!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Monday: Hello and Goodbye

We had a fun weekend and finally found some time to say "Goodbye" to Houston and "Hello" to San Antonio!

It's been 2 months since we have both been able to drive down together. We spent the time visiting family all over the area.

We also got to say "Goodbye" to our San Antonio pastor and his family, who are moving along on their journey to OK. We will miss you, Dyes!

And "Hello" to a new member of the family!

(Frankie's cousin, Tina and her husband David's beautiful 2nd baby boy!)

But the fun isn't over... after we recoup for a few days in Houston, Taylor's brother Brady is coming up for a visit ("Hello Brady!") before he moves to Washington ("Goodbye, Brady!").

More Goodbyes to the potatoes, carrots, frozen pizzas and ice cream that have been hanging around the kitchen, we will miss you. ;)

And Hello to the surprise supply of snacks and food from the moms and grandma- we are so blessed to have you!

And of course "Hello" to our Readers! How are you? Hope you have a good week! Goodbye for now. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Monday

Our cup runneth over!

We successfully grocery shopped within budget last night for weeks 15 and 16! The trip to Kroger was a mess... We went with a partial list, some idea of what we had in the pantry (the neverending boxes of potatoes, some flour, candy, lol), and some ideas from what was on sale from the Kroger ad. So back and forth in the grocery store, choosing and putting back, and also buying items to bake 10 dozen cookies (to contribute to the 1000 that our church needs for an upcoming prison ministry event!) and dishwasher detergent (which is expensive)! Our total was thrown off and we were quite frustrated with the whole event, but after coming home and recalculating our actual food budget total we ended up at only $19.02! $.98 under budget!!! Hooray!

So we ended up with all this. It looks a bit random and weird. It definitely has some differences than what we've bought before, but I think it's gonna be good! On the menu: homemade calzones, saugsage and potatos, some leftovers from last week, veggie-chicken-rice casserole, tuna, and pb&j of course!
We bought the tuna to finish up the mayo we bought for sandwhiches and deviled eggs for our Easter picnic. We also bought a larger container of yeast this time which is way less expensive in the long run! We actually cereal shopped for the first time all year; in the beginning we had quite a few boxes we had got a really good deal on all together, then we had a super cheap clearanced box of Captain Crunch from Big Lots, then a free box of Kashi. So this was not fun...I just picked the cheapest box...we'll see. The peanut butter pictured above is a combination of three jars (from Mom, Amy, and ours) and it's more than sufficient! We also have jelly from Mom and Amy still so we didn't have to purchase either of these pricier items! And Frankie will continue to make his delicious homemade bread! :)

Also looking forward to this little freebie I forgot about until we got home and started putting stuff away in the pantry...


It should be a good couple of weeks, friends! I really feel like we have plenty of food!

Come back soon for an update on those 10 dozen homemade cookies!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bare your Sole!

So, we are a little behind on our posts but today is a great day and we wanted to share. :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Extreme Makeover!

Tonight's episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition was for the Beach Family, from Kemah, Texas. And Taylor was lucky enough to go to the home reveal! So to celebrate the show and pass time till it started we decided to have a makeover of our own...

Welcome to Extreme Makeover Niche Edition!!!


We have a sort of awakward area in our apartment... a catch all of a sort. Well, it's time to put on the hard hats and get to work....


Disaster Zone!

Clean up time...

Hard at work!
(Actual EHME hard hat from the site!)


Welcome to your new Crafting Area, Rodriguez Family!!!

And the budget? Today we shopped at IKEA with a 10% Easter discount. The only thing we purchased for this little makeover were the two shelves shown above. On sale and with the discount they totaled only $38.00...$2 less than an amount we had stashed away from a little bit of Craigslisting a found ottoman...we found an ottoman that a neighbor had left by the dumpster, enjoyed it for a bit in our apartment, then sold it on Craigslist for $40! Thanks mystery neighbor for our new shelves! :)

The actual show was really moving. The Beach family really deserves every bit of love that they recieved. It was exciting to follow and in a way be apart of it all. If you watched the show you might have seen Taylor in the background with her sign!... if not you can catch it online soon.

Welcome home, Beach family! Welcome home, sweet Mercy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy 24th Birthday Frankie!

On April 3rd, 1986 a boy was born.

He became a brother.

He became a friend.

He became a youngman.

And, on this April 3rd he is a husband, my husband. :)

Lord, thank you for the gift of life and love.

I love you, Frankie! Happy Birthday!