Archive - March 2014

All is Calm: March
Stir Crazy
Frozen Giveaway!
Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Ash Wednesday

All is Calm: March

Whew!  I’m a little late with this month’s pages because I was without my computer for about a week while we disassembled our entire office to make room for a new desk.  Pictures for that, later!


I really can’t believe it is the end of March already.  And yes, I do say that every month.  First off, go back and add some notes to your Year in Review page for March. Did you go anywhere interesting during Spring Break?  My boys started taekwondo in March, so I’ll make a note of it – and future ranks will be noted throughout the year.  So when it comes time to write our annual newsletter, I can be sure to mention it.

Today I have 3 new pages for your Christmas Planner.  These are prettied-up pages of what I’ve used for years to prepare for Christmas cooking and baking. The first page in the file is a notes page, which I always throw in, just in case you need it and so you don’t have to go looking for it in an earlier download.

Christmas Meal Planning Pages

Holiday Recipes Index

I love to make lists, obviously.  This page is for you to write down the names of all the holiday recipes you’ll be using.  There is a line under the title for you to write a category, like cookies, breads, candy, Christmas dinner – whatever will make it easier for you.  Then write in the recipe name and the source.  The source can be your recipe box, the name of a cookbook, a Pinterest board or other online recipe site.  You can also do a page of recipes you want to try, and if they are a success, add them to your index.

Gather up all  those family favorites and start writing them down on the Holiday Recipes index.  And while you’re at it…

Holiday Grocery List

Add the ingredients for each recipe to the Holiday Grocery List.  Sometimes Christmas goodies require ingredients that you don’t use any other time, so you need to make sure you write it down on this list.  You don’t need to write down basic staples unless you use a lot of something.  For example, I go through a lot of butter, powdered sugar and flour over the holidays.  Keep a running total of how much of those kinds of things you need and add the total to the grocery list.

When you have finished, you will have a master shopping list that you can refer to year after year.  I keep my master list in my binder and copy it to our weekly shopping list as we get closer to the holidays.  Also, when these things start going on sale, you can plan your shopping accordingly to get all that sweetened condensed milk for the best price.

Holiday Meal Planner

This page is to help you plan out your big meals.  We actually have a traditional Christmas Eve meal as well as a big Christmas Day dinner.  Hmm, we have some Christmas breakfast traditions, too. Make sure that all your big meals have their recipes and ingredients included on the recipe index and grocery list.  Then use the meal planner to make sure you’ve got everything covered.  There is enough room to write the recipe name, along with the person making it. You can start filling this page out now, especially if you menu stays the same every year.

And since we’re thinking baking and cooking, now is a good time to assemble a Christmas Cookbook.  You can copy or print out all your recipes and put them in their own little binder.  Or you can put them in different section of your holiday binder.  If you make a cookbook, you can use the recipe index as a table of contents.

This can be a time-consuming project, so that’s all I have for you this month.  You can download the Holiday Meal Planning Pages here: Christmas Planner March

So tell me, how are you liking these pages?  Do you think they will be helpful when we get closer to Christmas?  Is there a particular planner page you’re hoping to see?

Stir Crazy

We have lived here for 4 1/2 years, which is an eternity in Army years.  This is the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere.  I’m getting a little stir crazy.  It’s time to shake things up a little.

I never dreamed this would happen to me.  When I was growing up, we moved 3 times.  Once, we relocated to a new city.  Then we bought a new house, moved into a rental for a few months while the new house closed, then moved into it.  I was the only person I knew who moved.  It wasn’t traumatic but it made me feel different.  All I wanted to do when I grew up was to live in one house for the rest of my life.

So I married an Army guy.  An Army guy who was supposed to finish his commitment, then go to law school and set me up in a lifestyle to which  I was looking forward to becoming accustomed.

Yeah, so 4 years turned into 5 and if you’re going to do five, you might as well do 10.  And if you’re going to do 10, you might as well stick it out til 20 and get retirement benefits.  Which is exactly what we did, and moved 9 times.  Nine times!!!! An average of 2 years per assignment.

And now it’s been 4 1/2 years in the same house and I need a change.  I’ve been on Pinterest and somehow I’ve convinced my long suffering husband (sorry dear, payback for all those moves) that we need to rip the carpet up in the living room and replace it with hardwood.  And rip up the carpet on the staircase.  And if we’re going to do that, while we’ve got the banister down,  we might as well replace the balusters with wrought iron.  All 89 of them.  And paint the laundry room, dining room and the whole interior, actually.  New front doors would be super nice, since our front porch looks so grand.

Here are the inspiration photos  for all my upcoming projects.  And don’t worry, I’ll be sharing this whole journey right here on the blog!


  • Staircase Remodel
  • Tiffany Blue Laundry Room
  • New Front Doors
  • Wrought Iron Balusters
  • Paint Books on the stairs
  • Interior Paint Colors
  • Change from Brass to Bronze
  • Create Gallery Wall

That ought to keep us busy for a while, don’t you think?

Original source photos found here:

Staircase Remodel
Laundry Room Makeover
New Front Doors
Wrought Iron Balusters
Books Painted on Stairs
Interior Paint Colors
Brass to Bronze
Gallery Wall

Frozen Giveaway!

Have you seen the movie “Frozen”?  I haven’t.  I know, I know!  But I’ve got it on pre-order and the DVD will arrive tomorrow.  My little boys and I are planning our own personal viewing night, complete with popcorn and hot chocolate.

Speaking of which…

If you haven’t seen “Frozen”, but most especially if you have and you LOVE it and you’re planning on getting the DVD – hold on just one second.  The Mac and Cheese Chronicles is a proud sponsor of this amazing giveaway.

1173842_10152273792659378_2046764294_nCheck it out! The “Frozen” DVD and the soundtrack,  a Movie Enhancement Package of Yum (I made that up) that includes hot chocolate, marshmallows, popcorn AND an Olaf mug, a Mickey and Minnie Poster and a $100 Disney Gift Card.

I’m dying here because I can’t enter.  But you can, and it’s really simple.  Behold – here’s a Rafflecopter Contest Whatchamahoozit.

And, for those of you who are entirely sick of being Frozen (I’m looking at you, Maryland, with your 8 1/2 feet of snow) – how about a vacation in sunny Florida or California?  Go over there on my sidebar and scroll down until you see my affiliate link.  My friend Jennifer will hook you up with some sweet Disney vacation deals.  She can help you with either FL or CA. She’s the one who put this whole giveaway together.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day coming up, this is my recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage in the crock pot.  Need I say that it is quick and easy?  And yum! I didn’t make anything special for St. Patrick’s Day for years until I found this recipe because I never knew just how easy corned beef is.

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage


  • 4-5 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 c fresh baby carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 3 c chopped cabbage
  • 1 corned beef brisket (3 1/2 lbs), with spice packet
  • 3 c water


  1. Place potatoes, carrots and cabbage in slow cooker.
  2. Cut brisket in half, place over vegetables.
  3. Add water and contents of spice packet.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

Ash Wednesday

How is it March already?  I think January and February speed by the fastest of all the months, which is sad for me because I love winter. I’m just glad that this year, Lent and Easter have held off until February was over.

Last year, Bip and I started a Lent Lapbook.  If you’re a homeschooler, you are probably at least vaguely family with lapbooks as a good hands-on way to teach material on one central topic.  Even though Lent has begun, it isn’t too late to start a lapbook.  I do not possess the organizational skills to actually create one from scratch, so I purchased mine as a download from this site: Lapbooks for Catholics -Lent.   The printable file is $10, which isn’t a bad deal, considering how many pages and activities it comes with.  Most of the activities have multiple options to meet the abilities of a range of children.

Lent Lap BookLent Lap Book 2There is so many activities included that we didn’t even get close to finishing last year.  I chose the things that were most important that Bip learn as a 2nd grader. Now we’re going to add more to it this year and build on what he knows.  This could turn into a multi-year study of Lent for us!

Another good resource for Lent is by my friend Jen over at The Polka Dot Posie.  She has created a free printable worksheet to go along with the popular 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge.  She also has some good ideas for making the challenge more about serving others.  Tell her I sent you! The Polka Dot Posie 40 Bags Printable

40Days Printable

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