A Modern Day Fairy Tale: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe: Fiesta Ravioli!!

I love Mexican food...and I love pasta! So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it! I am usually very good about writing down where I find each recipe, but I had forgotten on this one. I believe it is from an older Taste of Home magazine though. I will post the recipe as I'd written it, but because I don't like olives, I left those out. I also used cheese ravioli since I'm a vegetarian, but I'm sure you could do it with meat as well!! This was a super easy and tasty recipe, great for those nights when you don't have the energy to do much...which has been the norm around my house lately!!

Fiesta Ravioli

  • 1 package frozen ravioli
  • 1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
  • 1 jar (8 oz) salsa
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives drained
Cook ravioli. In a large skillet, combine enchilada sauce and salsa. Cook over medium heat until heated through. Drain the ravioli, add to sauce. Top with the cheese and olives, cover and cook over low heat 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

See, how easy is that? Enjoy!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Too Rich For A Bride by Mona Hodgson

From the Publisher:
With a head more suited to bookkeeping than a bridal veil, Ida’s dreams include big business- not beaus.

Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie's tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man's world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family's reservations about Mollie O'Bryan's business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can't ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed “suggestions” that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

My Thoughts:

'Too Rich for a Bride' by Mona Hodgson is book number 2 in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series. Before receiving the book, I was unaware that this was a sequel, but thankfully, even without reading the first book, I was able to follow the story and it stood on it's own very well. In this story, we meet Ida, a woman living in 1896 who had more desire to be involved in business and make her own money than to find love and be married, as was the norm for women in this time frame. She moves to the town of Cripple Creek to be near her sisters and in hopes of working with a successful business woman by the name of Mollie O Bryan. Along the way, she meets a traveling preacher Tucker Raines and a successful lawyer Colin Wagner and has to question what it is she believed she wanted more than anything.
I have to admit, I do not typically enjoy historical fiction, so please keep that in mind when reading my review. For that reason, I did have a bit of a hard time initially getting into the book and it seemed to move quite slow at first. But the more I read, the more I was drawn in and related to the characters and in the end fount it quite enjoyable. The characters were believable and despite the different time in which they were living, they went through many similar struggles as we might see today. In a society today where women are not uncommon in business and high powered jobs, there is still often an internal battle between having a family or pursuing these career goals, much like Ida's own struggles. The story was timeless and a few times I did find myself forgetting when this was supposed to have taken place. While I wouldn't place this on my must read list, I'm certainly happy with it, and am glad I decided to give it a chance. If you like historical romance, you will probably enjoy this book even more than I did.

You can read more and purchase this book here!

*I received a copy of this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Blogging for Books recently changed their system and to have more review option, I need a ranking score of 50%. If you could take a moment to rank this review, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday ???s

1. W
hat is your current favorite tv show?
Parenthood and Pretty Little Liars- I know, they're so similar, right? Ha!

2. What's the worst haircut you ever got?
The last haircut I got was probably the worst. The lady cutting my hair said I would look cute with the straight across bangs. Now I've never had bangs...ever...so I didn't know but figured she was the professional, and so I told her to do what she thought would look best...I hated it. Thankfully, I was able to pin them down, but for months it was horrible!

3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing?
Hmmm...when I was in the third grade, I got this awesome gift for my birthday or Christmas...you write and illustrate your own story, send it in and they send you a copy of your 'book' back...I thought that was pretty awesome!!
4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips?
Honestly, just that you don't have to spend a ton of money to have a great time. My son is perfectly happy to go to Toys R Us and not buy anything. (He likes playing with their train tables, even though he has his own at home!) Beaches, parks, etc don't cost a ton of money either but are lots of fun!

5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly?
We've driven, flown and taken the train cross country. My favorite- the train! But between the other two, I'd probably choose to fly, driving it is exhausting! However, we always end up having a truck load going back with us, so it doesn't make much sense;)

1. Are you a different person than you were five years ago?
Definitely, 5 years ago I was just graduating high school, had not yet (really) met my husband and just had a lot of very personal stuff going on. I think I am much stronger now than I ever could have believed at that time.

2. If you could go on Amazing Race, who would you take with you as your partner and why?
I've never watched it, but I'd probably have to say my husband!

3. Does Facebook or Twitter actually bring more stress or good in to your life?
I love Facebook. It makes it so much easier to stay connected with friends and family, despite living so far away!

4. June is National Soul Food Month- what’s your soul food?
Hmmm...I'm not sure. But I absolutely love anything cajun style...mmmm!

5. If you could live in any other era than the current, which one would it be & why?
This is a given, if you know me! The 50s. I am very conservative and love the traditional family roles- being a wife and mom, cooking for my family, etc. while my husband is the head of the household, etc. (My husband says I'm more sexist that he is, but truly, I enjoy taking on this role and it works for us.) And I love the fashions-cute little dresses, cardigans, pearls, aprons...yes, please!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Craft Time: Autism Mini Wreath!!!

I hope you aren't tired of these autism awareness crafts yet, because I have several more ideas running around in my head still! This one was a last minute idea I threw together over the weekend, but I love how it turned out. I'd gotten a bag of random craft stuff at a yard sale awhile back and in it were some of these circle embroidery frame things. I don't sew but I held onto them to do something different with later. Anyway, I decided this weekend that I wanted a new wreath for my door, and planned on redoing the one I had and wrapping it with the awesome puzzle piece ribbon I used on the basket I shared previously. Turns out, I didn't have enough, so instead, I used one of the embroidery frames and some of the puzzle pieces left over from frames, etc. So I made a mini wreath from that. I couldn't get the ribbon to look how I'd like, so instead, I attached a magnet, since our doors are magnetic. For a spur of the moment craft, I love it!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Mailbox Monday- June 20!

Time to share once again what came in my mailbox FREE this past week!! This week, as you can see, was a big coupon week!!

  • 5 Eucerin Coupons (3 for $3 off, 2 for $1)
  • 6 55 cents off Blue Bunny
  • 4 Apple and Eve juice coupons (3 50 cents off one, 1 $1 off 2)
  • 2 FREE Lane Snack Cracker coupons
  • 2 55 cents off Bush's Baked Beans coupon
  • Various coupons for Dial brand produts, including 2 $1 Purex Fabric Softener Crystals!
  • Coupon booklet from SC Johnson
  • Tide $2 off any size Stain Release product
  • Book- 'Too Rich For a Bride' by Mona Hodgson (for review)
  • Parents magazine
If you get a lot of great freebies in your mailbox too and want to share...or if you just want to see what others are getting, head on over to a Frugal Friend and check it out!!!

Frugal Friend

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Recipe: Mexicali Mac and Cheese Bake!!

It's been awhile since I've posted any recipes so I thought it was about time to share one! (And had been asked by Facebook friends for this one.) Honestly I've been in a bit of a cooking rut...I can't seem to find anything new and appealing or if I do, it takes too much time. With a child that needs constant supervision, I can't take the time I would like...unfortunately. But this recipe is quick and easy...which makes sense since it came from a cookbook called 'Incredibly Easy Weeknight Meals'. And to make it a little healthier and add in some more veggies, instead of macaroni, I used Ronzoni Garden Delight (okay, and I had a coupon too!!)

Mexicali Mac and Cheese Bake

  • 1 Jar Ragu Cheesy Double Cheddar Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (4 oz)diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (or other pasta)
  1. Preheat over to 400 F.
  2. In large bowl stir together cheese sauce, water, chiles, tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir in the uncooked pasta.
  3. Place in 2 qt casserole and cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncover for another 5 minutes.

And there you have it! Super easy and delicious!! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesday!

what color best describes you + why?
Hmm…I'm not sure. My favorite color is red, but I'm not sure that would describe me, as I don't like attention and let's face it, red does grab attention;) Maybe pink because I'm very girly and follow a lot of traditional female roles...

{two} how have you changed in the past year?
This past year has changed me a lot, for the better. For those that don't know, when my son was diagnosed with Autism, almost 2 years ago, we knew he would have a deployment coming up. For his previous deployment, I had moved home and stayed with family. Because I don't drive and have a lot of anxieties besides that (and at the time had no support system here either), it made more sense. However, once we received that diagnosis, I told my husband we needed to move on base, and I would start driving on base and that we would stay here where he could receive better services. Both my husband and I are from small towns that don't have nearly the number of options and resources we've been given here. These past 10 months have been the first time that I have lived on my own, the first time I've been 100% in charge of all household responsibilities-chores, bills, repairs, etc. (Though I did handle the bulk on it anyway, I still had my husband to run everything by beforehand and truly that changes everything.) I have learned that I can do many things that I never believed possible and that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. While I might not like having to be away from my husband, I now know that I can handle these things when he is away. What a year it has been!!!

{three} have you ever had any surgeries?

{four} why did you start your blog?
I started my blog for a few reasons. One, to start writing again after too many years, because I really missed it! And second, to share stories and recipes with my friends and family because there was only so much I could post in a Facebook update!

{five} what are you looking forward to this summer?
I posted a whole list last week...but of course the big one- my husband coming home!!!!

{six} do you have any family traditions for the 4th of July?
Not really, out here anyway. When I was growing up we went together to watch fireworks every year...but out here we don't have anything special.

{seven} what’s something new that you’ve tried in the past few months?
Hmmm...I've tried a few new recipes I suppose..one of which I will be posting soon!

{eight} what is the perfect a/c temperature?
We don't have an A/C:( It wouldn't be so bad if we could open all our windows...but we can only open one because my son will push out the screens and escape the house...

{nine} what was the last movie you saw in the theater?
I saw part of Tangled in theater for a Sensory Family Films event...my son was still not a fan so we didn't make it through the whole thing!

{ten} what song do you think everyone should hear at least once?
Beauty From Pain by Superchick

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mailbox Monday-June13!

Linking up again fot Mailbox Monday, where you share everything that came in your mail free for the week! Such fun:)

  • Lemi Shine Machine Cleaner, Dishwasher Powder and Rinse Aid! This is my most exciting freebie (won through their Facebook page). If you have hard water, this is a must have for your dishwasher :)
  • Zyrtec Coupon- Free 5 tablet sample pack (or $7 off 24 tablet +)
  • Garnier Fructis Sample
  • Degree Deodorant Sample + Coupon (One of the great benefits of free samples, is that they often include great coupons too!)
  • Family Circle Magazine
  • Woman's Day Magazine
  • Food and Wine Magazine (I got a free subscription when I bought my Kitchenaid!)

For more great freebies, check out Mailbox Monday!!

Frugal Friend

Friday, June 10, 2011

Milspouse Friday Fill-In (& A Few Random Tidbits!)

I haven't filled one of these out in awhile (really, I think I've only done it maybe once before), so I thought I'd do one today. But first a few bits of information:

I mentioned in my last couple posts that we may be moving in the near future, so I wanted to just briefly elaborate. A week ago, we found out that my husband has been flagged for recruiting. I know some of you reading this are feeling sorry for us right now, it's a very difficult and high stress job, BUT he's actually been wanting this for awhile now. He needs a break from deploying, and with a child with autism, who doesn't handle changes well, he needs a break too. Again, we know it's not an easy job and have no illusions it will be, but we're used to long hours and we've discussed at length how to make time for us and to support each other in this new adventure. Our hope is that we will be closer to home (not that we can get much further!), but that's not guaranteed. We may be further, we may even stay here...who knows! Right now there are no orders in hand so nothing is for sure right now. We only know that he's been flagged. (We're also hoping the class won't be for awhile, again, my son cannot handle him coming home only to leave again so soon.) Of course, it comes with some mixed emotions, we love our friends and house here and Shaun has an amazing class that we LOVE...so it's bittersweet. So anyway, that's our news. Prayers that everything works out are greatly appreciated.

Another little tidbit: As many of you remember awhile back, I was nominated to be considered as one of Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Family Blogs...and thanks to your support and votes, I made the list! The final list will be featured next month, but I need something from you guys first, in my little questionnaire I have to fill out, I'm asked for 3 adjectives to describe this blog, would love to hear your thoughts on this! Just leave them in a comment, or e-mail: randi.amoderndayfairytale@gmail.com! Thanks for your help in advance!!

Okay, now onto the fill-in:

1. When you vacation what type of vacation do you like to take (beach, historic, adventurous, food oriented, etc.)?

Honestly, we don't do typical vacations! When my husband has leave (which is really only pre or post deployment or the holidays), we always go home. This year, for my husband's post deployment leave, it will actually be the first time we won't be going back. (My son cannot handle being out of therapy/school and all the travel so soon again, so as much as we'd love to go home, we have to do what's best for him.) We have a lot of things we'd love to do during this time- such as Disney- but if you read my last post, that's still uncertain too!

2. What is your best memory associated with a song (you know we all have tons!)?

Hmmm, this is tough! I have many great ones, I can't narrow it down to just one!!
'Feels Like Home' Chantal Kreviazuk- This is the first song my husband and I danced to, so it naturally always makes me think of that moment, and him in general.

'If I Didn't Have Love' John Martin Keith- This reminds me of a moment with my best friend Erica that was actually a very sad and emotional moment, but a reminder that she's there for me even in my worst moments!

And I have several that remind me of various memories with my other best friend Brittany- including 'Lady Marmalade', 'I've Had The Time of My Life', 'Thriller'...just to name a few:)

3. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with your time?

Hmm...I cannot imagine not having any obligations! Seriously...my son needs 24/7 supervision, but I wouldn't trade him for anything:)

4. What is one thing about you that people do NOT typically notice at first that you wish they would?

Well I don't know if there's anything that they don't NOTICE, but I have two common misconceptions when people first meet me. The first, many still assume that I am a teen mom. Seriously...or the babysitter, or big sister...I've gotten them all. It's really quite frustrating! I'm 23 years old (almost 24) and people still think I'm 16! At least this will be nice when I'm older;) However, being a young mom and looking younger, it does sometime seem like people don't expect me to be a good mom, which I am. The constant public tantrums don't help, but such is the life with autism. The other is that many people also think I'm stuck up or don't like them. I am very quiet. I have social anxiety and starting conversations and making friends is very difficult for me so I don't usually talk much in social situations until I get to know people a little better. I am perfectly content to sit back and listen rather than jump into conversations, but I'm actually very friendly (I like to think) and like pretty much everyone! Really!

5. It’s a summer of sequels, and if you had to live in one of each of the following “worlds” (there are three total) which would you choose and why?

X-Men: Be a Mutant, what would your power be? Okay, I cannot remember what their powers are. Haha. That's sad...hmmmm...
–Harry Potter: Be a Witch or Muggle? I blame Brittany that I even know what these mean! ha! But I'd go with witch, I think!
–Twilight: Be a Vampire or Werewolf? Who would want to be a werewolf really? I'd definitely have to go vampire on this one...but not a sparkly one...that's just crazy...don't even get me started! (Really, I'd prefer to be Buffy;))

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Summer♥

It's officially summer break for my little man and we have a lot to look forward to this summer! So for this week's 10 on Tuesday, I'm sharing our list of 10 things we're looking forward to this summer!!!

1. The summer premier of Pretty Little Liars! Very, very excited for this next week. I LOVE this show!

2. Trips to the beach. We really don't go to the beach too often, surprisingly, since we have an ocean view (Shaun likes to run off and it makes this mommy very nervous!). However, with the possibility that that might very well be our last summer in California, I plan on taking full advantage of it.

3. Birthdays! Shaun 4th and my 24th birthdays are both in August! I'm hoping to throw him a nice Thomas party with all of his friends!!

4. Scentsy's BBMB in July. (That's Bring Back My Bar for those who aren't into Scentsy). They are bringing back one of my absolute favorites- Orange Dreamsicle for the month of July only so I plan on stocking up. I'm wanting to try Root Beer Float too...mmm...Not that I need any more...I just reorganized and counted the bars I have...a grand total of 51!!

5. A possible trip to Disneyland. This is still up in the air. Shaun is terrified of Cars. And Toy Story. And Phineas and Ferb. And a bit scared of Alladin, Lion King...and a few others. Cars is the worst and the one I'm most concerned about though, it started out as just the movie as the others are, but now he doesn't like seeing the characters on anything...so we'll see what happens!!

6. Progress. My son started ABA therapy up again last week so I look forward to the progress he will make, and hopefully an end to some of the negative behaviors.

7. Spending more time with my little man! With no school, we will have a lot more time to spend together!!

8. Homemade Ice Cream!! Need I say more?

9. Summer clothes! I love summer clothes...okay, not so much the shorts and tank tops for me, but the dresses and skirts! I could live in them. I'll wear them year round anyway, but it's nice to not freeze when I do!!!

10. And finally, the most exciting and important of all: being back together as a family again...just a few more months of this deployment left...and I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!Photobucket

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mailbox Monday!

I've never participated with Mailbox Monday, but I always love reading them so I thought I'd join in this week! For those that have never heard of it, Mailbox Monday is where you share what came in your mailbox FREE for the week. So here's my share (I'm not entirely sure all of it came this week, and I may have missed some things too, but you get the idea!)

  • Family Circle Magazine
  • Woman's Day Magazine
  • Parents Magazine
  • Gold Bond Lotion sample & $1 off coupon
  • Coupon for FREE 12 pack coke product
  • Coupon for FREE Deli Lunch Meat Combo
  • Coupon for FREE Sandwich Combo Lunchable (also $1 off coupons for both)
  • Secret Sample
I love when I check the mail to find great (free) goodies waiting for me...It's like Christmas;) Hope you enjoyed! Check out Mailbox Monday for more!!

Frugal Friend

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Scripture and a Snapshot- Ruth 1:16

"Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God." - Ruth 1:16

I found this verse a few days ago and thought it was very appropriate for military marriages. We recently found out that a move may be in the near future for us which is exciting, and scary and sad and everything in between. Ultimately the important thing is that we are together and in the end we will be exactly where God intends.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Money Saving Tips @ This Little Piggy Bank!

While this is not a couponing or money saving blog, I have mentioned on several occasions how much I love getting a bargain and saving money. I hate paying full price for anything, and over time I've come up with a lot of great money saving ideas that work for my family and I'm always more than happy to share what I've learned. So I was excited to have the oppurtunity to do a guest post for This Little Piggy Bank for her feature called, 'What Works for Me'-tips from real people everywhere on how they save money!! You can read my post here! Enjoy!!