Green Acres in the City ~ Join us a begin the journey in search for a simpler life...

Welcome to our life

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

step back a pause...




As the Holidays are upon us I am forever reminded this last week to take a moment to pause and reflect on what is important in life.   The important things in life are not the house you live in, the car you drive or the type of clothes on your back.  What really matters is how we live our lives daily.  Can you lay your head on your pillow at night and answer the question "Did I live my life to the fullest and respect those around me?" If you can answer "yes" then maybe we are on the right track.  The important things in life are your family, friends and faith in what you believe.

 Mr. Miller and I have been on a "spiritual journey" of late.  We have been reminded and inspired to remember all the blessings that we have in our lives.   Two of which are very sweet little boys that warm our hearts daily. 

 

 
Yes, they can stress us out too but we have decided to try and count to 10 more often, step back and realize that they too can get as frustrated at situations like we do.  It is important to remember that they are sponges and will do what they are taught and repeat what they hear.  Henry learned a song in preschool for his program and he keeps singing it and I am reminded daily by my 3 year old that what he is singing is so true. (At least for this family)

"Jesus in the family,
Happy, Happy Home!"

In light of the tragedies this last week I am asking that we all hug our children a little tighter and pause to realize what is really important.  Remember that we all need to take care of each other.  I can't help but think of the golden rule that we all have learned as children ourselves,

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."
 


Friday, November 16, 2012

November 2012 Menu Plans

 

fall decor 002

I am trying something new this month.  I am planning the menu for a month at a time.  I know this could seem daunting but it actually wasn’t that difficult.  I sat down with a calendar and went to town.  I looked at the month’s meetings etc. and decided to give it my best shot.  I am going to try this for a few months and see if I notice a savings too.  Don’t be afraid of leftovers.  You can always add a salad or different side with them.

I am trying to buy my meat at Costco and stick to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for the rest.  I am buying my organic bread at Costco because I can get 2 loves for under $6. I buy a loaf for each week and they freeze well. Organic ground beef and milk is also very affordable at Costco.

Use Pinterest and my cookbooks for meal planning and recipes.  We have tacos at least once a week because the Miller boys love them. 

I know there will times that I switch up days but that is ok.  I can also then just go weekly for fresh fruit and dairy.

November 2012

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

       

1

2

3

4

Tacos

Corn

5

Lasagna

Garlic Toast

6

Chicken and Noodles

Applesauce

7

Leftovers

8 Bunco

Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup

9

Turkey Burgers and Salad

10 M - 42

Davis Dinner Party

11

Spaghetti

Spinach Salad

12

Oven Tacos

Carrots and Ranch

Pinterest

13STM 4 All

Leftovers

14

Ground Beef Stroganoff

Broccoli

Pinterest

15

Roasted Chicken

Stuffing

Green Beans

16

Cheese Pizza

Salad

17

Leftovers

18

Meatloaf

Mashed Potatoes

Peas

19

Ravioli Casserole

20

Grilled Cheese

Tomato Soup

21

Newton

22

Newton

23

Newton

24

Tacos

Carrots and Ranch

25

Chili

Cornbread

26

Hickory Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

Pinterest

27

Chicken Nuggets

Mac n Cheese

28

Leftovers

29

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Rice

Peas

30

Salmon

Asparagus

Potatoes

 
             

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Long time no post....

I know it has been a while since I have visited you all.  I have been super busy with Cameron's school and well I just needed a blogging break.  I am back and feel rejuvenated.

Today has been a "catch up" and planning for Thanksgiving day.  We are loading up the new family truckster {long story} and will be heading to Newton, Kansas for a 3 day get away.  Gigi will be turning 92 this year and my 3 Miller Men and I decided that we would take this Thanksgiving show on the road and head her direction.

I have to say this Mama is a wee bit excited herself.  Gigi, well lets just say she is beside herself too.  I am sure it is all she has talked about at the beauty parlor and card table on Saturdays.  She is a fabulous story teller.  Heck at 92 think of all the stories she has stored up there.

I just planned the menu with a little help from my past years menu plans, Food Network and my new friend Pinterest.  I swear there needs to be a 12 step program.  "Hello my name is Maeghan and I am a pinterest addict".  Here is a sneak peak as to what will be served at the Miller Farm this year.

 
 
Thanksgiving 2012
 Roasted Turkey with  Pioneer Women's Turkey Brine
Mashed Potatoes
Sage Stuffing
Fresh Cranberry and Orange Salad
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc
 
I am beyond excited that for the first time I get to make Thanksgiving Dinner at the farm.  It really is going to be a Walton's Thanksgiving.  Yes, I am still obsessed with how Olivia Walton could keep everything under control and in order with all of those children plus bake the perfect pie.  I am working on that.
The boys are so excited to run the farm and help Gigi decorate for Christmas next Friday.  What are your plans?


Friday, September 14, 2012

free shipping at FLUFF!

 

557323_464351090263906_176433822_n

Have you been to Fluff yet?  Here is a great reason to visit us. FREE SHIPPING!  Yes, you heard me right.  We are offering free shipping on all orders thru Sunday, September 16th at 9pm.  Get over there what are you waiting for?  www.fluffdiaperboutique.com

Here are a few companies that we stock.

logo

 

FuzziBunzBestNewProductAward285x188

outletstore_maggie_17may10

Local companies that we pride ourselves on carrying.

DCDLogoWeb

Amazing wool dryer balls.  Have you tried them?  They will cut your drying time in half!

CarmelPecan1

 

mamabirdhc

Great Fleece Soaker, Shorties, Skirties and Longies.

GAC Logo

Of course, my very own company!

Give us a try, we would love to help you in your journey into cloth.  Start here to find your free shipping.  Can’t wait to hear from you.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

are you ready for some football?

I should say are you ready for some St. Thomas More football?  Yep, that time is here again.  The St. Thomas More Cyclones are at it again.  With Cameron in 3rd grade now we are entering the Parochial League.  It is fun to travel and play other schools.  Mr. Miller is helping coach this year.  We actually had 5 Dads step up and are helping our boys.  Our head coach, Coach Brown, is an amazing leader to the other Dads and we are grateful to them all.

 

In past years our 3rd and 4th grade boys have played flag within our own school league.  This year they added the option of tackle for our grades.  Some us were not comfortable with that yet, so our amazing Athletic Director and my good friend, Cathlin, helped us get organized with the PLKC here in Kansas City. 

The Cyclones had their first game this past Sunday against St. John Lalande and well we didn’t do so hot they played a great game and should be proud of themselves.  We showed spirit and tenacity despite only having 2 practices due to the much needed rain we received in the 2 weeks prior.  Our boys will be back at it again this weekend in Liberty against St. James.  My own Cyclone, #14, sure showed improvement over the past years.  We are catching the ball and really getting into to being on the line.  Thank you to Uncle Jeff for coming to his game Sunday.  We loved having extra family there. 

Here are a few moments from Sunday’s game.

DSCN0624

DSCN0625

DSCN0616

 

We almost have as many coaches as the Chiefs!DSCN0619

DSCN0612

DSCN0617

DSCN0621

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ready to rock the 3rd grade

 

 

Well school is back in session.  Cameron is in the 3rd grade this year and Henry will be starting preschool in September.  Where has the time gone?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I posted this picture on my blog?

1st Day of School 003

Four years later he is now this big boy who is thriving in school.  Loves his teacher, Math and to sing.

DSCN0564

Watch out Cameron, Henry is on your tail and watching all that you do.  Continue to be the best big brother you are.  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you.

 

DSCN0566

DSCN0567

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not forget your mother when she is old.  Learn the truth and never reject it.  Get wisdom, self-control and understanding.  The father of a good child is very happy; parents who have wise children are glad because of them.  Make your mother and father happy; give your mother a reason to be glad.”

Proverbs 23:22-25

Thursday, August 16, 2012

what’s cookin’?

 

DSCN1124

School’s back in session for the Cam Man, 3rd Grade.   Junior Mint still has a few weeks left before he starts pre school and it looks like my Sippy Cup Gang will be starting up again.  Life is just ever evolving around Green Acres and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Here is what’s on the menu this week.  We have few activities this weekend.  We are going to a Royal’s game on Saturday – a first for Henry, and a family reunion on Sunday.  Meals will continue to be simple and trying to use what is left in the garden.  Let’s just say I will be adding shredded carrots and diced bell peppers to anything I can.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and if you have a little one headed back to school, good luck.

MENU

Thursday

Tuna steaks, salad

Friday

Salmon Burgers, Slaw

Saturday

Sloppy Joes, chips, fruit

Sunday

Johnson Family BBQ

Monday

Spaghetti, Green Beans

Tuesday

Turkey and Black Bean Soft Tacos

Wednesday

Tater Tot Soup, Salad

Monday, August 6, 2012

garden woes...

Remember this guy?  Well he has stayed around.  He has decided that I am his new "Sweet Tomatoes" salad bar.  He has helped himself to the apples that fell from tree, which I was fine with, and now he has removed the very top greens of my carrot bed and he and Bambi have partnered up on the green beans.  He is ceasing to lose his cuteness credits here.  Bambi and her posse have also made my hosta bed out front another fine dining establishment.

It looks as if I am going to be hitting the Farmer's Market and City Market in order to have anything to can for the winter months.  This drought has not been helpful in the Green Acres garden.  I am going to cross my fingers and still put in my fall crops of Broccoli, Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Spinach.  Let's see what happens.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

what’s cookin’?

 

DSCN1124

Here’s what’s cookin’ July 26 2012 – August 1, 2012.  I am amazed lately how I can really keep our grocery bill in check.  We have been around $65 for the last 3 weeks.  Planning a menu and cutting out any processed foods makes a huge difference.

 

Thursday

egg salad, cucumber slices

Friday

pancakes, eggs and sausage

Saturday

groupon for Sammy’s pizza

Sunday

grilled cheese, apples, carrot stix

Monday

red beans and rice, salad

Tuesday

parmesan tilapia, broccoli, crockpot baked potato

Wednesday

leftovers!

Trying to still cook in the crockpot as much as possible.  What have you been doing to cook dinner and not heat up the house?

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

gluten-free baked oatmeal casserole

Found this amazing recipe on Pinterest yesterday morning.  I had not had breakfast yet so I made it.  I changed mine up a bit from the original post.  I omitted the chocolate, but wait before you pass away from shock, it really didn’t need it.  Mr. Miller and I had it again this morning and it is wonderful!  I simply put it in the fridge pre cut into six slices.  I took some out and heated it up and voilĂ  instant oatmeal! 

IMG-20120723-00505

Gluten-Free Baked Oatmeal Casserole
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6
Ingredients
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup blueberries {any berries work}
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slices

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375°F and generously spray the inside of a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the walnuts, half the berries. (Save the other half of the berries and walnuts for the top of the oatmeal).
In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract.

Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. Arrange the remaining berries and walnuts on top. Add the banana slices to the top then pour the milk mixture over everything. Gently shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar.

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the birth of fluff…


I talked last week about some exciting new things happening in my world.  Well here it is:

Fluff header small
My business partner and good friend, Kristen, and I opened a Cloth Diaper Boutique in the heart of Old Shawnee Kansas.  We are operating inside of Heart to Heart Creations at 11004 Johnson Drive.  You can find out updates and information right now here.  Our website is still under construction but will be live soon for our online business at Fluff Diaper Boutique  Here is a brief bio about us.


“Fluff is a Mom owned, and operated Cloth Diaper and Natural Parenting boutique located in Heart to Heart in Shawnee, KS. We offer popular commercial brands in addition to products produced by local talented Moms and Dads. We also offer an online store with baby registry at www.fluffdiaperboutique.com.
We offer many different styles and ways to cloth diaper that little bottom in your life. Together Kristen and Maeghan they have over 20 years in retail experience and they have over 5 years of cloth diaper experience.
Kristen Marquis the Mother of 4, 3 girls and 1 son, has enjoyed using cloth diapers for her youngest child. She is an eco-friendly and natural parent who believes in the importance of taking care of the earth and our children as respectfully as possible. Kristen is the Head Merchandiser and brains on the behind the scenes business.
Maeghan Miller is the mother of 2 boys, when she had her 2nd over 3 years ago she knew she was going to use cloth and hasn’t looked back. She is also the WAHM behind Green Acres Closet Woolies. Maeghan will also use her experience in Marketing Fluff inside the store.
Based on own experience of getting started in Cloth, Kristen and Maeghan share a vision of teaching parents and others that cloth diapering doesn’t have to be a chore. It is fun and fashionable, earth friendly and in this economy cost effective. We don’t claim to know everything there is to know about cloth diapering but we will share what we do know and offer you an exciting journey into the world of Cloth Diapers. “

Kristen and I have prayed and worked very hard for this dream to come into reality.  It hasn’t been an easy road but we took our “post it notes” from God and knew that he would help us achieve our goals.  Thank you doesn’t seem enough to say to our parents, friends and neighbors who have supported us on this journey.  Here are a few pics of this journey.
Getting fixtures ready.  We really wanted to concentrate on up cycling if we could, garage sales for some and with the exception of the washboard, washtub and 2 cans of spray paint we were able to keep our costs down.
DSCN0493
DSCN0495

The door has been in my basement forever and I found the changing table at a Garage Sale for $7.  Kristen’s Mom gave us the paint and well the labor was provided by Mr. Miller and his sidekick Mr. Dutcher.  As for the little hands they were kept busy with wipes cleaning off the dust.
DSCN0496
DSCN0499
DSCN0500
DSCN0502
DSCN0503
Before:
DSCN0420
After:
DSCN0505
DSCN0515

Thursday, July 12, 2012

what’s cookin’?

 

DSCN0236

I am going to change things up a bit around here.  I have posted my “what’s cookin’?” on Mondays forever, but it seems that I do my shopping on Thursdays which means I plan my menu for the week from Thursday to Wednesday.  I feel like it makes more sense to share our menu planning on Thursdays with you, plus by shopping on Thursday my readers that use coupons have just gotten the new ads.

We are going to have a full weekend with tying up some loose ends on my new business venture with my friend, business partner and sister from another mother ~ Mama K.  We will share what is happening with you on Monday so stay tuned.  It is so exciting I am just about to burst! Plus we will have a house guest from Monday thru Wednesday, Cameron’s friend Collin is staying with us while his Mama is traveling next week and his Daddy’s work takes him out early in the morning.  We are thrilled to have him be with us.

Thursday

hot dogs, cottage cheese with pears

Friday

Red Beans and Rice, Salad and Cornbread

Saturday

Meatloaf,Cheesy Grits, broccoli

Sunday

at Mimi’s in Topeka

Monday

Spaghetti, Salad, baguette

Tuesday

Chicken Tacos, Black Beans and Rice

Wednesday

Cheeseburgers, Tots, Carrots with Ranch

Still loving to use the crockpot and do as much on the grill as we can.  We have had a nice respite from the heat but it will be back with a vengeance next week. UGH!

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

pickled carrots and jalapenos

This year our garden is carrot and hot pepper heavy.  Not complaining but just trying to find new ways to use these wonderful veggies together. 

We have a favorite Mexican restaurant here in Kansas City, Dos de Oros (I have shared our love for this place before.), they have a carryout Taqueria with some of the most amazing sauces and relishes.  Mr. Miller loves their carrot and hot pepper one so I figured why can’t I make this myself to have at home for everyday use.  “University of Google here I come!”

Up came a recipe from Guy Fieri.  It was super simple and is wonderful!

Cast of Characters

DSCN0413

Look at these wonderful “friends of the garden” that we grew!  I didn’t have enough jalapenos so I used a variety of Anaheim peppers too.

DSCN0416

The aroma was enticing.

DSCN0417 

The finished product.  Once it cooled I simply put in an airtight container in fridge.  The true test that is has passed the Mr. Miller seal of approval, the jar is now half empty.

IMG-20120704-00498

Thursday, July 5, 2012

daily jobs

In the great plan of organizing myself I have found it necessary and yes, ok, to divide my housework into daily chores.  When I was little we always cleaned the whole house, from top to bottom, on Saturday mornings.  Now I do realize that it was easiest to do it then because:
  1. we were in school on weekdays
  2. it kept us busy on Satuday mornings
  3. the house would be all clean for the coming week
  4. that is how my parents grew up

I am not complaining but I always hated Saturday mornings, especially when Dad decided that it was "clean out the garage" or "clean the windows" special project Saturday.  (Love you Dad!)  Yes, I can clean a window like no ones business with Vinegar, Water and scrunched up newspapers thanks to him. 

I read a recent  blog called Organizing Made Fun that I found on pinterest and she had some great ideas on organization plus the fact that she also has a son with high functioning Autism.  I felt a great connection with this Mama.  She divides her housework into 15 - 20 minutes a day.  I love it! 

I came up with a system of my own that seems to be working.  Mine is more of a 30 minute a day but it still works. 

  • monday: bathrooms and laundry
  • tuesday: change bed linens,special project
  • wednesday: windex cabinet glass and mirrors, laundry
  • thursday: mop floors, special projecty
  • friday: dust, laundry
Everyday I vaccuum, when you have a dog, cat and 2 little boys this is a must.  I will tell you that I have hard woods and only 2 big area rugs so this does not require for than 10 minutes every morning.  My special projects can range from a closet clean out, go thru boys play room or any thing I deem necessary. 

I can't tell you how much this has helped me.  I truly don't feel so overwhelmed any more as for as a tidy house goes.  It may not always be in perfect condition but hey, I am a mom of 2 boys, watch a little one for a friend 2 days a week and run 2 businesses out of Green Acres.  Whose perfect?  I know I am not.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

our new foodie

Mr. Miller and I were visiting in the dining room before dinner last night and he noticed we had a new friend in the back yard.  He decided that he was going to enjoy our apples that the squirrels have knocked out of the tree.   Apparently this “foodie” beaver groundhog (thanks for the correction to my pal Anni) approves because Cameron just informed me that he was back at the apple bar this morning.  As I researched these little critters they are referred to as land beavers too, so I wasn't far off.
DSCN0409
DSCN0410
DSCN0411

Monday, July 2, 2012

what's cookin'?



Sorry for the lapse in posts last week.  I plain and simply needed a week away from the blogosphere.  We have a lot happening in the world of Green Acres Closet and I will be able to post the exciting news soon.  So without further ado, lets get down to the eating around here.

Saturday:  Crock Pot Swiss Steak, Garlic Cauliflower Mash, Watermelon

Sunday:  Salsa Grilled Chicken, Fiesta Lime Rice, Salad

Monday:  Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole, Fruit Salad

Tuesday:  Grilled Tilapia, Spinach Salad, Broccoli

Wednesday:  Happy 4th of July!
                      Steaks on the Grill
                      Watermelon
                      Corn on the Cob

Thursday:  Swedish Meatballs, Rice, Cucumber Salad

Friday:  Leftovers!  Time to clean up all the little tid bits left from the week.

As you noticed we are doing a lot of crock pot cooking and grilling, we are in a heat wave here in the midwest.  Lots of 100's ahead in the week.  Stay cool and enjoy.


Friday, June 22, 2012

1st Communion

In April the 2nd graders at St. Thomas More celebrated their First Holy Communion.  It was a very beautiful day filled with many emotions.  Being that we are Episcopalian, Cameron received a special blessing from Father Don.  We were joined in this event by the Deacon and Pops, Gigi, Mimi and Poppa, Aunt Erika and Uncle Randy (his Godparents) and his cousins – Nate and Makennah. 

 

 

DSCN0091

DSCN0093

 

Cameron and C were very sharp dressed men.  They are not afraid to sport the bow ties.

DSCN0096

Cameron and our sweet little friend, Miss H of the MG’s.

DSCN0095

DSCN0114

Cameron had a special honor of presenting the gifts.  We didn’t let Gigi in on the surprise.  We knew that she would love this honor.  She is a very proud Catholic of 92 years.  She traveled from Newton to share in this special day for Cameron and his classmates.

DSCN0125

These kids did an amazing job and worked very hard to get to this special day.  My heart was definitely full that day.  Father Don kept referring to them as “little lambs” and on that day they definitely were, all 64 of them.

 

first communion