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

Welcome to our life

Thursday, July 26, 2012

what’s cookin’?



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.



egg salad, cucumber slices


pancakes, eggs and sausage


groupon for Sammy’s pizza


grilled cheese, apples, carrot stix


red beans and rice, salad


parmesan tilapia, broccoli, crockpot baked potato



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! 


Gluten-Free Baked Oatmeal Casserole
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6
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

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
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.

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.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

what’s cookin’?



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.


hot dogs, cottage cheese with pears


Red Beans and Rice, Salad and Cornbread


Meatloaf,Cheesy Grits, broccoli


at Mimi’s in Topeka


Spaghetti, Salad, baguette


Chicken Tacos, Black Beans and Rice


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


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.


The aroma was enticing.


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.


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.

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
                      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.