Life as a military wife and mother

OAMC Tuna Noodle Casserole July 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 12:52

Ok I admit it, I HATE tuna noodle casserole… in fact I HATE tuna fish period! Seriously, I don’t know how anyone can eat something like smells like cat food. But my husband loves it. So, of course, I make it for him. But here’s the great part… I freeze it in portion sizes, and feed it to him when I’m not going to be around for dinner. Works out perfectly for us all.

Here is a great Weight Watchers recipe, full of flavor and good for you!

12 oz uncooked egg noodles ( I up the fiber by using whole wheat noodles)

12 oz water packed tuna fish, drained

2 cups sliced mushrooms, any kind will do

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or broccoli chopped)

16 oz fat free sour cream

1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise**

2 tsp Dijon mustard (I have used Dijonaisse too, and it doesn’t affect the points)

2 tsp parsley, fresh, chopped (yeah right, we use dried)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese (I have made this with a ton of different cheeses and it all turns out good, use what you have!)

**(Just a note on the fat free mayo, we don’t use it on sandwiches and such but it’s awesome in casseroles! )


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Cook noodles according to package directions without added fat or salt; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Fold in tuna, mushrooms and peas.
  • Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, salt and pepper together in a separate bowl; fold into noodle mixture. Transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish; top with cheese. Bake until top is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

That’s it! Soooo easy and you can make a TON of it! It’ll freeze for a few months if you wrap it tightly.  Let it cool completely before freezing. Easy way to freeze the whole thing is to cook it in dollar store loaf pans then wrap in foil and put in freezer. When you are ready to eat it, let it thaw, and put it in the oven to warm it up. If you freeze in portions, wrap each potion in foil, then put in freezer containers. When you are ready, take one out, let it thaw, and toss it in a covered microwave dish until it’s heated through.


Once a Month Cooking for Weight Watchers June 25, 2011

Filed under: Dinner Bell is Ringing!,Frugal living,Organization,Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 19:46

I’m still new to blogging so I’m working on narrowing down the scope of this blog. One focus I would like to have that fits into frugal, organized living is the idea of Once a Month Cooking (OAMC).

The basic idea being take a couple days out of the month (or even one day a week), and doing lots of cooking and freezing it.

This works for me because I CAN cook and am pretty good at it, I just DON’T LIKE to cook. So, when I get in the mood to cook I better take advantage of it. Another plus to this is that I am on Weight Watchers® and MUST have healthy options at all times. I find if I get in a mood where I want to eat but don’t have something healthy to grab, I will grab something bad because it’s easy.

Another plus? Less processed food. I am trying very hard to stay away from “boxed” food as much as possible. So, while I could pop a Smart Ones® type meal in the microwave for a low point meal, it’s much better for my health to have something I prepared that’s not full of junk.

In this section of my blog I will be posting recipes that can be frozen for later use. Most of them will be Weight Watchers® friendly and I will try to have the nutrition information and Points Plus® values posted with the recipes.

So to get us started, here is a recipe I posted a few months ago for Pineapple-Honey Glazed Chicken. When I make this, I double, triple, or even quadruple the marinade. Then put each portion in a freezer zip bag and toss in the freezer. When we want to have this meal, in the morning I grab the marinade out, and my thawed chicken, put them all in a container in the fridge and let them go all day. Then just cook them for dinner.

The rice in this recipe can also be frozen, either in bulk or in individual portions. Then I just toss them in a bowl with a spoonful or two of water, put in the microwave just until warm through. Easy, peasy dinner!

Stay tuned for lots more freezer meal ideas!


Apologies for being MIA! March 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 09:12

Hi friends! I have to apologize for being so absent lately. As you may know my husband is in the Army and is getting ready to deploy sometime this month. So we are busy with preparations and doing as many family events and we can squeeze in before that happens. Just bare with me and once he is gone I’ll be up and running again with more great ideas and tips for you!

In the meantime, here are some shots of my beautiful family! Today is my son’s 3rd birthday and we celebrated on Sunday!

The Birthday Boy!

Birthday Friends!

First time bowling! (The men planning the strategy) LOL

And finally our big fur-baby, Kimber!

See you all again very soon!


Love the stuffed animals? February 18, 2011

Filed under: Cleaning,Organization,Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 06:59
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Well if you do, that’s great. Personally, I really get annoyed by stuffed animals. They are bulky and my dog seems to think they all belong to her. Where are you supposed to store them? In a box in the closet? Then why have them? One of those ugly hammocks in the corner of the room where they are forgotten about? What’s the point?

Well I’m here to give you an idea of how to have them out, but out of the way! Total cost? Couple dollars… if that! I went to the dollar store and snagged these colorful plastic clothespins:

Note the hole at the top of the clothespin

So I checked out my stash of ribbon and found this great red colored one with a muppet-like quality to it:

Make sure it has some substance to it, if it’s too thin it won’t work. Thread the ribbon (or rope, or twine, or string) through the opening of the clothespin and tie around it:

Do this about every six inches or so all the way down the length of string. Then find a place to hang it up. We chose a curtain rod, but you can use a hook on the back of a door, or one of those hooks that you put in the ceiling. Or if you really want them out of the way hang them from a closet rod. Then just clip on the stuff animals! And you’re done!

How easy was that?!








Mary Kay January 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 08:36
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Well, I of course have to share one of my favorite product lines with you. Mary Kay, Inc. has a product line that no one else can compare to. My whole family uses it and when I was sixteen my mother started me on my skin care regime. I don’t often brag about myself but my skin is one thing I KNOW I can take pride in. I have smooth, soft, blemish-free skin. I finally wised up and decided that since I use the product so much, and almost all the women in my family use these products I could sell this stuff with ease. And I was RIGHT! I love this business!

There are so many reason why I LOVE Mary Kay, but I will tell you just a few. Mary Kay is a company meant to EMPOWER women. She set up this company specifically so women could take charge of their own destinies. They do NO ANIMAL TESTING! Mary Kay is NOT about makeup, but about SKIN CARE. Why bother painting on a less-than-fresh canvas? There are tons of products tailored for your specific skin care needs and concerns. One of the best things about this company is the personal service. I am here for my customers! You can shop from your home, get free deliveries (AND FREE SHIPPING), and try out everything before you buy them.

One of the things I often hear is “Mary Kay is just too expensive”. I totally know where you are coming from but let me give you a few examples to put this argument into perspective. Mary Kay Time Wise Facial Cleanser is $18… BUT… it should last you about 3 months! IF it doesn’t you are probably using too much. That is just $6 a month. I know I can’t get a quality face wash for that price in the store. Their facial moisturizer is $22 but will last you almost 6 months! Think about how much you spend on your clothes? And how long do they last? A CHEAP pair of jeans? $30? $40? And they last maybe a year or two at the most? And you have 4, 5, 6 pairs? But the good thing about those are… you can REPLACE them. You CANNOT replace your skin. You have to live with the SAME skin your whole life! Isn’t it worth taking good care of?

To find out more about Mary Kay please let me know. Even if you don’t live around me, I can still help you and I ALWAYS offer FREE SHIPPING! Get in touch with me or check out my website: http://www.marykay.com/brookee


My family and my home January 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 17:47
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Well let’s see where I can start….

A little about me: I’m almost 29 years old, and am married to my hero, who is in the Army. We are stationed at Fort Drum, NY. Before you gasp, I’ll tell you I grew up here so I’m used to the cold and snow. And am extremely lucky because almost all of my family is here. Not many military spouses are so blessed! We have a son who will be 3 in March and keeps me BUSY! We have a beautiful mastiff dog who is a year old and so sweet! I stay at home with my son, something I never thought I would do. I am SLOWLY working on a college degree online. I am a great mom and a terrible housekeeper! LOL But I’m working on it. My husband has made a big different in my life and everything I do, it’s for him and our son.

I tried a blog a few months ago but it fizzled out pretty quickly, probably because I didn’t really have a direction. This time is a little different. See, I’m a military wife and we’re getting ready for another deployment next month. For those who don’t know what that it, my husband will be leaving for about a year to do whatever it is they do in those deserts. In the almost 8 years we’ve been married this is our fourth deployment of a year or more.  Not to mention trainings and schools and field time that he is gone. Is it easy? Not by a long shot! Is it worth it? Depends on the day you ask me that. Am I proud of my husband? How could I not be? Will we keep doing it? You betcha! And I’ll be here taking care of this front, while he’s over there taking care of that one.

So I thought a blog would be fun and give me something to do while he’s gone (not that I don’t have  a lot to do). Plus, maybe I can help someone else while I’m at it. I’m hoping to write about a lot of different topics mostly dealing with your home and staying sane while doing it! This isn’t just for those who read this but for me as well… to keep my mind on track and keep my priorities where they should be. It’s a work in progress so bare with me while I figure this out. I would LOVE feedback on what things I should write or what you would like to talk about. This is not just for military spouses, but for that wife that wants to save money on dinner while still making healthy meals, who wants to get the most out of coupons but not spend hours a week doing it, and for those that need a little help to keep themselves and their household organized (which we ALL need a little help with now and again). By doing this it makes me accountable, too.

I hope I can bring you lots of great info and make it FUN! It’s going to be a GREAT year!