Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dining Out

Dining out can be a very large expense these days. How nice is it though to have someone take care of your needs and no dishes at the end of a meal? I love dining out but we can not do it everyday! Here are a few tips and resources to help!
  • Here is a great resource to help lower your restaurant bill. You provide a zip-code and you will receive a list of local restaurants that offer children's specials. You can narrow your search to a day of the week, cuisine, city, etc. This can really help a budget. Think about it; even if you are going on vacation, you can enter the zip from the city you are visiting and find specials! Click here to check it out! It is free and no registration required! *The site supports all information they put on their site, however, they still suggest calling the restaurants to be sure the deal still stands. They provide phone numbers.
  • Do you have a Qdoba Mexican Grill nearby? Click here to sign up for their e-club program. You will receive a voucher for a free chips and salsa just for signing up! Also, a big surprise for your birthday! Get the latest news evites and offers right to your inbox!
  • Bob Evans has a coupon here for a free child's meal. You can only use one coupon per visit. Thanks Thrifty and Chic Mom!
Have any other deals you know about? Please let me know, so I can add to my post!

*TIP: Get another e-mail address for sites like stores, restaurants, places like this that may be sending deals, etc. that you can sift through when time allows. This way, your important e-mails, work, family, etc. aren't jumbled up with these "fun" e-mails!

Whole Foods

I know there is a big dilemma about suffering quality for quantity when you are working with a budget. We would all love to buy the best money can buy for our families, sometimes though, it is not always feasible to do that and stay within a budget. Well Whole Foods just did a Budget Recipe Challenge and I think, if you are interested in shopping there, it may be worth a look. The criteria for the recipes submitted was it had to be a budget friendly (under $4 a serving) meal that did not sacrifice taste. There are 6 finalist listed on their website, click here to see them! They also have the recipes on there too and the cost per serving! They are asking us to vote by leaving comments on the recipes. Your vote will get you entered into a drawing for $500 gift card to Whole Foods (wouldn't that be nice?). There are 10 runner ups that will receive a $25 gift card.
The catch...you have to register on their website. Might not be bad though if you can get deals e-mailed or sale items?

Archivers

If you are into scrap-booking, then this post is for you. Archiver's is offering classes for the holidays. You sign up, pay a small fee, use their supplies, etc. and get to leave with one-of-a-kind homemade things. They are focusing on the holidays right now, so the classes they are offering include gift tags, Christmas cards, and calenders. There are so many more too. The average cost of a class is $20. You will get to leave with some supplies and certain amount of what you made. Click here for more details, including times, dates, stores and phone numbers. What a great way to get some "mom" time and be productive at the same time!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ok, we had a nice "fall" dinner on Sat. We decided to decorate our homes...you know, mums, pumpkins, bales of straw, etc... What could be better than eating a huge hearty meal when we were all done? Well, I prepared whole chickens, stuffed with apples and onions for flavor. They were seasoned with simple poultry seasoning. They were delicious!



As sides, I made the usual fresh green beans and rosemary potatoes...Yum. BUT, the star of the show was definitely the twice baked sweet potatoes! Who needs to serve dessert when you have these? Here's the recipe (or what you might want to call a recipe...I am an eyeball it sort of person!)

  • Preheat oven 350. Coat 4 large sweet potatoes with oil and bake for about an hour.


  • While the potatoes bake, mix 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup pecans and a dash of cinnamon in a bowl. These are rough estimates. Use more or less to your liking!
  • Chop 7 large marshmallows (or use small ones, about 5 or 6 per potato).
  • Pull the potatoes out when they feel a little "squishy" in your hand. I then put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes so they could cool and I could work with them easier.
  • Cut the potatoes in half and with a spoon, carve out the center of the sweet potato, leaving only the skins. Put all of the scooped potato in the bowl with the sugar, butter, nut mixture. Mix well.

  • Place the skins on a pan or in some sort of a baking dish (I used a pyrex casserole dish).

  • Scoop the sugar, butter, nut, potato mixture back into the skins. Top with the marshmallows.
Bake the "twice baked sweet potatoes" for about 30 minutes. I even turned the broiler on at the end for a few minutes to "roast" the marshmallows on top.These were really delicious and so easy to prepare!

Premiere News

Ok, no premieres tonight, but tomorrow night is gonna be another good night of new shows!

  • 8:00 p.m.
  • Pushing Daisies (ABC) I love this show! If you watched last season, you know it is so cute! It is about a guy who can bring people back to life with the touch of his finger. BUT, if he touches them again, they die forever! So, he sees the childhood love of his life on her death bed, touches her and she is alive! BUT, they fall in love again...remember if he touches her again, she dies! So, that is the premise. So cute and a bit odd! Try it out!
  • Friday Night Lights (DirecTV channel 101) Your typical Friday, high school football themed show..Reminds me of Varsity Blues. I never got into it, but I bet I am missing out!
  • 9:00 p.m.
  • Private Practice (ABC). Another one of my favorites. Addison Sheppard (Derek's ex from Grey's Anatomy) moves from Seattle Grace to California and works for a small clinic. Typical love, medical, friendship themed drama, but so cute! I will dvr this and keep up on it!
  • 10:00 p.m.
  • Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) About a wealthy and unscrupulous family who hires a lawyer to take over when their father dies. I think the title explains enough! I have never watched it, but I think it could be good, if you are into that kind of a thing.
Remember, click here to see the calender of remaining premiere shows! (Kath and Kim is next week!!!!!!!!!)

Stay tuned!

Sorry, the postings have been few and far between. I have been so busy with sickness and school and fall, I have been having a hard time posting consistently! But, I did make some twice baked sweet potatoes this weekend and yum....
stay tuned for the recipe (gotta get the pics up!)

Trader Joes Tuesday!


Tasty Thai Meals. Yummy and easy! These are delicious (if you are into thai food!) These come with the dish and rice to boot! All in a neat little "carryout" container! They take about 2 minutes to cook, and voila.....lunch!
Here's the best part...only 1.99 a box! I have seen similiar things in the grocery store for much more! Now that is a deal!
Click here to read more!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kroger Deals


Kroger deals 9/29-10/05. Here are the weeks deals at Kroger. These come from Marcy over at Stretching a Buck. Be sure to visit here awesome blog!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Williams Sonoma Free Demonstrations


If you have a Williams Sonoma store near you or in your local mall, you are in luck! They have FREE 15 minute demonstrations almost daily. I have the schedule attached here.
Stop by and get some tips on everything fall; Pumpkins, soups, Halloween, cookies and even some previews of Thanksgiving!
Take the family and send your kids and hubby to the food place for some ice-cream while you observe a 15 minute cooking lesson!
They are all at 11am. Did I mention they were FREE!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mums and fall gardening!

Well, fall is here officially and starting to feel a bit like it, so what's next? Gardening! It is time to get flower beds ready for next year and plant some of those favorite fall plants! Well, I belong to the Home Depot Garden Club. Signing up gets you exclusive offers and tips through e-mail. I just received one today, click here to view it. It helps save a little bit of money. Also, if you are like me, it gives me tips about what I need to be doing next, I happen to be a novice gardener!
Go here to sign up and start saving!

Authentic Italian!


So we had the pleasure of having a true authentic Italian meal last night! How was it authentic you ask? Well, one of the Saving Sisters had an awesome co-worker, who visited Italy, and was kind enough to bring her back seasoning, pasta and olive oil from there! This is from the real Italy! (as if there was a fake Italy, right?) Well, we cooked it last night and wow, it was delicious! Definitely different flavors! But so tangy, a little spicy, but overall, just so delicious!
We paired it with homemade garlic bread and our favorite brushcetta! Here's how we did it!

  • Homemade pasta sauce:
  • 3 small cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tbsp. REAL Italian seasoning (did I mention this was from Italy?)
  • Simmer

  • Pasta
  • 1 lb. pasta (from Italy, of course!=)
  • bring to a boil 8-10 minutes

  • Homemade garlic bread
  • 1 loaf of bread (italian, french, whatever you like)
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic chopped
  • olive oil
  • Pre-heat oven 350 degrees. Cut loaf of bread in half. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle fresh garlic on top. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  • Our Favorite Bruschetta
  • Use homemade garlic bread recipe above
  • 1 8 oz bar of cream cheese
  • Handful of grated parmesan cheese
  • small can of chopped black olives
  • 2 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 6 basil leaves sliced julienne
  • Put cream cheese in microwave about 45 seconds (until soft enough to stir). Add parmesan cheese and sliced black olives. Spread cream cheese mixture over both halves of bread. sprinkle with tomatoes and basil.

Thats it! that was our "real Italian" feast. This truly was delicious! How do you make this at home? Well, we think the seasoning from Italy really was the star of the show, so we tried to figure what was in it. We decided it was:

  • Dried sliced garlic cloves (you could see them, they were quite large!)
  • Dried tomatoes and possibly sun dried tomatoes (this gave it the tang)
  • Dried basil
  • Some red pepper flakes (this gave it a small amount of heat)
  • Dried parmesan cheese
  • The rest is speculation. We are guessing the usual oregano, black pepper, parsley, etc.
I am going to try to make this seasoning homemade. If I succeed, I will post it. Real fresh ingredients I think is key and will be well worth the time and money spent!

Giant Eagle Deals for the week

Here are the Giant Eagle deals for the week of 9/25-10/01.
Click here to see them!
Courtesy of Stretching a Buck! Thanks so much, be sure to check out her blog! It is awesome! It is on the side bar listed under "my blogs"!

Old Navy Sale

There is a huge sale at Old Navy in stores only this weekend.
  • 20% off $50
  • 30% off $75
  • 40% off $100
This is running 9/26-9/28.
Definitely worth the look!
Click here to link to the page.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Design (Decorating) Tip

As of this past Monday, fall is officially here!! As many of you start to pull out the fall decor'..here are a few suggestions to bring that warm, welcoming, cozy fall essence into your home.
  • Vase Fillers: These can do wonders! You can get vases just about anywhere ( I love what Pottery Barn has to offer, but do what works for you)! Add some fall fillers such as; acorns, pine cones, apples, pears, and various others. You could use several vases of various sizes as a centerpiece on the table, or they can stand alone as accents! You can even incorporate candles into these (with certain vases)...
  • Make Your Own Wreath: You can purchase the "bones" of the wreath at places such as; Micheal's or Hobby Lobby. Start with a wreath made of twigs and add your own arrangements by using artificial leaves, small plastic fruits and pumpkins, etc. All you need is a hot glue gun and you are on your way. It can be a fun project with the kids..and a way to express your own creativity!! It will also be one of a kind which is a major bonus.
  • Paint: If you are up to taking on the task of painting, Sherwin Williams offers some fabulous fall paint tones. There is a link of the side bar which will take you directly to their website where you can browse around for some color ideas!! You may even want to just do an accent wall.

Happy decorating!!

Flu Season

Flu season is approaching. I know, seems to early to say that (and too hot, for us anyways). But, it is officially fall, so it is time to start thinking about these things! Well, if you have a Meijer by you, you are in luck, they offer flu shots! I am not sure how much they are, I think it goes through your insurance, so I would call your insurance company and see.
Anyways, if you are interested, click here to see the full schedule of when they will be administering them at your local Meijer!

That brings me to my next question. Do you get flu shots for your kids? I have some seasons and have not others. I really do not know if I saw a difference? So, I am a little confused as to whether this is one more chemical thing to put into my kids or just to pass....
Let me know your thoughts, I am all ears!

It's Finally Here!

Ok, I have been waiting a long time for this! It is the season premiere of Greys Anatomy! Yeah, I need to see how this all pans out.. Anyways, let me cover them all to be fair!

  • 8:00 p.m.
  • Ugly Betty (ABC) A bright but out of the ordinary looking woman is like a fish out of the water working at a glitzy high end fashion magazine. This is funny. I watched for 2 seasons, then, for some reason, I didn't have time, but I wish I did and will try to make time this season!
  • Survivor:Gabon (CBS) This is for you dad! This is the 17th season! I remember Richard Hatch! Wow, well they are stranded in Gabon, Africa, competing for a cool million!
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) Also a father's fave! A petty crook sets out to make amends in his life. He thinks karma is everywhere and is trying to fix his wrong doings!
  • 9:00 p.m.
  • Grey's Anatomy (ABC) I love it!! Fifth season opener..will Meredith and Derek fall back in love? What will happen with the rest of the interns turned residents? Stay tuned...
  • The Office (NBC) This is also the fifth season opener which has Harry Crane punching in with Micheal Scott and co. at Dunder Mifflin.
  • 10:00 p.m.
  • ER (NBC) The beginning of the end. The final season of ER will have some surprise visits from old cast members...I am sure this season will be worth watching! I used to watch so long ago, but then life happened and I had to pick and choose. But, I really think this will be a good one!
There it is, the Thursday line-up....stay tuned for Sundays line-up...It's gonna be good!

Things We Love Thursday!!

Ok, the thing that I love is...my unlimited text messaging package on my cell phone! That probably sounds funny, but it is absolutely something I could not live without! Text messaging is great. I feel like many people are scared..they are not sure how to send a text, etc. It's a technological fear...I had it once too. But once I got over it, I had to switch to the plan. Here are the reasons you should try texting:

  1. It is only around $5 to add the unlimited feature on your phone. Check with your service provider.
  2. My nieces and nephews are beginning to get cell phones (they are rounding the teenage years) and it is a great way to communicate with them! They do not want to talk (they are a little "busy" these days) but they will answer a text in a second! They look cool, you get to find out how they are, etc. and everyone is happy
  3. My husband can reply to my normal questions (when will you be home, when should I have dinner ready, what do you want for dinner, can you get some milk on your way home, etc.) while he is at work. I used to try to call, missing him most of the time for various reasons. Now he almost always replies!
  4. I cannot talk on the phone! As soon as the phone hits my ear, the kids think it suddenly means "NO RULES HOUR>>>GO CRAZY!!!". So, when I need some important info., even just a "hi, everything ok?", I can get it.....shoot a text, one comes back and the kids did not even know I conversed with someone other than them!
So, there it is...all the reasons I love texting! It really is a great feature! You should try it out if you have not yet!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Freebie

Always Infinity is a new brand of a maxi pad coming out by Proctor and Gamble. They are not even available in stores until mid October, but if you click here, you can sign up to receive yours free and first!
Thanks heyitsfree!

More from the book of Titus

Last Sunday we continued more on the book of Titus. You see, our pastor is currently preaching a series called "The Church God Always Wanted". Each Sunday is a part of the series and we are currently focusing on Titus; as this is one of the book's that focuses on setting up the church. (Still applies to every church, as they are constantly changing and growing).

This book reminds us that by living God honoring lives, we are teaching new Christians (whether we realize it or not). Leading by example....

Titus 2: 7-8

7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.

The pastor made a comment that I think that I will always remember. He said, "sometimes people live lives that are a mile wide an only an inch deep". Wow, what a true statement!! People can become so concerned with filling up their lives...and making them a "mile wide". But without substance....

He also reminded us that the way in which we live our lives today, is the way that we will be remembered. Truly something to think about.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mark Your Calender

Ok, for those in the Cincy region....mark your calenders. On Sunday, Oct. 5, The Extreme Makeover Home Edition that was filmed here is airing! If you live in the area, I am sure you remember when the Extreme Team was here in West Chester. Well, the show is airing on Oct. 5! So, set your DVR's....you won't want to miss this one!

Works for Me Wednesday


Clean smelling sponges:
I am posting this for Works for me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer.
Ok, this is gonna sound weird, but I cannot stand kitchen sponges that have even the slightest odor. So, I have a few solutions.
  1. Rinse your sponges with Hydrogen Peroxide. (I used to do this, but I have a new system)
  2. I have 2 sponges. One is in the sink ( I do the cleaning and disinfecting with this one), and one is in the dishwasher (waiting to be washed). So, when I run the dishwasher, the one that was in there is clean and fresh and comes out and the other one goes in. I run my dishwasher about once a day, so I always have a clean sponge. This is environmentally friendly too. I can keep a sponge for awhile! They never really get the chance to get too dirty!

Free Cold Stone Creamery


The world's largest 7th annual ice cream social, which also supports the Make a Wish Foundation, will take place this Thurs. on Sept 25. Cold Stone Creamery will be donating 3oz portions of either "Jack" or "Emily" Creations (creations thought up by two wish children!). Donations will go to the Make a Wish Foundation. Please join in the fun for a good cause on Thurs. Sept. 25 between 5 and 8 pm!
Click here for more details from their website!

Wed. Night Premieres!

Here is the line-up for tonight's premieres!
  • 8:00 p.m.
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS) A divorced mom tries to move on after her ex finds love with a younger woman with the same name.
  • Knight Rider (NBC) Remember this one? Blast from the past. Well, KITT is back in the form of a Mustang this time. He is fighting crime and people who are trying to steal him. If you liked it then, you'll probably like it now!
  • 8:30 p.m.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) A recently divorced man tries to readjust after 15 years of marriage while raising his kids and dealing with a controlling ex. Looks funny to me!
  • 9:00 p.m.
  • Criminal Minds (CBS) Watch as the fourth season opener answers the question "Whose SUV exploded?".
  • 10:00 p.m.
  • CSI:NY (CBS) This hit crime drama focuses on New York forensic investigators Stella Bonasera and Mac Taylor.
  • Lipstick Jungle (NBC) Three New York women navigate the business world, friendship and romance in this comedy-drama. Great show! I will DVR it! I began watching last season and was hooked! I love this show!
Ok, there it is....good line-up for tonight! I am so so so excited for tomorrow night as my faves are on!
Click here to look at the rest of the line-up!

Free Simple and Delicious Magazine

I receive Simple and Delicious, the magazine and I love it! My mom keeps renewing my subscription and I love her for that! Anyways, go here and you can get a free issue! Worth a look!

Join the Fight Against Childhood Hunger

FREE insulated lunch bag designed by actress Monique Coleman

ConAgra food products are running a promotion right now. ConAgra products included in this are Peter Pan, Manwich, Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher and Snack Pack. Those are all foods I have in my pantry, seeing as I have children.
It goes like this, purchase 6 of these Con Agra food products. Then, go here to download the lunch bag order form and you will receive the free lunch bag (3.oo shipping and handling). Then, ConAgra foods will donate one dollar to help fight against childhood hunger! Sounds great to me!

Scott and Carol Decker

I was reading my normal everyday blogs and I came across another charity challenge. I was reading about it and an hour later I am still reading about it! This is amazing. This weeks charity challenge is about a family, The Decker family, who really needs some donations and some prayers. Wow, they have been through so much! There is a synopsis of what they have been through here.
This is truly an amazing story of a woman and her family, she gave birth and the events that followed after are something you could not ever imagine..even one tenth of what they went through! Please read and, if it is all you can do, consider them in your prayers! They also have a way to donate to the family on their blog, if you are able to do so!
I believe this all started on June 9th and has been documented since. It is updated almost daily! I was a bit confused at first, but it is four months of documentation. This family is truly amazing and strong! I will keep reading and following and praying for this family!
Click here for a silent auction for them also.





Halloween Costumes

I am ahead of the game! I am never ahead of the game when it comes to Halloween. It has it's advantages and disadvantages...
  • Advantages; We had a lot of costumes to choose from!
  • Disadvantages; We might find something we bought cheaper; the costumes we bought might be worn out by Halloween (my son lives in his!); I have already returned one of my daughters and exchanged it and am thinking about doing it again!
But, this being said, look in your mailbox. I got a flyer for Party City (I feel like they would have the flyer in the store too, near the entrance or something?), and there are coupons...
  1. $5 off any single costume purchase of 14.99-24.99
  2. $10 off any single costume purchase of 25.00-34.99
  3. $15 off any single costume purchase of 35.00 and up
This is a pretty good deal, considering what I paid and where. It says one week only, expires on 10/04/08....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Premiere Week! (the unofficial official one!)

Here it is! This is the week we have been waiting for. Sorry, I missed Monday premieres (there were tons!), sickness has knocked on our door, so a little disinfecting was in order today!
Here's the line-up for Tues. night:
  • 8:00 p.m.
  • Opportunity Knocks (ABC) Funny story here. We actually applied for this show. We spoke to them and they said they already had someone from our area, but they were keeping applications for next season! Hopefully! Anyways..they set up a real game studio on your street (our neighbors would freak out!) and you win things according to questions..looks sooo fun!
  • NCIS (CBS) I guess this is your regular crime investigating show. I have never seen it, but I bet it is one of those really good intense shows I might be able to watch when my kids are older!
  • 9:00 p.m.
  • The Mentalist (CBS) A celebrated psychic uses his powerful gift of observation to assist the California Bureau of Investigation. Looks really good. I think it might be worth the time to watch!
  • 10:00 p.m.
  • Without a Trace (CBS) FBI missing persons unit in Manhattan solves cases about murder, kidnapping or simply people that wanted to "disappear". This is the season premiere, not series premiere
  • Law and Order SVU (NBC) Another crime series, a 7 year old boy accuses his foster parents of abusive medical testing.
Looks like a great line-up...I think The Mentalist might be a really good show...
To see the schedule for premiere week click here.

Distinctively Dole


So, I bought Distinctively Dole salads from Meijer..they were BOGO and I had coupons, so I got them for next to nothing! Anyways.. the one I had was the "Hearty Italian" and wow, it was delicious! I will pay almost full price for these. I think they are about $3 when they are not on sale. I still have some coupons for them and some came in the bag of salad too...so I am so happy. Do you get that feeling salad always tastes the same when you make it at home? Same dressing, same everything? I do, but I tried this and it tasted like something from a restaurant! Great side dish!
If you go here, you can enter to win free Dole salad (you can enter everyday for ore chances!).

Kroger Deals

If you shop at Kroger you might want to click here for the latest deals 9/22-9/28.
Coupon links are included, so shop and save!
Thanks Stretching a Buck!

Teacher Appreciation

If you are one of those wonderful teachers who teach and help mold our children, Starbuck's would like to thank you! They are giving free coffee to teachers every Monday in the month of Sept.!
Just stop in with proof of your credential's and receive your complimentary 12 oz Pike Place Roast!

Thanks Coupon Cravings!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Homemade Glass Cleaner

I started reviewing all of my "homemade cleaning products", but I did not get to finish...Duty called (duty being a 2 yr. old that should have been in bed!). So here is my review on my glass cleaner
  • Recipe
  • Equal parts vinegar and water (that's it! How easy is that!)

Verdict: Love it! My Windex was beginning to leave my windows streaked, feel like I could never get them clean! My vinegar and water solution is great! It cleans windows so easily! I love it! 5 stars!

Kids Clothes

If you are like me, shopping clearance for children's clothes is next to impossible with the children with you. Even shopping for current things on sale is impossible. Well, I have found a solution that works so great for me! I shop online. My two favorite's are Khol's and Old Navy. I sit here, in my own home and take my time looking through everything (keeping the kids busy coloring, etc.). I can get such great deals! You can also enter coupon codes, which can be found online too! I shop through clearance, you enter a size and it sorts it out for you. No more searching through piles of clothes that have been rummaged through, screaming kids in tow! Shipping is also a good deal. I go for it when there is a special. Kohl's has 3.95 shipping right now (I think it is a special), Old Navy has $7 flat rate shipping. This is worth it when you factor time, gas money, hassle getting there and them not having anything in the size you need, etc.
I shopped Old Navy Maternity like crazy when I was pregnant! I loved it! If something didn't work out, I would return it in-store and receive full credit!
Definitely worth looking into!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All Natural Cleaning Products


So, I have been posting about my endeavors of making some homemade cleaning and laundry products. I have been using them for a few weeks now and I think I am ready to report.

Homemade laundry detergent.
  • Recipe:
  • 1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap (found anywhere...about 1.29/bar)
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (found at Kroger, Meijer...about 3.99)
  • 1/2 cup Borax (found anywhere, about 2.99)
  • 2 quart bucket
  • Grate soap into a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water, stir until it dissolves. Add borax and washing soda. Stir until it dissolves. Pour 4 cups hot water into bucket. Add soap mixture. Now add 1 gallon, plus 6 cups water into bucket. Stir and let set over night. It will gel, not completely though.
  • Use about 1/2 cup per load ( I used about one).
Verdict: Clothes smell fresh ( I still use dryer sheets) but overall, I am happy with it. It is a lot less expensive (Just buying the starter boxes gives you enough for a long time! And I am talking months and months and months!) Am I convinced my clothes are truly getting clean? I do not know yet. They seem clean, but for stains, etc. I do not think it is effective.
The Fels Naptha bar however, is very effective on stains. I just rub it on stains straight from the bar and have a lot of luck there!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Need something to do this Weekend?


  • Coney Island is having their annual fall festival! Definitely worth it. It is $9 for adults, $6 for kids, but...you can save $3 if you purchase your adult tickets at Kroger with your plus card..Family of four would be $24! Good deal! This also includes all rides, farm yard animal petting zoo, tons of entertainment and a trick or treat trail with goodies from local vendors! It is from noon-6, so be sure to get there early. I am sure you could probably spend the day here and have plenty to do!Oh, and kids can dress up, so if you have purchased that costume early, what a fun way to let the kids get a little more use out of it than a one time wear! They will have a blast too!
Here is the link with all the info...Coney Island Fall Festival.

  • Fall Festival at The Shops at Harpers's Point. They will be having pony rides, petting zoo, sidewalk sale, and a "scarecrow juggler". This is on Sat. Sept. 20 from 10-2 pm. Go on their website here . The flyer will come up and coupons also. I am guessing you could print these out and use them? Maybe, if you called? Looks like something fun and easy, and pony rides? What kid wouldn't want a pony ride?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friendly Friday! (a day early!)

So, I have been thinking and reflecting so much, due to this past weekends events! (In Ohio, we suffered a lot of wind damage and there of tons of people with out power still!) Just so many emotions....being prepared, not being prepared, scared, mad, sorry, happy, lucky, unfortunate....it really has been a roller-coaster. I cannot imagine how it would feel to have actually been in the hurricane...felt like we had one here, but I know it had to have been just a fraction of the real thing! My heart and prayers are with everyone who is going through things right now due to this!

Here's my "Friendly Friday" tip..(on Thursday)...
Duke energy workers (or the electric company in your area) have been working soooo hard to restore power...16 hour days, non stop! So, we think we should do something nice for them....Our vision? Baking a batch of cookies, buying a bag of candy, small bags of lunch size chips..anything.. Getting whatever "treat" we choose and handing it out to the first group of workers we come across...(Shouldn't be too hard to find some!) Imagine the smile on their faces when you hand them a treat...So they know their hard work is not unnoticed! They are fathers, brothers, sons, mothers, sisters, etc. and they deserve a pat on the back...So, we think this is a great opportunity to "pay it forward"
Please leave a note if you do..we would love to hear your story!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Family Fun

I have found more family fun over at Cincinnati Cents! She posts "Taking Time Thursday", and has some more great ideas for things to do in the area with the family. Check it out here!
Thanks again Cincinnati Cents!

Giant Eagle Deals for the week

Here are the Giant Eagle Deals for this week. Marcy at "Stretching a Buck" posted them here. The power has been out across Ohio, so everything is a little behind! Better late than never...right? Thanks Marcy for getting this together in such a hectic week!!!

Poll

Well, our poll has now come to a close! Thanks for all that voted!!! So, the results? Men are actually doing a lot better than I thought! Good for them! I am thrilled to see they help with the housework....They came out more than 50% do help, so that is good to hear! As for us women saving money while shopping with them? nope...ladies leave the hubbies at home if you are truly trying to save some money! =)

Men

So, my husband baked cookies on Monday. Yeah! What a pleasant surprise! Here is what I found in the 'fridge on Wed. Seriously, he could not fit that on the cookie sheet?
I'm just sayin! Men...........lol!

Buddies Soaps


Check out this great post here by Money Saving Mom. You can get free "buddies soaps"! She explains how...and it is good at almost all stores, so no special trip...put it on your regular grocery list. Even those of you who aren't "coupon crazy" can do this...One coupon, free soap...so simple!!!!

Tax Relief

I know many people were affected by hurricane Ike, we were fortunate enough to have a fraction of the worst of it happen here! We have power and are very grateful....no damage to us, the house, we are very lucky! So, I came across this article on Fox 19 news about being eligible for tax relief! Hopefully, this will help at least some of you! The article is here, so click and see if it applies to you! Good Luck!

Prayer Chain

We know many people in the country and many people who probably read this blog have been affected by hurricane Ike. We were fortunate enough to experience the smallest fraction of what others have! Our prayers and thoughts are with you. We were thinking (we'll see how it goes), but if you wanted to put a little post in the comments if you have someone specific you are praying for, we could start a prayer chain for those in need.. The least we can do is to help and pray for those in need!

Bleach Alternative

So, I made a batch of natural "bleach alternative". I am kind of excited, my whites have been a little off lately, so I have been experimenting. Nothing is really working, this is my next experiment...
I went to the dollar store and purchased a lot of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide. (It really is inexpensive here!) SO heres the recipe: (I used a rinsed out gallon milk container)
  1. Pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in the container
  2. Pour 1 1/4 cups lemon juice with it
  3. Add 12 cups water
That's it! Shake it up and you are ready to go...You are supposed to use 2 cups in a load. I will be using it today, so I will report and let you know how it goes! Keep our fingers crossed, I love white whites!!!

Works for Me Wednesday


We are writing this and posting over at "Works for Me Wednesday", sponsored by "Rocks in my Dryer".
Here's my tip...(this is a great one too)! Ok, have you ever baked homemade cookies and they become hard and crunchy in, what seems like, 5 minutes later? Well, just put them in a container with a piece of bread (any bread will do), and voila! You will have soft chewy cookies! This is a great trick because it is frustrating to spend all that time baking and the result; mediocre cookies! This will solve your "crunchy cookie problems"! You can also put piece of bread in your bag of brown sugar and it will keep it from getting hard also! Happy baking!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Something for the Soul

Finally getting to the Sunday post...it's been quite hectic around here with all of the power outages, etc.

Sunday's sermon entailed looking at what we value the most and spend the most time working on when it comes to ourselves. We are talking external vs. internal.

The pastor discussed the importance of putting our time and energy into working on our souls. Investing what we have on becoming a better Christian..on becoming closer to God...on becoming who He wants us to be. It can be so difficult for us because we are a culture that is very focused on the external. The pastor reminded us that God is not at all focused on that, and will have much more substantial things to discuss with us when we meet Him. Things like, did you touch someones life, did you encourage, did you love, did you forgive, did you help those in need, did you cherish every moment of life as a blessing, were you kind, were you honest????

That is not to say that we are without sin, because if we are being honest we can all remember the last time we sinned.
But rather that we should strive for those things, and focus on those things...and try (as hard as it may be) to not be distracted by things of the world.

Please take a moment to read the scripture below.

Titus 2:1
1 As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. 2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.


Titus 2:11-13
11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fashion for Less, much less!!!!

So, the season is changing and so is the apparel that you will be wearing, as the weather gets colder. If you are like me, you probably have the basics..I always stick to the basics, but would like to purchase a few pieces to add a bit of flare to my look. Well, I have found the perfect way to do that! I am sure we have all heard of Sarah Jessica Parker.....Hello? Sex and the City!!!! Anyways, she also has a clothing line, which you may have heard of...The label is Bitten. Wow...this is really great. Nothing, and I mean nothing is over 19.99! Seriously...cute white trench coats, 8.98! Nothing was more than 8.98! Check out the website here....It has a store locator, so you can see if they carry it near you!

Drop a line if you have shopped or purchased some of these clothes!!!

Trader Joes Tuesday!

Well, it is that time again for a Trader Joe's tip....One of my favorite things to buy there is Trader Joe's homemade pizza dough! It can be found by the chunk and shredded cheeses, look for it in a plastic bag. Here is the best part...it is 1.19! That is it! It is so affordable and it is delicious too! You let it get to room temperature, roll it out, top it and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes and fresh homemade pizza! Gosh, making pizza at home makes the opportunities endless! You can accommodate children better also, being able to control their toppings! They can even make their own! This is a great way to have fun on pizza night!
Trader Joe's also carries pizza sauce and several things that would be delicious on the pizza! Oh, and I have bought a few and frozen it before, for a short time. It thawed out great!
Enjoy!

Fall Premieres!

Tues. night premieres are as follows:
  • 8:00 p.m. "The Biggest Loser:Families" (NBC). It is a the same as the show that has been on, it is just focusing on families, including engaged couples and military wives! I am sure there will be some tears involved here!
  • 9:00 p.m. "House" (FOX). Wow! This is a great show! I can honestly say I do not catch every episode, I cannot possibly! I have room for like 4 shows tops, so I need to pick and choose, but when I do have some time, I do love this show! It seems pretty easy to jump in to also! (you do not feel lost when you miss some).
There they are for tomorrow. Not too much! But get ready, because starting next week, my dvr will be working over time!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cheap or FREE Family Fun!

I was cruising around checking out my favorite blogs this morning and I came across a great tip! I am sorry I did not see it yesterday, (i missed some great things we could have done yesterday!) Cincinnati Cents wrote a post about things for your kids to do next to nothing or, even sometimes, NOTHING! I love free things, so I am marking my calender for sure! I am going to link to the post here, so please be sure and check it out! It is worth it!!!!
Thanks Cincinnati Cents!
As always, be sure to call your local store, just to be sure they are hosting the events!

Give Away!

Thrifty & Chic Mom is running a very cute give away at her blog. It is for "Whimsical Stork" a very cute company run by moms! They have things for babies as well as for mom, that are the sweetest and cutest things! They are giving away a "Minky Bunny", looks so cute and soft! Be sure to stop by here and comment to enter!
Good Luck!

Meijer Mealbox

I have been seeing a little about the "Meijer Mealbox" but I did not know exactly what it did. Well, I played around a bit and I must say I love it! It is a meal planning tool that allows you to click and drag from their recipes (there are tons!) to the days of the week (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Some categories include, budget friendly, appetizers, lunch, breakfast, parties, 30 minute, etc. Then it compiles your shopping list for you! It allows you to delete items, if you already have them, and shows you what is on special and has coupons right there! So, for those of you who are short on time, or a bit scatter-brained like me, it really helps to organize your week.. I am going to try it out!

I have put it at the bottom of this page, so play with it, try it out and let us know what you think! I was thinking you could use this for any grocery store as well, get your menu and print out your grocery list. You won't know specials at your grocery store, but at least the ingredients will be packed for you on a nice organized list!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall Premieres!

Ok, the weekend line-up looks like this:
  • 11:00 p.m. Mad TV..hilarious, but honestly I can not stay up this late anymore! SERIOUSLY! Sad, I know...oh well...
  • 11:35 p.m. Saturday Night Live...Equally hilarious, but definitely not making it for this! Funny thing about SNL..We all watch it at some point...right? But it is like the infamous "mom jeans" with the high waist..once you have kids, you get stuck in a time warp where you are still thinking Dan Aykroyd is on the show and you are still reciting something from one of his skits! So, I would love to watch this, not likely though!
(I, however, do not think I am in a fashion time-warp although I have had children. My teenage niece would disagree!)

Generics

If you are like me, you often stare at the exceptionally less expensive generic brand, wondering if it really is the same. Sometimes you get lucky and other times, not so much! I am always confused as to whether I should buy the "generic" or "store brand" or if I should just spend the extra and get the trusted name brand. You know, you could end up spending more by buying the generic and then having to buy the real one anyways..so.....I found this cool article that compares generics and name brands. I need to take note of these, I purchase a lot of what is on the list and I bet you do too!
Click here to check it out!
Some of my biggest surprises were: Slimfast (Equate being the generic and more highly rated version), Cough syrup, and Wheat Thins (compared to Kroger's version of wheat thins, with Kroger's winning!)
This is a great way to save some money, many of these generics are half the amount of the name brand! Hope this helps...
P.S. There is no Oreo like the real thing!!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Local Markets...Awesome!

I am posting this for "Family Tip Friday", a new resource over at "BeCentsAble". Check out this blog, it is so useful in alot of ways!
My family tip is really something I was actually planning on doing tomorrow (weather permitting), so I am happy to be able to post about it. I have found a website called "Local Harvest". Click here to check it out! This is awesome! It shows you local farms, produce, markets, etc. I have been trying to find a local open air market in my area....with no luck, until now! Here's my vision:
Kids with me, picking out apples and fruits and vegetables, and loving it. Me not saying no every 5 seconds to Cheetos and Doritos, or other highly processed food. Me saving in my pocket book and feeling good about giving to the local farmers and economy.
Will this happen? I am not sure? I do remember as a young child always going to the "market" with my mom. I was allowed to have whatever I wanted there and I loved it. We would get a huge gourmet, homemade cookie from one of the stands...it was always very special to me and still is. Hopefully I can make this a tradition with my family also! Try it out and see what you come up with! Let me know what you find!
And, head on over to "BeCentsAble" to find other family tips!

Kids Sites!

I put an icon on my side bar called "great sites for kids". Bookmark this, it is priceless...I have spent endless hours finding a website for my toddler to work on (helps me get a little done around the house). There are so many to choose from right there from one little click! Enjoy!
Thanks so much to "Rocks in my dryer"!

Bath and Body Works

Wallflowers are on sale for $6! This is a little less than half price.. These are worth the money, they keep your home smelling fresh on a constant basis and are not strong or overpowering, no matter where you put them! For us, noses are a huge component to fall..Do you agree? Isn't fall all about certain smells? Leaves, apples, pumpkins, leaves, cooler air? Those are the things we love about the fall! What better way than to ensure this nostalgia than through a Wallflower from Bath and Body!!!!
The best part is the starter kits (you buy the actual Wallflower once) and the refills are $6! So, if you are doing refills, they are only $3 a piece! That is about as good if not better than other store brand plug-ins and they smell oh so better!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Giant Eagle

We are going to link to some of the weekly deals at Giant Eagle. We have so many friends and family members from our home town that would appreciate this! So, while Kroger is our number one, (Go Kroger!), here are the deals you can get at Giant Eagle..Click here to save!
This comes courtesy of Marcy over at "Stretching a Buck". She has an awesome and helpful blog, so make sure you check it out. You can find it on the side of this page!
Thanks Marcy!

Friday Night Premieres!

Ok, so tonight is the premiere of "Don't Forget the Lyrics." at 9:00 p.m. on Fox. This is not a new show, so I think everyone has seen or heard of it...People have to sing songs and get chances to "sing the next lines". I, personally, have never been too interested. I was excited when it came out, I wanted to like it, but I never really got into it.
Did anyone watch last night shows? I did not...got hung up on all the play back videos from 9-11...WOW! I remember that day so clearly, but watching and reliving it again...so, sad! I am praying for those people and their families... How unbelievable!

Stay up to date with the up coming premieres, we will be posting when, where, why, etc. We will also probably talk alot about them!!! WE LOVE OUR SHOWS!!!
Click here for the complete fall line-up!

Burnt Toast

Burnt Toast? So, I was getting out of the shower today and there were two towels. A nice soft fuzzy warm and cozy one and one not so new, not so fuzzy and warm looking one....So, which one did I grab...The not so great one, of course. I thought...aww that'll be a very nice towel for my husband or one of the young kids. Why is that we, as women, tend to do that to ourselves? We always eat the "burnt toast". When we prepare our meals for our husbands, our children, anyone, we tend to take the plate that is the "least appealing". I often sacrifice a shower, due to the fact that everyone else needs one and we are short on time. Oh, and here is the best one, why do we often order a small salad and water, if dining out, as to offset the cost of your mates largest steak dinner and the largest beer ever? It is ingrained in us, (well most of us anyways)...we do that...we make the sacrifice! It seems so unfair at times, but.................. at the end of the day, when all the angelic faces are fast asleep and so sweet, it is worth every sacrifice!
Here's to all the ladies for being strong enough to not be selfish and to be the "invisible hands" that take care of those that need us the most!!!

Friendly Friday!


Well, I know we posted about this a few days ago, but we decided to make it a weekly venture, hopefully it will catch on! It is Friendly Friday! So, every Friday, we will post an idea, action, etc. of something you can do to make a world a brighter place!
Ok, this is one I am going to do for sure, it would be so sweet to receive something like this! Christmas? That is what I am thinking. For adults, children, anyone to have this, it would be PRICELESS!!! Ready? Ok, here it is!
  • Everyday for one year, jot down something you love about a loved one...son, daughter, husband, mom, dad, wife....and the list goes on and on. It could be "the way you laugh", "the way you say peek-a-boo", I think you can get the idea. At the end of the year, present this one-of-a-kind gift in a one-of-a-kind package!
Ok, this touches me on a few levels....First, how awesome is this idea? It just screams sentiment! Second, is it me, or is it hard to remember why you do love someone sometimes? It is so easy to get caught up in unpulled shower curtains, underwear on the bathroom floor and dishes in the sink (some of my favorite pet peeves =)). I need to remind myself of these things and this would do it daily...I love my husband, do not get me wrong, but...well, you know! So, I think this would be a great thing for everyone..Imagine a child, grown up, looking at this list...how sweet!
*article courtesy of "Real Simple".."48 Ways to Be Nice and Improve the World Around You".

Remembering September 11th

Ecclesiastes 9:12 (Whole Chapter) People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.

We ask that everyone take a moment of silence..and a moment of prayer for those who were lost on this tragic day 7 years ago. Also, for all of the heroes who risked their lives to save another. For all of those who lost a loved one, and for all of those who survived it. May God Bless..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Super Sponge


For my Thursday favorite..I think that I will have to go with a sponge..=)
We all know how difficult it can be to find a sponge that actually works. The nail-saver sponge is fantastic!! It's made by scotch brite and it has the scrubbing side and the soft side...but the best part is in the middle. It is a soft white pillowy material that protects your nails while you scrub!!Pretty amazing huh? It actually works too...I have no complaints. My pans have never looked better!! You can check it out here....there is also a coupon.

Things We Love Thursday!!

We are going to start posting things we love on Thursdays. We are going to post about anything and everything, so check back, you may be surprised! We would love to know what you love, so feel free to share with us back! We are open to anything new!
My favorite thing is turkey bacon; sounds funny, right? Well, I was sitting here thinking about breakfast and I started to think about why I love turkey bacon. Well, there are many reasons, turns out!
  1. Inexpensive! 2/$4 is generally the deal!
  2. Not greasy!!! Not before during or after the cooking process. There is no greasy fingers, walls, stoves, ovens, etc.
  3. So Easy!!!! Cooks in the microwave perfectly...pop it in for 3 minutes, give or take a minute and it is done. It is not over cooked and it is certainly not under cooked (yuck!)
  4. Kids love it and I do no worry about them getting sick from it (under cooked, etc.)
  5. Delicious and much healthier than regular bacon!
So, there it is....turkey bacon! If you have not tried it, you certainly should! I am telling you, you will love it and your heart and figure will love it as well! Do I miss real bacon? Occasionally, I will order it out to eat, but at home, it is turkey bacon all the way!!!!

Fall Premieres!

Watched "Do Not Disturb"....I always know if something really has my attention, I just keep turning it up to drown out the kids =)...but, instead, it kind of just annoyed me. I thought it was kind of funny, but I do not think I will put it on the dvr list!
On the line-up for tonight is:
  • "Hole in the Wall" at 8:00 p.m. on Fox. Ok, I am not sure about this? It is about actual people who are trying to fit a "mold" of a person in a wall? Human Tetris, it has been described as. I need to tune in because I just do not get it!!!
  • "Kitchen Nightmares" at 9:00 p.m. on Fox. I love Chef Ramsey....always watch Hell's Kitchen!. On this show, he is trying to fix troubled kitchens. Sounds good?
Let me know if you have watched any or what you think about the ones coming up! Happy Watching!

Fall Premieres!

Ok, tonight's TV line up for premieres are as follows:
  • "Til Death", which is on Fox at 9:00 p.m. . It is about two "middle-aged" wedded warriors! I have watched this before and I find it hilarious! Worth the watch!
  • "Do Not Disturb", which is on Fox at 9:30 p.m. Jerry O'Connell stars in this comedy about a swanky New York City hotel named The Inn. Looks funny! I may have to catch this one! Oh, and if you are a "The Hills" fan, (I am a closet one!), Audrina Patridge landed a guest spot on this sitcom!
Has anyone watched the other premieres yet? I have not, but I may try to catch these tonight! Let me know what you think!
If you need to check the fall TV schedule click here!

Trader Joes Tuesday! (on Wed. Sorry=)

Shredded Carrot Salad
The crunchy texture and sweet taste of shredded carrots is complemented by the light bitterness of broccoli slaw and the rich sweetness of plump, juicy raisins in this vibrant, fresh salad. Accompanied by a citrusy-sweet orange pineapple dressing, our new Shredded Carrot Salad makes a quick, healthy snack, light lunch or elegant side dish. It’s delicious as is, but you can add tofu or grilled chicken to enhance the heartiness. Or mix it into a bed of greens to brighten up the salad bowl. We’re selling each 4.75 oz container of our Shredded Carrot Salad for $1.99 – a light price for such lively fare.

This looks delicious! For 1.99, how can you go wrong and I bet you could put this in a stir fry, salad, use as a side, maybe even throw it in a homemade soup! Definitely worth it! Thanks Trader Joe's!

Pays to be Nice

So, I am going to start a series about "being nice". Yes, I know it sounds trivial and simple, but it is...all too often we get caught up in the wear and tear of the world and forget about actually just "being nice". I received an article in "Real Simple" "48 Ways to Be Nice and Improve the World Around You" and it explains ways to be nice. I read over a few and, can honestly say, was surprised at how little I do in the being nice department. It is easy to "be nice" when someone asks a favor, but to go out of your way and actually "be nice" unexpectedly? Wow, that seems unheard of these days! So, here is tip #1:
  • If you come across a magazine or newspaper article that reminds you of someone or makes you think of them, cut it out, print it out, etc. whatever you have to do...and send it with a little note that says "though you might enjoy this", or something along that line...shorter than a letter, but easier! What a simple way to tell someone you were thinking of them and that you pay attention to know what they are interested in!
Now, I would love it if you would comment on things you do (or would like to do=))to make the world just a little friendlier!!!

Works for Me Wednesday


So, this is my first time posting on WFMW, so I am going to start off simple.. I am stay at home mom with two young children. I rarely get to leave the house with ease and certainly have a difficult time getting anything done inside the house! So, I was struggling with the chore list and keeping up with everyday housework! I could not get anything done and felt kind of like a mess! Well, it was then that I realized that I needed a schedule. As a SAHM, we have the "luxury" of putting anything and everything off until tomorrow. If I did not feel well, I could do laundry tomorrow. If I was tired, I could do it tomorrow....Well, this was just making for unproductive days and piles of everything! So, I put a weekly calender together (printed one from a template in my Microsoft Works program) and now I am organized! I know what I have to get done and when and it makes for so much more consistency. My kids know what to expect, I know what I am looking at and it is a little bit everyday! I am no longer overwhelmed and have a clean house, clothes, etc. at the same time!!!
Look for other great tips for WFMW here at "Rocks in my Dryer".

Sidenote....Have you ever looked at the Microsoft Works templates? Wow, they have everything, children's chores list, grocery lists, coaching lists, award templates to print out, I mean everything....So cute! Check it out if you have Microsoft Works!!!!

Giveaway! Kiss My Face Products


A fellow blogger is running an awesome giveaway! She is over at "Stretching a Buck", a great resource for saving money! It is for "Kiss my Face" products. They have an awesome line of all natural products that are healthy for us and the environment. This company has a line for children as well as for adults! You can check out their website and enter the contest by clicking here.
GOOD LUCK!!

ZIPLOCK OMELETS

These are so cool! I think it would be fun for a weekend morning with your kids, maybe if you have company, etc. They are called ziplock omelets and they allow everyone to have an omelet "made their way" with out you having to stand at the stove making them. They are all ready at the same time too, so everyone can sit down and eat together!


Have guests write their name on a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag with permanent marker.

Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them.

Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, mushrooms, jalepenos, and the list goes on and on!

Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shake. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up.

Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes . You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water.
Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily.

This sounds like a great fun way to have a fun weekend breakfast. Breakfast, for me, is hard to cook..the kids need things, want to help, etc. but what can I have them do? well this allows them to help by putting the ingredients in the bags! I am going to do this this weekend and I will post pics, etc. !
Oh, and cleanup? One pot of hot boiling water...What a breeze!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Premieres are Starting!

Ok, so here we go...premieres are starting! The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles began last night. Did any one watch?
Tonight at 8:00 pm, "Fringe" is on Fox. It is supposed to be an FBI meets strange events. Add a mad scientist and a con-man son and I guess that sums it up!
Also, at 9:00 "Priveleged" is on the CW. It is about a young woman who becomes a tutor for twins who are pretty much rich. It shows her adjustments to being around the rich and powerful. Looks pretty cute?
I won't be watching either one of these programs. Gosh, I need to get back into a system where I actually can watch things! I haven't really kept up on anything this summer, so television isn't really in my routine..Better start though, I will not be missing Grey's or Desperate Housewives, to name just a few!
Let us know if you have watched any of these and what you thought!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Being led astray by false idols

Sorry we are late on the Sunday sermon posting. However, not too late to start your week with a serving of scripture!!

Yesterday's church message was very impactful (as always) and also very relevant today. Oprah has been an inspiring and (obviously successful) role model for people everywhere. However, it is easy for people to sometimes become sucked into all of the hype and fall victim to false teachings. There is a lot of hype out there about "bettering your inner-self", etc..and so much of it is not Bible or God based. We have to be careful!

It's important for us all to remember that there is only one God and one truth and that is found in the Bible. Not in a random "self-help" book written by a successful person.

Zechariah 13:2 (Whole Chapter) “And on that day,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them.

All Natural

Well, I did it...I am currently in the process of switching over to homemade cleaning products.. Those of you that know me are probably saying..."WHAT...NO WAY!!" Not really something I would do, but I have been researching the benefits and, as long as the end result is as good as before, I am all for it. We would benefit cost wise and safety wise, so it seems like a win win situation here! So the things I purchased this weekend were:
  • Fels Naptha (1.29)
  • Borax (3.29)
  • Vinegar (2.19 for a huge bottle!)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (.50 for a regular bottle)
  • Lemon Juice (1.00)
So here are the things I have done so far with it:
  • Washed whites with one cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle. ( I don't know if I did this right, it did not really notice a difference?) I will have to go back and make sure I did it right.
  • Put vinegar in my rinse aid for my dish washer. Worked like a charm! No spots!
  • Put Borax in a load of warm water clothes. Seemed to make them somehow fresher? But, Borax is a laundry booster, so I think it worked!
  • Mixed half vinegar, half water for an "antibacterial spray".
I am going to make my own bleach alternative for clothes and laundry detergent. I will post and picture when I do about the process. I have been reading and all of these cleaning products (store bought) are so harmful to your children and the environment. It is so easy to research. Click here for all the uses of vinegar (you'll be surprised!)
Also, my husband has a shirt with grease stains all over it...Happens to be a nice shirt that would be nice for church, dinner, etc. so, I am not willing to give up on it yet. So, I rubbed Fels Naptha, just the actual bar on each of the stains and it worked!!! This shirt has been stained for a long time!!! It is really amazing!!!!

Meijer Sales

There are some really good deals at Meijer's this week, we are going to just post about a couple of the ones that we thought were significant...
  • If you buy $10 in Nabisco cookies and crackers, you receive $10 off fruit-of-the-loom products for the family (which are also on sale, some for 3.99). So, to work the deal, you need to buy 3 packages of fruit of the loom and $10 worth of Nabisco. If you have Nabisco coupons, you could end up with a great deal here. We decided having just white fruit of the loom t-shirts are great to lounge around in or even sleep in, so soft and comfy..oh and who doesn't love a pair of brand new white socks?
  • The next deal is Electrosol. There was a coupon in the paper for 2.25 off! They are on sale for 2/$6 so .75 for dish washing detergent!
  • Lysol cleaning products are 50% off, and there were tons of coupons in the paper, so you are looking at under a dollar for any of these cleaning items! We could all use more bacterial wipes..right?
  • 10 for $1, get the eleventh free....wow, this is great, especially if you have coupons, which there a lot floating around out there for these! Some things on my list are carrots, broccoli, bagged lettuce (yes, only 1.00!!), Kleenex, paper towels...to name a few!
Get a complete list of more sale items at Thrifty in The Cincy, click here and here to see them!!!!!
Oh, and Kroger had papers for .99 cents this week!! What a great deal for all those coupons!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fall

Well, if you could not tell, we are soooo excited for fall to get here...We are sure you can tell my our blog page.. so, no more sweating on the "kid" walks and just wanting to be inside where it is cool. No more getting "eaten alive" by bugs...gosh we really dislike bugs!!!! We have gotten pretty good at this blog thing, well the layout portion of it at least! We are trying to give good input and relevant information, so hopefully you are all enjoying. Again, we love comments and want to hear your input to see if you are enjoying what you are reading. Thanks for visiting!!!! We also take requests, so let us know if you if there is something you want us to look into or talk about!!
Thanks again!!!

Pottery Barn end-of-season

Ok since my sister-in-law shared her "favorite thing" I thought that I would post mine as well; Pottery barn picture frames. Visit http://www.potterybarn.com, they are having an awesome end-of-season sale and their picture frames are fantastic!! Check it out!! Also, don't be afraid to mix the colors..they are fun and colorful and a great accent to any decor`.

Brownie in a Coffee Cup

I was just looking through my favorite blogs and saw this crock pot recipe on the "Year of Crock Potting" blog. This is so neat!! I cannot wait until it is cold and snowy, or we are skiing somewhere, to make this!!! If you have kids, (or not) this is way cool and worth checking out!!!
Be sure to check out this link here.

Favorite Things


I think a "favorite things" posting every now and again will help to explain who I am. The thing I am going to talk about today is one of my very very favorite things! I do not know what I would do without it! It was a gift from my mom (thanks mom and sister!) with a very long story about how I ended up with it..I did though, so we will pick up from there.
It is my Furi Rachael Ray Knife. Now, I do not give in to gimmicks and things like that, but this knife puts my "chef skills" ten fold when I have it in my hand (or at least I think so!) I feel like I can cook anything, chop anything and I feel like I look like Rachael Ray while I do it. (She looks cool, doesn't she?) So, here is one of my most favorite things, I would recommend to anyone who loves to cook!!! If you know a cook, it would make a great gift too!
(it is pictured here with the actual sharpener that goes with it...I love that too..it is not electric, so it is so easy to use and pull out of the drawer!)
Happy Chopping!!!
Please click on comments below and tell us what your favorite things are!!!

Home Grown Tomatoes

My neighbor just brought over a whole batch of homegrown tomatoes. I love the flavor home grown tomatoes give to any sort of sauce. It always seems so much fresher than even store bought, so to me, this was a real treat! Last time, I cooked pasta sauce with fresh rosemary and basil from my garden! Delicious!!
Well, I have lots of peppers in my refrigerator (thanks Kroger, $1 per red, yellow or orange pepper!!!) so, I wanted to utilize both...well, crock pot stuffed peppers! I cut everything up (including the peppers) and threw it in. Added a little garlic, chili powder, cumin, corriander, salt and pepper. I am good to go. I plan on serving it over brown rice. It was so easy. It has all of the ingredients as regular stuffed peppers, just in a different form =). I'll report back on how this turned out, pictures included!!!!

Kraft Foods


If you have young children in your home, you probably have a lot of Kraft products in your pantry and refrigerator. If you don't have young kids, you still probably do! Kraft has a magazine they publish for FREE and you can get their recipes delivered right into your mailbox. I love this magazine! you sign up for free and they send it to your REAL mailbox!!! (If you are like me, things that get sent into your "inbox" are harder to appreciate and read!) The recipes are sooo easy and things you probably already have n your refrigerator. Click here to register for the magazine.
They also have my number one appetizer on their Kraftfoods.com website. I love this website too. When I am having company I always browse around on it to find something simple and delicious to make. Listed below is a sure fire crowd pleaser!!!! So easy too!!!!
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 loaf (1 lb.) French bread, cut in half lengthwise
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped pitted ripe olives
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Mix oil and garlic; spread onto cut surfaces of bread. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

MIX cream cheese and Parmesan cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Stir in olives.

SPREAD toasted bread halves with cream cheese mixture; top with tomatoes. Cut into 24 slices to serve. Sprinkle with basil.

Yummy!!!!

Recipe compliments of Kraft Foods.

Meijer Organics

Meijer's has an awesome line of organic foods. Seems so expensive to go organic, you have to shop at Whole Foods and spend double for something. My children can only drink organic milk. My mother was the first to give my son milk and it happened to be organic. Well, now that is all he can drink. We tried to give him regular and it was something out of the "Exorcist" movie..needless to say we have not tried again!!!! While the price is annoying, all of the things you hear about milk and what they put in it,makes me happy my mother made that decision for us long ago (thanks mom!). So, while it is a little pricy, definitely one of those extras that is worth it!!!
So, I found organic milk at Meijer which is on sale 2/5! That is a great price on milk for me! Listed below are there other deal on their organics line...Sale ends Sat.
Organic Bread 2/$5
Organic yogurt 10/$6
25% off organic cheese and crackers
Organic cereal 2.49
Organic frozen veggies and fruit 3/$6
Organc peanut butter and jelly 2/$5
Organic milk 2/$5 (half gallons)
Organic pasta sauce 1.59
Organic pasta 1.79
Organic apple juice 2.99
Organic mushrooms 4/$5
These are some great prices..haven't tried everything, but I am confident it would be worth a try!!!!

Meijer MealBox 3