Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Savings From Around the Net

I just love bargains, but with the new budget in mind the best I can hope for is to live vicariously through others. Hopefully, someone can find these awesome deals doable, then tell me all about the thrill of the deal!!

I am really interested in trying http://www.alice.com/. Has anyone tried this that can share their experience? Okay, now to the savings:

First, Saving and Giving has a great deal from Target. I am really wishing this was in the budget. They would be fun for any day or great to put up for Christmas.

Next up $he $aved is promoting Zulily's awesomeness. Yes~I am a member.  The costumes are the focus today.   My favorite is Spot the Barking Dalmation. Really great deal! She also has Amazon Golden Box Wii deals here. I had not seen this before, but will definitely be paying attention now. I could use my SwagBucks for Amazon gift cards to grab these with. I have been remiss in using my Swag lately, but will be jumping back on the wagon to save for Christmas. 

How about a cutie patootie free craft? That's still saving right? Check out these Recycled pillow box favors. How cute!! Not to mention planet friendly, right?

How about rocks or shells from vacation you're holding on to, but not sure what to do with? You could try making Beach rock souvenir collage. Just Lu used rocks, but I'm a betting that shells would be fabulous as well.

Anyway, that is all I have for now. I do have an EVOC class Thursday and for those that aren't familiar with the term (I wasn't for a while), it means someone is crazy enough to teach me how to drive an ambulance. Whoo-doggie.  I'll leave you with that one. Til next time...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Mondays

Monday already~sheesh. The weekends are never long enough. This one coming up will be a 3 day kind of weekend {whoo-hoo!}.  What will you be doing for Labor Day? I haven't made firm plans, but I am pretty sure that one day will involve the lake, one will involve the pool and all will involve food. This past weekend involved all three as well. I still have not been grocery shopping, at least not seriously. Which is bad for the belly and the wallet. When I don't shop regularly and plan ahead we end up making random runs to Wal-Mart or to fast food places and both of those are BAD news!! So in hopes of getting back on track, here is the week's menu:
Monday-weeeellll I am totally cheating tonight. I know I have the fixings for chicken noodle and grilled cheese. I will be making a grocery run after work.
Tuesday will be Skillet Chicken Parmesan. I haven't tried this recipe before, but it sounds yummy.
Wednesday Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
Thursday I'm thinking Slow Cooker Cordon Bleu Chicken. Doesn't that sound delish? Another new one.
Friday I want A Copycat of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana with salad and garlic breadsticks with alfredo dipping sauce. This is one of my all time favorites.
Saturday, if I actually cook, will be mini burgers. We use King Hawaiian rolls as the buns and put BBQ sauce, cheese and french fried onions as toppings. I adore the Jack Daniel's Honey Smoke BBQ sauce. These are great by themselves, but I will probably be making some baked beans, corn on the cob and fries to go with them.
Then Sunday, again depending on circumstance, Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Pasta

I am getting lazy it seems. The majority of the recipes I have been researching are for the crock pot. It is so nice to come home from work and have most of the dinner prep already done. Also, I am on a chicken fad, see it? I get the frozen chicken breasts from Aldi's pretty cheap and they cook from frozen in the crock pot for a lot of recipes.

Now for some fun stuff. Kevins Free Printables Coloring Pages and Family Fun coloring and activity pages.

We are trying hard to get on budget using Dave Ramsey's plan. It is hard. I have been reading up on tips and ideas at The Dollar Stretcher.

Hope you have a great week. See you next time!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan Mondays

Hey it's Monday and I am posting my Menu!!! I am so excited that I am posting it on the right day. Here it is:
Tonight Cheesy Chicken & Tomato Bruschetta Turnovers
Tuesday Mexican Shepard's Pie
Wednesday Pizza Dip with garlic bread and salad
Thursday Stuffed baked potatoes (chicken)
Friday Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie, but I do add more seasoning
Saturday I want to try Parmesan Meatballs. I've never made it, but it sure sounds yummy!!
Sunday I am thinking a roast. What's on your menu for the week?

A few fun things I have found out browsing the blogosphere:
Quick fix lunches-Lunches Lickety Split
A new way to watch movies or TV shows http://www.letmewatchthis.com/
Smart Chore Tips from Family.com
Some fun lunch notes

I am sure there are tons of cool stuff I am forgetting to mention, but that'll just give me something else to write about. Friday was my birthday, by the way. I don't make a big deal out of my birthdays, not that I mind getting older so much as I don't want people to make a fuss, although, I do love when they make a fuss. My awesome husband took me out and we had a great time. A little too much Captain-Morgan that is. The drink,  not my husband, I can never get enough of him!! I really enjoyed our night out and we are making plans for a regular date night. I love them younguns of mine, but even the adults need play time, right?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let's talk about food baby (to the tune of a George Michael's hit)

My Sweet Cheeks is a bit of a picky eater so the same ole same ole sandwich routine doesn't always float her boat and most days she'll turn up her nose at cafeteria lunches. Here we are just in the second week of school and I am already floundering for some creative lunches that she will actually eat. Of course, my grocery shopping has been remiss lately which does not help. Anyway, I started looking for some new lunch ideas and came across Kraft recipes lunch ideas.  There are even some fun printables. Of course Christy at Southern Plate (one of my all time favorite websites!) has some fun lunch ideas as well. You should go visit her. Sit a spell~I really think you'll enjoy it. It really is like visiting with an old friend.

Not really food related, other than it could hold a lunch box, I wanted to show y'all this really neat backpack I heard about from Mamaista. It is such a cute idea and not really that expensive. It is the Go Vinci Backpack. Wouldn't that be fun for on the go or sitting at the doctor's office?

If you've been reading before, you know I wanted to participate in Menu Plan Monday. You also know by now that this has been an epic fail the last couple of Mondays. I know it is Wednesday already, but am still going to throw this out here. Monday I totally cheated and we had a frozen salisbury steak entree with rice and green beans.  Last night was yummy smoked pork chops just nicely browned in a skillet with mac and cheese and veggie medley. Tonight will be mini meatloaves (cooked in muffin tins) with garlic mashed and salad. Tomorrow night will be spaghetti. Friday night we'll be lip smacking some chicken stew-love, love this recipe from my fantastic sister-in-law. We have a lot happening this weekend so I won't list those. If we don't eat with friends one or both nights, I will probably order pizza or pick up something through a drive-thru. Real healthy, right?  So tell me, what's cooking at your place?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some randomness

Before I take off running with this post, lemme give you the fine print...I have a cold and am highly medicated with OTC meds and really may or may not know what I am saying.  The girls made it back to school as of Monday. There is always that adjustment period that makes me feel like such a loser in the Mommy department. Y'all, I bought school supplies Sunday for school starting Monday. I am a shoe-in for mother of the year.  Despite my lack of planning and forethought, they went off well fed and well prepared. Lunches were packed, checks were written, breakfast cooked and eaten, clothes and children clean, hair and teeth brushed, shoes on, and excitement growing. They made it back home safely and seem to be off to a terrific start.

The worst part is always the shopping.  I despise Wal-Mart. I just luuvvv people trying to run me down with their buggies when I dare to stop long enough to try to find the normal size hand sanitizer rather than the elfin version on the shelf.  Then there are four hundred people checking out at one time and they have three registers open? REALLY? I am pretty sure that it was tax-free weekend and they could have predicted a larger than normal crowd. I usually try to shop at smaller stores- my faves are Fred's, Family Dollar, Dollar General and the Dollar Tree, but due to my poor choice in time management, I just thought Wal-Mart would be easier. Yeah, right. I do it EVERY TIME. And then I am ticked EVERY TIME.  Especially when you should be home free in the check out line, but noooo, they have to put every piece of As Seen On TV junk and candy crap that my kids want (but Mom I NEEEEEEDDDD it) RIGHT THERE in your face. I think the check out lines should be like home base in hide and seek-you know, a safe zone. Instead you have to stand there battling it with "no you don't need any chocolate-didn't I already peel you off the rafters twice and you already have four billion silly bands and no your brother doesn't need a flashlight and yes I already have batteries and no you can't shave until your 13 or later no matter how cute the razor is and yes I know that is supposed to make your lips really soft and shiny and no you cannot have an upside down plant growing thing and why would you want THAT??? Please just let me pay the woman so we can get the heck outta here!!!"  By the time I get out of there and load and unload the children and the treasure trove of items we didn't need, weren't on the list and I swore I wouldn't buy, I am ready for something stronger than sweet tea.

Now for the randomness-I was listening to the radio on the way to work and heard about something called the "Rapture Orphan Rescue".  Hearing this tidbit on the radio made me cringe thinking these folks were just plain off their rockers or maybe scam artists, but I Googled it and really it wasn't as bad as I thought. Apparently, some atheists and/or agnostics think this is a good way to make their point. It must be cause here I am telling y'all about it. I do consider myself a Christian, although, sometimes I am concerned that my actions are not reflecting that. That is a whole 'nother post friends. Anyway, just a point of interest. Google it if ya wanna. If you need some Christian inspiration, I love the Proverbs 31 Ministries

Here's some useful stuff from 5 Dinners. She has templates for monthly meal planning which I think are handy dandy. I totally blew off this week's menu and am flying by the seat of my pants. Well with being sick and all it just seemed like a good idea, although, in retrospect, the first week of school is not the time to get less organized.

Also, for anyone who hasn't finished their shopping, Old Navy has a great deal going in store. If you buy a backpack for $10 you get a free lunch box. I love it. I hit them Friday and nabbed this deal for Sweet Cheeks. Old Navy is on Facebook here Old Navy FB. Or The Menu Mom has a lunchbox giveaway you could try your luck on.

I hope everyone has a great week. Good luck with all things back to school. Til next time....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Check these out

I spend a lot of time on the internet. A lot. I love finding new sites and fun new ways of doing things. 

Let me stop here and explain something about myself. I am cheap {but not easy}.  I don't buy many things new, and if I do buy new then not at full price. Especially for fast growing children who will either outgrow items or destroy them before getting my money's worth out of them. Besides, I really get a thrill out of thrift stores, yard sales, consignment shops and hand me downs. It is like treasure hunting. So in that regards, I am loving threadUP, a great clothes swapping site. It is an inexpensive way to gather school clothes and a fun way to clear out some closets. It is super simple to use and you pay just $13 for a box of goodies. You have to post a box as well to keep picking boxes, but you get one pick first!! 

I also love freebies. Some of my favorite freebies are printables. Here are probably a million (ok a few
hundred)  free printablesJust about anything you can think of from grocery lists, calendars and stationary to cards, invites and coloring pages. 

A new thing I just tried and am loving is Plastic Jungle.  It is a great site where you can trade gift cards you won't use for money or gift cards you WILL use. You can also purchase gift cards at a discount. I have already gotten my check for 2 gift cards!! I had also accidentally created a extra card swap. I just emailed their customer service and within 24 hours they had me all fixed!! I think they are great!!

How about a funtastic after school Snacktivity? I just love the hangman idea!!

That is all I got for now except, hey, did ya see that I figured out the whole hyperlink thing? First National Registry and now this? I feel like Einstein baby.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Running behind~as usual

Okay, I didn't get my Menu Plan Monday up yesterday. I know it seems like I'm a slacker {I am}, but I really had a good reason. I had my National Registry test for my EMT Basic class yesterday afternoon. I spent all day yesterday bouncing between studying and panicking. That was hard work. Really. But hey I passed. Whoop, whoop!  It was also a really busy weekend. Bubby got a hair cut and the living room got a fresh coat of paint.
See the hair and green walls

New Hair
New walls

Okay so here is my menu for the week minus last night {which was cereal or sandwich~take your pick}.
Tuesday~Chicken quesadillas (canned chicken, taco seasoning, cheese and toppings of choice). SO easy.
Wednesday~Meatloaf, mashed garlic potatoes, green beans
Thursday~stuffed baked potatoes with toppings of choice including chicken
Friday~taco soup
Saturday~having a party so it'll be hot dogs and burgers
What's for dinner at your house?

More useful internet finds:
Target has the Kodak Digital Video Camera - Black (Zx1) for $79.99 with free shipping. That is a heck of a deal my friends. See it here:  http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/?asin=B001OC5L0C&ref=sc_hero_txt&AFID=Performics_Spend%20Less%20and%20Save%20More&LNM=Kodak%20Digital%20Video%20Camera%20

And finally some great tips for organizing with your kids here:  http://www.simplify101.com/organizing-with-your-kids.php

Have a great day!!