Monday, September 1, 2008


Yes, I have a new hobby that is fun (for me) and saves me $$$. I am clipping coupons and watching sales ads to get some awesome deals on everyday items. My goal is to learn more about this so I can cut my grocery bills in half. I took my first trip to CVS last week. I signed up for an Extra Care Card before I began shopping. I had done some research online at some great money saving blogs.( I will be posting those for you very soon.)So I was not overwhelmed when I walked in. I knew the deals I wanted to take advantage of and left the store spending $15. With my new Extra Care Card, I earned $8 dollars in Extra Care Bucks. I can use these on my purchase this week. After researching the sales paper online, I plan to go this week and spend $2 out-of-pocket on some really cool items. That will be on the next post. Stay tuned for some great deals as I learn my way around the CVS experience.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, the pain...

..that a mom feels as she leaves those precious children in the hands of another on that first day of school. Dramatic? yes, but this has not been easy. My kindergartener absolutely excited about school. He came home yesterday telling me how wonderful it was and how much he loves it. My 5th grader, you know, the usual complaints of all the hard work that he has to do. He's big-he can deal. My 1st grader is in a room with tons of kids-many of them that don't know that you have to stay in your seat, raise your hand, obey the teacher, keep your hands to yourself etc.It is just a little too much for his quiet personality. He must love order way more than I knew. He has been in tears the night before, the morning of, and after school. It is so hard to see him struggle. The only thing I know to do is to keep encouraging him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.....

You know, we spend so much time sharing ideas for our children and seldom get the chance to share what we LOVE the most so this one is just for moms.

1. My favorite at home coffee--Dunkin Donuts is hands down the best that I have ever made at home!!!

2. Coffee Mate Cinnamon Bun to go with that coffee.($1 coupon on the coffee mate webiste right now)

3. Wheat Thins Lightly Cinnamon- perfect for when I want something sweet and crunchy.
(This is hidden from my kids. Come on they get EVERYTHING else in the house.)

4. Baby Spinach-on my sandwiches,in my eggs and pizza. Just seems great with everything.

5. Homemade Guacomole

6. Chex Mix

7. Sonic fountain drink

8. Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks

9. Naked Juice-the Purple One

10. Any of these plus a little quiet makes mom very happy.

Maybe next time I will list things in the NON food category;)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Shopping with Kids

Yep, I am one of those moms that takes her kids everywhere with her. Most people think I'm nuts but we DO have to go to the grocery store every now and then;) So I thought I'd give a few tips to help you keep your sanity while shopping with kids. Not that I'm the expert or anything-I've just been there a few times.

1. Early morning trips when everyone is fresh and fed work great!!!

2. We often drive 30 minutes when doing shopping so a bathroom trip upon arrival at the store is often good.

3.On the way, I usually think about what needs to be done the most and map out my plans( which store 1st, what I can't go home without etc.)

4. I always pack raisins,peanut butter crackers and such to entertain and hold them over til lunch.

5. Make a list!! When I don't, I always leave something important out. (Especially if the kids go nuts)

6. If they do go nuts, remain calm. They usually don't care if I am about to loose my mind so the only person I am hurting is myself.

7. My kids are much better when they have a job to do. When we are at the grocery store, we take turns finding what I need(older ones) and putting things in the shopping cart.

8. Love those places where there is a play area. I love the ones in the malls and so do my kids. They know that if they are sweet they will get to play for awhile.

9. If we are in a hurry, we make it a game. How long will it take us to get in and out with what we need?? They love guessing!

10. I try to make the end result something to look forward to like picking the place to eat lunch, a movie when we get home, play time in the play area. My boys really need to know that I won't make them shop for an eternity;)

Hope these little suggestions help you have a smoother trip! Please feel free to comment. I love new ideas!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


WARNING: Tired mommy vent ahead. Proceed with caution. A little tired this week. Dad is out of town so I am left to be mom and dad to my four lil ones. My oldest ones have had complete meltdowns over nothing this week. They miss their dad.
We started off strong this week. We swam with friends on Monday then had a sleepover Monday nite. Hung out with our company on Tuesday. Another sleepover on Wednesday night. I keep thinking that we need to do all of this play time before school starts. While it was nice to have others to entertain my kids, we are all completely exhausted from it. It seems that we go from one extreme to the next. We are bored or we are running around like crazy. Sounds like it may be time to get on a schedule again. Don't get me wrong we have PLENTY to do around here. I need to start refreshing the reading skills before school starts. I also aspired to doing piano lessons here this summer with my kids but we simply have not sat down to do it. I have these great ideas and they always get shoved aside. Anyway, it is late. We are shopping for school supplies tomorrow.We will see what this weekend brings.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine!!

Bet your morning didn't start out by confiscating 3 light sabers, 1 ninja sword, and 1 batman sword due to a screaming 5 year old---something about not being fair!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Treasure of the Week

Our treasure of the week has been cherries. I finally purchased some after the priced dropped by about $4. My kids ate them up so I bought another bag. So proud that my kids are eating a new fruit, I got online to find out exactly how healthy this treasure is. Check out I noticed that the kids began to slow down eating them today so I found a great recipe that I wanted to share.

Cherry Muffins
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1c 2% milk
1 c cherries, chopped (pits removed)

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray mini muffin pan with olive oil spray. Mix together dry ingredients. Stir in egg, milk, & butter. Fold in cherries. Fill muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

A little more serious blog

I have been struggling with a decision lately. I really am interested in sending my kids to public school. The school we are zoned for is really.....awful. So I talked to a few people about getting a new address to send them to a better public school. The verdict is "iffy." The new address would not be our primary residence so we could be asked to leave if someone turned us in. Ok, so that sounds like a NO. The private school we attend is just okay. We pay alot of money for okay. I could go back and teach at the school where I want my kids to attend but with that comes a lot of guilt for leaving my youngest. I am not sure that I am ready to go back to work. The money would be good. The changes for our family could be not-so-good. My children want to stay at the "just-okay" private school.

I am tired of thinking about it!!!! Anyone else in a situation like this????

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Easy Craft!!

Need an easy craft?? This one is cheap and easy for all ages.
You will need:

sidewalk chalk

First step is to pour salt on a piece of paper.

Next, rub chalk in salt until it is colored.

Use paper to pour colored salt into containers.

These leftover jelly jars worked great. The kids loved seeing the layers and experimenting with new colors. Kept them busy for quite a while;)

Monday, July 7, 2008

An Idea for all of those "extra" clothes

I am a bargain shopper!! I love to find that super sweet deal on something that I was really needing anyway. This weekend it was t-shirts for $2.99 in my daughter's favorite princesses. Just love that! The deals were so good that I stocked up on nightgowns, a birthday present, and a few Christmas items. Ok, so you get the point--bargain shopper all the way!!
I always donate to Goodwill and our local store. Some items I just hate to give away. I go through our clothes for the upcoming season and see which ones fit, which ones will be handed down and which ones are good enough to auction off. I have found that I usually end up with enough "auctionable" things that I make enough $$ to turn around and buy new or gently used things in the next size. I have been doing this for a couple of years and now look at it as recycling. Such a great thing to let someone else have great clothes at a fraction of what it would cost at the store. Such a great thing for me to use that money to buy the clothes we need for the upcoming season. I am already getting my fall stuff out and seeing what will be need for my kids.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Broccoli Salad

This is wonderful!!!!

2 0r 3 bunches of broccoli
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c raisins
1 c chopped celery
1 c Mexican cheese
4 slices bacon, crumbled
cherry tomatoes, optional
2/3 c mayo
1/4 to 1/2 c sugar
4 T red wine vinegar

Chop broccoli tops, onion, celery and toss with sunflower seeds, cheese, and raisins. Mix mayo, sugar, and vinegar well. Pour over vegetables. Chill in refrigerator.

**Feel free to leave out any vegetable ingredient that you don't like. I leave out the raisins and cherry tomatoes. I have had it before where others add extra nuts like pecans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tomato Pie

1 pie crust
3-4 slices tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup mayo

Brush pie crust with butter. Cook pie crust in 400F oven for five minutes.Remove and place sliced tomatoes and basil in bottom of crust. Mix cheese and mayo together and add on top of veggies. Cook at 400F for 15- 20 minutes.

Great as side dish with steak!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Veggies!

Just thought I would post some recipes for all of those summer vegetables that are so yummy right now.

My Husband's Favorite

1-2 cucumbers peeled and sliced
Italian Dressing

Place the cucumbers in a bowl and cover with Italian Dressing. The longer this marinates in the refrigerator, the better he likes it. I usually try to let it sit overnight.
** You can also add onions and tomatoes to this **

My Grandma's Cucumbers

1-2 cucumbers peeled and sliced
1/3 jar water
2/3 jar white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint jar with lid

She places the cucumbers in the jar first. Adds vinegar, water, and sugar. Puts lid on jar and shakes. She serves this as a side with every meal.

Check tomorrow for a Tomato Basil Pie recipe!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My Favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a trip to Brazil, this is now a favorite of mine!!!!

1 diced tomato
1/2 diced bell pepper
1/2 diced onion
chopped cilantro

I keep this in a bowl in the fridge. Perfect with those fresh summer veggies. We eat it with Tacos, fajitas(any Mexican dish), hamburgers, any rice dish. I have even used it as a dip for chips. It just seems to add that spunk and crunch that I love with my foods. Very healthy too!!!!

Add black beans, italian dressing, and garlic. Chill in the fridge for an out of this world dip!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Your Kids Will Eat Their Veggies!

A friend of mine has been sharing some ideas on how to "sneak" vegetables into her kids diets without them suspecting. Something I have decided that we need to do as well. My kids do the traditional yucky face when I mention vegetables so I thought I would share a few ideas.

Yesterday we made "Marci Bread." Our friend Mrs. Marci actually got Aaron(the pickiest eater) to eat zucchini bread by leaving out the word zucchini. So now anytime I bake banana bread etc., we call it "Marci Bread." So our Marci Bread yesterday was made with yellow summer squash. The kids loved it and called it cake. So here is the recipe:

Squash Bread

3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup white flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups shredded summer squash

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 2 loaf pans. In large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, & nutmeg. Fold in squash. Transfer to baking dishes. Bake 45 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

** You can see the squash in the bread so I shredded mine a little finer. I think the kids thought it was apples***

Antoher easy recipe:

Chocolate muffins

One chocolate cake mix
One can of pumpkin

Mix together and bake at 350F until inserted knife comes out clean.
Tons of vitamin A in this one.

Yes, these recipes do have sugar in them but we have decided to start our healthier eating habits slowly - not cold turkey. I want my kids to be excited about the new foods that we have around our house.