Thursday, September 6, 2012
I am stressing buying gifts again this year, because there never seems to be enough money. Now that I am repaying the loan my boss gave me to fix my car, I bring in $100 less every month. My kids are older now, and they want electronics, which are expensive. I need to check out Geek Magazine for some ideas. I keep telling them to make me lists, but they forget. I really want to be able to get the girls laptops (Ryan already has one) but I may need more than Apple promo codes to be able to afford them. I might have to wait until February and get them when I get my tax refund. I'm hoping they will give me some ideas for cheaper gifts, that way I can use a Target promo code and do a little shopping online.
For now, though, I am going to go through my cookie recipes, and decide which ones we are going to make this year. I don't want December sneaking up on me again.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
The risk of blood clots is what keeps me away from hormone based birth control. Right now, there is a nuvaring lawsuit going on that scares me. I mean, no one knows what the long term side effects are of all these forms of birth control, and I refuse to put my body through that. I would rather rely on condoms, and not put extra hormones into my body.
Monday, August 13, 2012
It's that time of year again, where I spend hundreds of dollars getting my kids ready to go back to school. Between clothes and shoes and school supplies, it can get very expensive buying them all the things they need. Thankfully, I am a good shopper, and when I find a good deal, I jump on it. I usually shop sales, but at Dollar General, I don't have to wait for sales. They have great prices everyday, so shopping there just makes sense.
There is a Dollar General right up the street from where I live, and with gas prices so high, having somewhere to shop close by is a blessing. My kids still need the basic things like pens and binders, and I can find those and more at Dollar General for great prices. Right now, they have a QR code you can scan (or you can text "bts" to 34898) to save even more money.
I love that I can also use my EBT card there, which means I can stock up on snacks and drinks for Brandi to take in her lunch box. I have spent many hours trying to convince her to buy lunch at school, but she refuses. If she would, it would not only be easier on me in the mornings, but it would save me money since my kids qualify for free lunch. Back to School Saving from Dollar General will make going back to school a little easier and less expensive, and I love that.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
I look forward the the kids getting out of school for summer break every year. Then two weeks into the summer, I start looking forward to them going back to school. Thankfully, that time is fast approaching, and I can not wait! I love the routine we fall into with homework and bedtimes, and I can not even tell you how tired I am of hearing the kids complain about being bored. The only thing I don't like about them going back to school is the amount of money I have to shell out for school supplies.
This year, all three of my kids need new sneakers. In South Carolina, physical education is not a yearly requirement like it was when I went to school in New York. That said, this just happens to be a year where all of my kids have gym first semester. They usually wear flip flops, sandals, or even boots to school, so I hardly ever buy them sneakers. Now that they need them, they have all outgrown the ons they have. THankfully, Famous Footwear is having a great back to school shoe sale, where I can use a BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon to save money.
They also offer a FREE rewards program, and signing up can save me an additional 5% off my total purchase. The rewards prgram also gets me i point for every dollar I spend, and I can save those points to get up to $100 in certificate each year. Becoming a member also gets me special discounts and perks, and I love that! they have hundreds of name brand shoes in their stores, so I am sure my kids will find something they like. Plus, by taking advntage of the BOGO, I can get myself a new pair of shoes, which is something I hardly ever do. The coupon is good until August 18th, and if I can't find the time to get to one of their stores, I can shop online, which is awesome.
And after I get them shoes, the only things left to buy are pens and pencils and bookbags and notebooks and rulers....the list goes on and on and on. Wish me luck!
Friday, July 27, 2012
I have seen a lot of posts on Facebook lately about Christmas being only five months away. While I am stressing about that, I have another yearly tradition that comes before Christmas that has me a little preoccupied. Every year, I host a Halloween/birthday party for Ryan. I make all types of Halloween themed foods, and my table is always crowded. This year, I have found a bunch of new recipes, and I am dying to try them out.
Since this will mean more food, I will need more space for it all. I think I am going to spread it out not only on my table, but on the bar in my kitchen as well. I was thinking of making little signs to stick in the foods, describing what they are. For instance, I take little cocktail sausages, wrap them in totillas, cut the ends a little and fill the space with barbeque sauce. The end result: mummy toes! Everyone loves them, but some don't get that they a mummy toes. I think a little sign saying that would look great. A new idea I found on the internet is to cut a face into a small pumpkin, with the mouth open, and spilling guacamole out of it. Pumpkin puke! A little sign saying guacamole might be good, just to make it clear that the puke is edible.
I want to make the signs myself, using AstroBrights papers. This paper is pretty awesome, because, as the name says, they come in 23 BRIGHT colors. I may only use the orange, green, and black for my little signs, so the rest can be for the kids. I know they'll need it once school starts back up.
Speaking of school starting back, you can enter your local elementary school in the "Give A Brighter Year" sweepstakes, where they have a chance to win $30,000 in school supplies. You could also win a little cash for yourself! You should check out AstroBrights Facebook page, too, and check out their "Make Something AstroBright" design challenges. You could win all kinds of prizes. Just make sure that when you share your creations using social media, you use the hashtag #goastrobrights.
I am off to figure out what my little signs should look like. Any ideas?
Sunday, July 15, 2012
It's hard to shop for them when they are with me, because let's face it, how much fun is it to know what all of your Christmas gifts are before the big day. Sites like ThinkGeek offer great ideas for gifts and shopping online means I can sneak the stuff into the house without the kids seeing it. I can also use GoToMyPC promo codes to help me save some money.
I do need a few things for myself, and since I don't have a significant other these days to buy me Christmas gifts, I'll have to find the money to buy them for myself. Most of the things are not necessities, but I do need a toaster. Or a toaster oven. The kids like to make eggs and toast in the mornings, and Brandi always needs one of the other kids to help her make the toast because the bread has to go in the oven, and she is not old enough to use the oven herself yet. I'm going to look online for a Home Depot coupon and check there for a toaster. I know they carry a few small appliances, so maybe I'll get lucky and find what I want.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
I also need to catch up with all the goings on of the world. I know nothing about science technology news 2012 or computers, and I'm sure my math skills are a little rusty. Thankfully there are sites like SciTechDaily.com that can not only help me catch up on all things technical, but they also have coupons for all kinds of things. They have Expedia coupons, as well as coupons for office supply stores, which can help save me a little money when it comes time to buy school supplies.
My sister has two little kids, a full time job, and is making time to go to college. I believe that if she can do it, I can too.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
I can not believe that Thursday is the last day of school for my kids. They have full days Monday and Tuesday, and then half days on Wednesday and Thursday. I am excited that I will no longer have to enforce bedtimes, but I am worried about my food budget during the summer months. My kids qualify for free breakfast and lunch at school, which means that during the school year, I am only responsible for feeding them supper and supplying their tummies with snacks. Once school is out, I have to make sure there is food in the house for every meal.
My kids are pretty self-sufficient, so it's not like I have to prepare all their food for them, which is good since I will be working everyday. I want them to eat wholesome food, not just junk food. If they had their way, they would eat ice cream and snack cakes all day. I want them to eat foods that have some type of nutritional value, and Quaker Soft Baked Bars fit that bill perfectly. Each one has 140 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. They can eat them right out of the box, or throw them in the microwave to heat them up a little bit. Either way, i think they would ne the perfect breakfast snack. Just look how mouth watering they look:
That's the Cinnamon Pecan one. Doesn't it look delicious! Check out all that icing! But, the Banana Nut Bread would probably be my favorite. I am a sucker for anything banana.
Lunch will be a little more difficult, because even if I buy lunch meat and bread, they will make a box of mac and cheese or something. But I guess as long as they have one good meal each day I should be satisfied. Plus, I know I will be making healthy dinners, since I am watching what I eat too.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
I live in an apartment complex, as most of your know. All the apartments are the same, and honestly, whoever picked the color scheme for the kitchens was a little crazy. I like the layout, and it's big enough for me and the kids to all be in there and not step on each other, but the countertops and cabinets are white. I hate this! No matter how much I scrub them, some stains that have been there since we moved in still won't come out. I know the counters are clean, because I am fanatical about wiping them down, even if they don't "look" clean. My favorite product to use are Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes. I can find these, and all my other favorite Clorox® cleaning products, at Dollar General®.
It is so easy to just grab one of these and wipe down the counters as I go, instead of waiting to clean all at once after I have prepared and cooked a meal. Plus, the kids don't know how to clean up after themselves, so I often find myself grabbing a wipe and wiping down all the counters when I get home from work. I am alll about easy to use products. Anything that saves me time is awesome in my book.
Right now (until June24th) Clorox® is sponsoring a sweepstakes at dollargeneral.com called It Pays to Vacation at Home. They are giving away 20 grand prizes of $500 to help you vacation in the comfort of your own home. I am not one of those people who need to get away to relax. After driving for ten hours a day, sitting at home with my computer or a good book sounds like heaven! They are also giving away 100 first prizes, and those lucky winners get $25 Dollar General ®gift cards. Once you register to win, you can play the Wipe To Win instant game for a chance to win a $10 Dollar General® gift card. You can play this game once a day, and I have been trying to win for a few days now. Unfortunatley, all I ever get is this:
But, I am not discouraged. I mean, you can't win if you don't try! That said, make sure you go and enter the It Pays to Vacation at Home Sweepstakes for your chance to win!
Saturday, May 19, 2012
The best thing about this weight loss is that my clothes are fitting better. Jeans I used to have to suck my gut in just to button and zip up now slide right on, without my even having to unbutton or unzip them. I know pretty soon I will have to buy new clothes, and I am kind of looking forward to it.
Along with all this exercising, I have been eating healthier, too, which I know is helping me lose weight. I have been trying new foods, which is not something I am used to. It would be nice if I could find freebies of granola bars and nuts. I could probably find some free diet pills , but I am doing so well on my won right now, I don't want to take supplements of any kind unless I absolutely have to. I am going to sign up for all the free beauty samples I can, because I find myself paying much more attention to how I look, as well as how I feel.
My sister told me the other day that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. I am far from skinny, but my goal is to someday know exactly what she meant by that.
Monday, April 30, 2012
How cute are these planters? I found them pretty cheap while shopping yesterday, so I couldn't pass them up. I bought the two plants on the right today, but I have had the African Violet on the right for a while now. I used to have it in a smaller planter, which seemed to have contributed to it's not growing. Now that it is in a bigger planter, I am hoping it will grow.
I'm thinking I might need some organic plant food to help it along. I tried to find some today, but there were so many choices, so I decided to do a little research before deciding on which one to buy.
Whitney Farms® has 25+ years of leading gardening experience and has improved their products to have:
- low to no dust
- no manure odor
- easy to apply
- contains beneficial microbes
- specially designed protein-based blends provide your plants with both macro and micronutrients they need to grow and thrive
I have heard there are many benefits to planting your plants in organic soil. Whitney Farms® has a full line of 100% natural plant foods and organic soils with no additives. There is nothing artificial about them. They only use ingredients from the Earth that are designed to give you big, beautiful flowers and veggies. I am going to use the $3 coupon to try them out. You can get a coupon yourself by checking out Whitney Farms® and filling out the required information. I'll be sure to let you know how big my plants grow!
Friday, April 27, 2012
The other day, my downstairs neighbor and I were talking about needing a girl's night out. I've never had actual girlfriends before, so I've never been a part of a girl's night out. To say I am excited would be an understatement. I acually have a few girlfriends I would love to get together with, and while they don't necessarily know each other, I think a night of food and drinks can change that. I am hoping that we can make this a monthly thing.
I have been thinking about where we should go, and I want it to be somewhere I have never been before. One of my friends recommended Chili's, which just so happens to be somewhere I have never been. I checked out their menu online, because now that I am dieting, I wanted to make sure they had something good for me to eat that wouldn't ruin my weigh in. They have several "light" choices, and I am dying to try their Margarita Grilled Chicken. their website describes it as "Classic Margarita-flavored grilled chicken with hints of lime and citrus, served with rice, black beans, tortilla strips and house-made pico de gallo ". Sounds ymmy, right? And what better to go with that than the CoronaRita at Chili's, which is made with Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila and Corona. I mean, look how thirst quenching this looks:
Now let me ask you, my loyal readers, what you uld recommend I try while at Chili's. Keep in mind that I am trying to diet, but I am not opposed to sharing a dessert with my friends. And the next time you are at Chili's, try the new CoronaRita, and make sure you come back here and let me know if you liked it. Or loved it. And I'll do the same!
“You must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages and as always, please remember to drink responsibly”
Friday, April 20, 2012
I want to find some cookbooks that focus on healthy chicken recipes, since I am back on my diet (and doing great!). The problem is that cookbooks are kind of expensive. I am trying to find one that I can use AbeBooks coupons to get, and their website has tons of cookbooks to choose from. I found several about healthy cooking, but none specifically about chicken. I think I might have to dig a little deeper.
I have been building up my kitchen gadget arsenal lately, too. I have several different frying pans (both coated and non-coated) and a seemingly endless variety of utensils. But, there are things I don't have that I really would like to have. I might have to find some Amazon promotional codes to help me afford the things I want.
There are other things besides cooking stuff I want, too, now that I have a little bit of extra cash. I was thinking about starting my Christmas shopping so that what happened last year doesn't happen again this year. I was checking out Geek Gadgets 2012 and there are lots of random things on there that my kids would love! The problem is going to be finding a place to hide whatever I buy for the next eight months where the kids won't find everything.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I love flowers! If you do too, now is the time to start thinking about getting those bulbs in the ground. I want to plant daffodils on flower pots on my porch, so I used the Garden Guru Tool at digdropdone.com to figure out when the best time to plant is in my area. You can use it too. All yu have to do is:
Step 1 – Pick your Country
Step 2 – Pick your location within that Country
Step 3 – Choose the type of bulb you want to grow
Step 4 – Check out the Planting Guide that shows you how to plant your bulbs.
This is what it suggests for my area:
While you are on the site, make sure you check out the Curbside Chaos they have going on right now. To enter, simply upload a picture of your yard and explain why you think it needs help. The lucky winner will not only receive a $5,000 yard makeover, but they will also receive a visit from Taniya Nayak (@TaniyaNayak on Twitter) – Taniya will go through and give you tips on the best way to update your yard! She will give you creative ideas for incorporating flower bulbs into your landscape. The contest ends April 15th, so hurry and get your entries in. You can visit www.digdropdone.com to learn more. Also, for every share on Twitter, "Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done." will donate $1.00 to Rebuilding Together - the nation’s leading nonprofit, working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities.
This website also offers lots of advice for growing flowers that suit your needs. They have different women who offer different advice, and I find myself identifying with Marcy, the super mom. She talks about how bulbs are easy to plant, leaving her time to care for her family. I work so much, and when I'm not working, I am all about being the best mom I can be. I want beautiful flowers on my porch, but I don't want to spend a lot of time planting and caring for them. That's why bulbs are perfect for me.
Monday, April 9, 2012
I'm dieting right now (big surprise, right) so I am always hungry. I have three kids at home who always seem to be hungry too, no matter how long it has been since their last meal or snack. I am so thankful that when we are hungry, all we need to do is walk into the kitchen and find something to munch on. I am even more thankful that I am not one of the more than fifty million Americans who do not know where their next meal will come from, let alone snack.
I was unaware that Springtime is a difficult time for food pantries to keep food available for those in need. Walmart knows this, and is doing a Facebook campaign called Vote to fight spring hunger with Walmart where you can vote for the community you think needs assistance the most. They have a list of 200 communities ranked by their unemployment rates. I was surprised to find the county where I live (Spartanburg SC) fairly high on the list with an unemployment rate of 11.4%. Voting starts April 9th and continues until April 30th, with the winners announced May 1st. The community with the most votes will receive one million dollars, and the twenty runners up will each receive fifty thousand dollars. That is a lot of money, and I want to make sure that my community get a piece of it.
You can also participate in Fighting Hunger Together by purchasing select products from ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg's at Walmart. Doing so allows customers to donate meals to Feeding America or Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit fighting childhood hunger. Make sure and check your local Walmart for all the details the next time you stop in.
Together we can help make sure that when someone is hungry, they have food to eat.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
I loved them!
I'm not sure what type of mushrooms they were, but since then, I have tried several different varieties, and I have loved them all. My son and youngest daughter love them too. I have been looking online for new recipes, and I have found several that use porcini mushrooms. I'm not sure I am a good enough cook to attempt some of them. The Italian ones seemed the simplest, so I am thinking of trying one of those.
Have any of you ever tried corn pasta? How does it taste? I imagine it has more flavor than regular pasta made from white flour, and since I am trying to cut back on white flour and sugar, I think the corn pasta might be a good alternative, especially since I do not like wheat pasta.
Of course, if I am going to attempt to make a gourmet meal, I feel like I should have an equally gourmet dessert to go with it. I have never made anything more complicated than a cheesecake, so trying a recipe that includes exotic (at least to me!) ingredients like flower water can be a tad daunting. But, if I'm going to go all out, I may as well go out with a bang.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
My best friend and I seem to do everything the same. We got engaged the same month and year, we got married the same month and year, we had our first child the same year, and we both live in similar homes in the same town. It’s funny. I don’t think we intend to do this, it just seems to always happen that way. For example, she told me the other day that they are going to get ADT security Driver installed and I was like, no way! You see, we had decided to do that as well the week before, and I had not told her. I swear, she had no way of knowing we were going to do that. I was like, are you kidding me? We do everything together at the same time without even realizing it. We had a good laugh over that and agreed that we really are the same person living in two different bodies. That must be why we get along so well and have been friends for so long.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
I love Miracle-Gro® . I have been using it for years to feed my plants and help them grow bigger and fuller. I have also used it in my garden, and I can always tell when I do, because my plants would produce so much more vegetables. Right now, there is an even better Miracle-Gro® available, and I can not wait to try it!
Simply put, Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix offers these benefits:
- Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables!* *versus native soil
- Significantly improves soil for multiple years
- Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
- Feeds for up to 6 months
- All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil
Feeding my kids can get expensive, especially this time of year when I love to cook with fresh vegetables. Growing my own not only saves me money, but it also offers me vegetables free of pesticides. I am going to have to grow my plants in containers this year, so by using Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix I won't have to lug a huge bag of potting soil up two flights of stairs to the porch outside my apartment. All I need is a small bag and I will be able to fill all the containers I will need. I will definitely be growing tomatoes, but I am not sure what else will do well in containers. Any ideas?
You should check out Expand ‘n Gro™ for yourself. Click that link and you will find a $3 off coupon. Make sure you come back here and let me know what you think, and also how you used it, whether it was in your garden or in containers, like I plan on doing.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
The first time I had cheesecake, it was one of those boxed misses that I made myself. I thought it was delicious. Than one day, I was in a restaurant with a friend of mine, and I ordered a piece of New York Cheesecake. There really are no words to describe how good it was. Since then, my favorite dessert has become cheesecake, and I have tried all different kinds. My favorite, by far, is this:
Turtle cheesecake. Caramel, chocolate, nuts...oh my. It's like a party in my mouth. That cheesecake above can be found at Cheesecake.com. Of course, they have lots of other flavors, like Amaretto and Strawberry. They even have a raspberry swirl, and I am dying to try that one. I bet it's delicious!
I have attempted in the past to make a cheesecake from scratch, and while it did taste yummy, it wasn't nearly as good as a professionally made one. So, from now on, whenever I go out to eat, I will treat myself to a slice of cheesecake for dessert.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Now, just in case you, my sweet readers, decide to send me a gift basket, I prefer ones full of food. I found a delicious cheesecake one, and a cookie one, and several fruit ones. Oh, and they had candy filled ones, too. And nuts. I love nuts. The possibilities are endless.
The next time you are looking for a gift for someone, keep in mind that gift baskets are a great choice. They come in all sizes and you can always find one that fits your budget. I wonder if I could find a lady bug themed one for Brandi? Or a skull and cross bone themed one for Kasi? I am sure I can find a racing themed one for Ryan. Maybe they will find gift baskets under the tree next Christmas.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I moved last month, and things were so busy that I forgot to connect my Directv. When I figured out that I forgot, I immediately went to www.tvbydirect.com and got it connected. the problem was that they couldn’t come out for a few days to install my new dish. I was so bored when I came home every night, and I really missed having access to all those channels. It’s so nice to come home after working so hard all day and just zone out and watch my favorite shows. I was bummed that I missed Shameless and Californication on Showtime, but I was able to watch them on demand after the service was up and running. I was lucky that no one at work shared any spoilers. Usually we discuss the shows in Mondays over lunch, but I warned my coworkers not to ruin it for me. I also missed my other favorite, Modern Family. I need to check and see if I can watch that one online. I think it is available, and i need to know what happened last week!
Monday, February 6, 2012
Years ago, when cell phones first became popular, my ex had one through Sprint. He never had any issues with their service. Right now, I have a pre-paid cell phone, which I love, but I am thinking about switching to a plan where I can get phones for the kids and I for one monthly bill. Buying phones for the four or us can get expensive, so when I heard about this online sale Sprint is having on phones I was pretty excited.
The Nexus S™ 4G is FREE when you open a new line of service or add to your account. ($50 MIR converts to instant + $99.99 web only savings).
The HTC EVO™ 3D is only $49.99 when you open a new line of service or add to your account. ($50 MIR converts to instant + $50 web only savings)
Both phones look pretty awesome, but if I get them for my kids, I would choose the free one. I don't want to spend money on phones that I know they will abuse. Because let's face it, teenagers can be pretty destructive.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
How do you decide where to fill your prescriptions? In the town I live in, there are different pharmacies on every corner. I moved here last year, and the pharmacy I used to use is about twenty minutes away. I was going to switch to one of the local ones, but I love the service and savings I get at Walgreens, so I never did switch.
I am going to become a member of Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. For only $20 a month, I can save a ton of money on prescriptions. I can save money on more than 8,000 brand name medications and all their generic medications. I can get discounts on flu shots, nebulizers, diabetic supplies, and even pet prescriptions. I already buy Walgreen brand products when I shop there, and doing so with my membership can earn me bonuses.
If you want to save money on your prescriptions, get a membership for yourself. Or, get one for your entire family. For only $35 a year you can get the family membership, which covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets. To stay updated on all things Walgreens, follow Walgreens on Twitter and like Walgreens on Facebook.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
We watch entirely too much television at our house during the winter. With the sun setting earlier nad it being so cold outside, what else is there to do? Our direct tv new york is always on, often in more than one room! The kids each have a television in their room, my husband watched in the den and I even have one in the kitchen. The kids usually want to watch something on Disney or Nickelodeon but never the same thing. Hence the need for them to each have their own. Hubby usually watches Sportscenter after work to catch up on football, basketball and hockey. I have no interest in sports and no time to sit down and watch television. Anything I watch has to be on in the kitchen where I am usually cooking, cleaning or making the next day’s lunches. Luckily, winter doesn’t last forever and in a couple of months the days will be longer and we can all go outside for a walk and some fresh air!