Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Girl Scout Cookie Fake Out!

Yesterday I had an inkling to make cookies, any kind really.  So after checking out a few of the baking blogs I have bookmarked I came across a recipe to make those yummy minty flavored Girl Scout cookies!  Mmmm, homemade thin mints!  Then my hubby suggests that I make homemade tagalongs (his favorite), so I start my search for a recipe.  I came across this lovely recipe.  Mmmmm, those sounds delicious!  So I went to the store to get more flour (I knew I didn’t have enough for both recipes), sticks of butter and mint extract.

Overall the recipes were great!  I wish I would have made the thin mints a little bigger, they came out quite small.  I also would have made the tagalong cookies smaller.  The recipe said they wouldn’t expand and they did!  So they were a little big.



I plan on only eating a few (Angel) and then serving the rest on Friday at Trivia Night!!

Pictures to come soon!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Planning Monday (11/1)

Here is my menu for the week:

Monday - Meatloaf with Green Cabbage and Bacon
Tuesday - Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Asparagus
Wednesday - Crockpot Pot Roast with Yellow Squash and Zucchini
Thursday - Eggplant Lasagna with Creamy Broccoli
Friday – Dinner out for a friend’s birthday!
Saturday - Breakfast – Eggs, Bacon and Hashbrowns (Might go ahead and make this in the Crockpot depending on how I feel)

I’ll post recipes and pictures once I make the meals so you can try them out too!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Foyer Make-Over Part 1

Ever since we moved into our house a year and almost a half ago, I’ve wanted to repaint the trim in our foyer.  The previous owners had the trim painted an ugly ‘purple’ color as I call it.  It’s probably really called ‘mauve’ but it still looks purple to me.  Well we I finally got around to repaint it white.  Unfortunately we don’t have the paint for the trim in the rest of the house so I had to do my best to find a pretty white.  I started the first coat the other day and finished the second coat today and am now waiting for it to dry so I can take the tape off and clean up the newspaper.  Here is a sneak peak of how it looks.

The new color is on the left… old yucky purple color on the left.
After: During:

I can see the improvement already!  I will post final pictures when I am done.

Crockpot Honey Maple Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes!  And since it is getting cooler I will be making then more often.  Last week I came up with this yummy sweet potato and chicken meal.


3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 or 3 sweet potatoes (cubed)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of brown sugar

I started by putting my chicken at the bottom of my crockpot (doesn’t matter if it’s still frozen).  On top of that I poured the syrup, honey, butter and brown sugar.  Next I tossed the sweet potato on top of the chicken.  I cooked on low for 5 hours.  I made sure to stir it about halfway through so that the sweet potato got some of that yummy juice!  It came out quite flavorful!  This is a great fall meal!



Monday, October 18, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

I made this super yummy dish the other night and it was a big hit!  I had most the ingredients on hand which was the reason I came up with the idea.  I only had to get tortillas and the taco seasoning.

Here are your ingredients:

1 lb of ground turkey or beef
1 can of Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
1 can of whole kernel corn

1 can of crushed tomatillos
1 taco seasoning packet
1 cup of shredded mexican cheese
6-8 flour tortillas
salsa or sour cream for garnish

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
First cook up your ground meat. This is where I get to use one of my favorite kitchen utensils, my Pampered Chef Mix ‘n Chop.  It really is such a dandy little tool.

Next add the seasoning packet, corn (drained), tomatillos, and soup.  Mix till it’s well blended.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Next take a medium sized casserole dish and line the bottom of it with two tortillas.  Then scoop some of the meat mixture (about 1/4 of it) on top of the tortillas and spread it out.  Now layer two more tortillas and top with the meat mixture.  Add one more layer of tortilla and meat mixture.  I had room for one more layer so I added another tortilla layer and meat mixture.  Lastly I topped with the cup of shredded mexican cheese.  
Pop your dish into the oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbly. 
It came out delicious.  And it’s a yummy alternative to taco night!  And you can easily do this with chicken as your meat.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu Plan for the week 10/17

I actually planned out my meals for this week, a task that I rarely get around to doing.

Friday: We ate a yummy dish that I created which my husband dubbed Mexican Lasagna. I will be posting the recipe once I upload the pics.
Saturday: Pizza at a friend's house.
Sunday: Chicken parm and alfredo cooked by my husband. =)
Monday: Shrimp Lomein with roasted broccoli and red peppers
Tuesday: Honey maple crockpot chicken and sweet potatoes
Wednesday: Easy beer and ketchup meatballs and roasted parmesan cauliflower
Thursday: Chicken Alfredo and green beans
Friday: Chicken fries and corn on the cob.

What's on your menu this week? Any good recipes to share?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mushroom & Onion Crockpot Chicken

Yesterday I cooked up a very easy and delicious crockpot meal.

3 boneless chicken breasts
1 can of golden mushroom soup
1 onion chopped
4 gloves of garlic minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Place chicken breasts in the stoneware. Add onion, garlic and salt and pepper to stoneware. Lastly pour soup on top of chicken. Cook on high for about 6 hours. I served it with chicken flavored rice and it came out delicious! Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Favorite Coupon Sites

My absolute favorite is Hot Coupon World.  There is tons of info on this site… especially on the forums.  The other ladies are so knowledgeable.  And you can check out the deals in the stores that are near  you.
There are only a couple of grocery stores around me and after reading through posts on HCW, I realized that HEB is not the place to go if you want good deals.  Yea they sometimes have good deals.  But it’s usually on their own brand or “in store with coupon” which is basically the same coupon I have that I clipped from the Sunday paper!  So no real savings there!  Needless to say, I only shop at HEB if there is something I absolutely have to have.

I get my real deals at Randall’s, Walgreens and CVS.  They each have awesome sales and deals to save the average shopper.  Randall’s has their Remarkable Card, CVS has their Extracare Bucks, and Walgreen’s has their Register Rewards.  You can definitely find deals if you look for them!

Here is a list of other Couponing sites that I have found and liked!

In my “Buttons” column I have a couple that I frequent like:
* Coupon Geek
* Passion for Savings
* Wild for Wags
Here a couple of more:

* I Heart CVS

* I Heart Wags
* Totally Target
* Debbie Does Coupons
* Freebies 4 Mom
* Saving With Shellie
* Money Saving Madness
* Coupon Gal
* Pirates of the Supermarket
* Frugal Shopping with Julie
* My Coupon Teacher
* Simply CVS

Now these are the ones that I have found quite useful but I am sure there are TONS more out there, so please share those that you find!


My Floor …

… after sewing…


Lots of thread everywhere.  I gotta bring the vacuum in and clean it up!

My Coupon Binder

So I told you I started couponing and saving my family money… by family I mean, me, my husband and our furbaby Captian.  I wanted to share with you how I organize my coupons.

At first I had a small accordion folder that I had gotten at the dollar store.  That didn’t last very long because I had filled it to the brim… I needed a new way and though that the binder was the way to go.  This is similar to the one I used, just without the notepad.

I bought a pack of Pokemon card holders at Target for like $9.99.  The package had about 65 pages with 9 slots on each page.  Essentially they are baseball card pages but the only ones they had when I went were Pokemon brand.  I also got a 2” binder that came with a plastic pocket.  It also had a front see-through pocket so I can add my own front cover.  I already had several dividers around the house so I didn’t need to buy those.

I didn’t really know how to organize my dividers so I just used the words that my accordion folder used.  I can always go and rearrange the way I organize them.

Here are the categories I use.  You can use whatever categories work for you.
*Drug Store Items --- I realized later that I could separate this into “Health & Beauty” and “Pharmacy”.
*Cleaning Products
*Baking Items
*Cereal/Breakfast Items
*Paper Goods
*Pets/Other miscellaneous

If I happened to have more dividers I would break some of these up but I just had to use what I had at the time – no need to spend more money!

The dividers in the back (the nicer ones) have pockets on both sides.  So I use those to hold other coupon books I have, extra printables, my rebate checklist and receipts that I need to hold onto.

004 005

So every Sunday I get my paper and go straight to the coupons!  I clip them and then put them in their respective category.  It looks something like this…
Each week I go through and clip my coupons and add them to the category it belongs too.  I also go and check for expired coupons.

I’ve made a checklist of the rebates that I’ve sent in and what dates they were sent.
I also keep a pair of small scissors and a pen in the pocket at the back.  There is also a page that I keep all my CVS Extracare Bucks and my Walgreens RR and any Randall’s catalinas that I get.

Well that’s my coupon binder!  I always check the store inserts and look for good deals and pull those coupons out.  And I always take my binder with me to the stores… which I had never even seen until very recently… I was watching a show and a lady was talking about her coupon binder and when I went to Randall’s today I saw a lady pull out her binder… so neat.  I had never heard of it and now that I do it, I see coupons everywhere!

How do you organize your coupons?

Jewelry Pouch - Tutorial

I got a neat book at the library yesterday that had all sorts of organizational items to sew. I came across a cute jewelry pouch that seemed easy enough to make. I didn’t like a few of the things that it suggested so I changed it up a bit and added a couple of things too. I also learned a way to sew a zipper that I never want to use again!

You’ll need your cast of characters (a.ka. materials):

001 Cut 1 of each:
14” x 7” piece of fusible fleece
14” x 7” piece of fabric
6.5” x 7” piece of fabric
2.5” x 7” piece of fabric
3.5” x 7” piece of fabric
4.5” x 7” piece of fabric
8.5” x 7” piece of fabric

4” x 6” piece of fabric
5.25” x 6” piece of fabric
5” Zipper (I used a 6” one and cut it donn)
4” velcro
42” double-fold bias tape, .5” wide
24” of grosgrain ribbon

Once your pieces are cut out it’s time to start!

Take your 8.5” x 7” piece and fold back along one side of the 7” side, 1/2” and press with iron. Now attach your zipper along the this edge using your zipper foot. Next take your 6.5” x 7” piece and fold back along on side of the 7” side, 1/2” and press with iron. Attach this piece to the other side of the zipper. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of this “easy” way to attach a zipper because I decided to try the way the book showed to attach the zipper. Something about basting then attaching the zipper along the baste then take the baste out and voila your zipper is there… um no it was not that easy!

Anyway here is the zipper attached the “hard” way ---
I seriously should have just done it the easy way, they way I already knew how but I thought I’d try a new trick… and I failed miserably. I think the zipper looks horrible! But oh well!

Now round the four corners. Set aside for a minute.

Now take your 3 pieces (

2.5” x 7”, 3.5” x 7”, 4.5” x 7”) and turn and press under 1/4” twice down one of the 7” sides.

Now top stitch each piece using 1/8" seam allowance.

Now take the piece with the zipper and place the largest piece at the bottom (the bigger/bottom side), then place the medium piece on top of that piece and finally the smallest piece on top of that.

Using 1/4” seam allowance sew the sides and bottom sides of the three pockets.
Now round the corners.
Next mark lines on the pockets at 2”, 3.5” and 5”. And sew along those lines.

Set this piece aside.  Time to work on the small jewelry pocket.

Take the 6” x 5.25” piece of fabric and turn under and press 1/2” on three sides.  Turn under and press 1/4” then 1/2” on the remaining 6” side.  Topstitch with a 3/8” seam on the top edge.

Now to attach the velcro piece.  Center and pin the velco (the hard part) to the top of the pocket.  Sew in place.

Set aside.  We are going to work on the top flap of the pocket. 
Take the 4” x 6” piece of fabric and pin the velcro (the soft part) 1/2” from the bottom making sure it’s centered.  Now fold the flap in half with the right sides together (the velcro is ‘inside’ now).  Round the corners and stitch the sides and down to the center making sure to leave a 2” gap so that you can turn it.  Cut excess bulk before turning.



Make sure that the opening is closed and top stitch all the way around the flap.

Now take the piece with the zipper and small pockets and make sure that the smaller part of fabric is at the top and the pockets are on the bottom.  Pin the pocket to the fabric above the zipper, 1/2” above the zipper making sure it’s centered.  Sew it on using an 1/8” seam allowance.
Next take your (small) pocket flap and lay it on the velcro make sure it lines up correctly.  Using a 1/8” seam topstitch it in place.
***I realized that this is where I should have added a lining to the zipper pocket since I had added the fusible fleece.  So you can cut out a piece of fabric that fits from top of the zipper to 1/2” below the top pocket.  Stitch in place at the top of the zipper.***

Now place this piece on top of the piece with the fusible fleece, wrong sides together.  Sew all the way around using 1/4” seam allowance


Now to make the bottom of the zipper pocket, stitch along the top of the small earring pockets making sure not to touch the pockets.

Sew the bias tape around the edges of the bag.

Last thing we have to do is attach the ribbon.
Turn jewelry bag over and center the ribbon on the end with the earring pockets with 8 inches hanging off the edge.  Stitch in place making sure it’s centered.
037  Now fill it up with cute jewelry and go on vaca!

I love it!  Does it look familiar?  Well it should!  I made it with the same fabric as the flat iron pouch I made!  I like how it looks like a set!  Now I need to make a makeup pouch and I’ll be set!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Walgreens Deals 9/27

I got some awesome deals today!  I did three transactions today.  One transaction was all items that I would receive Register Rewards (RR).  the second transaction was items that I was purchasing with my FSA card.  And the last transaction was everything else and that I was using RR to purchase.

Transaction 1:
Clorox Wipes 35ct  -  $2.50
Tilex Mold & Mildew - $2. 50   (awesome product btw – really works!)
Axe Body Wash - $3.99 x 2
Crest Toothpaste - $3.99
Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion - $5.99

Total -- $22.96

Coupons used:
-$1.00 Clorox Wipes
-$1.00 Tilex
(B1G1) -$3.99 Axe Body Wash
-$1.00 Crest Toothpaste
-$1.00  Vaseline Lotion
-$7.99 Man. Coupon savings

Total paid OOP:  $15.96  ($0.99 is tax)

RR received: 
$2.00 Clorox & Tilex
$1.00 Axe BW
$2.00 Crest Toothpaste
$5.00 Vaseline
$10.00 RR to use on next purchase
So it’s like I paid $5.96 on this transaction or $0.99 for each item!

Transaction 2:
Halls Refresh 2/$2.00

Robitussin 2/$10.00
DayQuil/NyQuil Multipack 40ct  $8.99
Vicks Sinex   $6.00
Total:  $26.99

Coupons Used:
-$1.00 DayQuil/NyQuil
-$1.00 Robitussin (wish I had two of these but oh well)
-$4.00 Vicks Sinex
-$0.75 Halls Refresh
-$0.75 Halls Refresh
Man. Coupons:  $7.50

Total paid OOP:  $19.49

RR Received:
$3.00 Robitussin
$2.00 Vicks Sinex
$2.00 DayQuil/NyQuil
$7.00 RR to use on next purchase
So it was like I spent $12.49 or $2.82 on each item.
Not bad if I do say so myself!  I also got a $3.00 of any Prevacid Product Catalina with this purchase.

Transaction 3:

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Coffee Drink $3.29 x 2
Colgate Renewal $3.99 x 2
Dawn Dishsoap $0.99
Old Spice Deoderant Body Wash $2.99
Old Spice Body Wash $2.99
Gillette Body Wash $2.99
Gillette Body & Hair Wash $2.99
Softsoap BW $3.99 x 2
Reese’s 3/$2.00  (I bought this as a filler since I was using more coupons than items purchase, but later realized that I didn’t need to buy this bc of the B1G1 deals ---oh well I love me some Reese’s!)
Total:  $37.49

Coupons Used:
-$3.29 Starbucks Drink (B1G1 coupon)
-$0.25 Dawn
-$2.99 Old Spice BW (B1G1 coupon)
-$2.00 Gillette BW
-$2.00 Gillette BW
-$1.00 Softsoap
-$3.99 Softsoap (B1G1 sale)
-$1.00 Colgate Clinical
-$3.99 Colgate Clinical (B1G1 sale)
                                  = -$18.51
I used:
$5.00 RR
$2.00 RR
$2.00 RR
                                 = $9.00 RR used on this purchase
Total coupon and RR savings:  $27.51

Total Paid OOP:  $7.98 or $0.57 on each item
I also got a $0.50 off any bag of Hershey’s or Reese’s snack size bag catalina.

Today I paid $43.43 OOP or $1.67 each item!  PLUS $17.00 RR to use on next purchase!


I think it was a good trip!

Hopefully I can look through and find some other great deals on Thursday since I can save an additional 15% off my purchase since I donated $5.00 to Dell’s Children Hospital the last time I went.


Crockpot French Onion Chicken

The other day I whipped up this lovely meal in my crockpot.  I had no recipe, I just used all the things that I had in my pantry.  It came out delicious!  Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this lovely meal but I’m sure that I’ll make it again soon.  I was a really cheap meal too!


3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 can of French Onion soup
1/2 onion cut into strips
1 small package of mushrooms
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
1/2 a soup can full of water

I put the chicken at the bottom of my crockpot and seasoned it with the salt and pepper.  Next add the onions and the mushrooms.  Then pour the soup on top.  I then added the water.  I wouldn’t add too much water, I used about half a can of it.  But it could need more depending on if you use more than 3 pieces of chicken.

I cooked it for about 5 hours on low.  If you use more than 3 pieces of chicken or your crockpot cooks slow then I would leave it for longer.

It came out so flavorful!  I love onions and mushrooms together!  I served it with white rice and green beans.  Such a great meal!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Greek Pasta Salad

My dear friend Kelly introduced me to a salad that she enjoys making.  She told me how she makes it and told me I should try it sometime.  So tonight I decided to give it the good ol’ college try.  Though I didn’t replicate it exactly, I did make it to how I would like it.


About half a bag of colored rotini pasta
Half a red onion chopped
1 small can of black olives
About a half cup of turkey pepperoni (sliced into fourths)
3/4 a small tub of feta cheese
1/4 cup of red wine vinaigrette (I might have used a little less but eye-ball it to make sure you don’t put too much)

Cook pasta according to package.  Drain pasta and run cold water over pasta.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl except the feta and dressing.  Once all ingredients are mixed, add the vinaigrette making sure not to put too much.  Lastly add the feta and mix.  Cover and set in fridge for an hour to cool.

It came out super yummy!  I know Kelly’s version is probably way better than mine but I guess she’ll just have to make it for me sometime when I see her!!


Doggie Pillow

Captain loves laying on our pillows in our bed so I thought it was be neat to make him his own pillow.  I got a cute dog printed fabric at Joann’s today for his pillow.

I went online and search for a dog bone.  I printed it off and cut it out.  This will be my pattern for my pillow.

I used this pattern to cut two pieces of fabric.
I placed them like sides together and sewed around the edges making sure to keep the bone shape.  I left about a two inch hole for turning and stuffing.  Then I cut excess fabric and turned it.
Next I stuffed it with Poly-fil and hand sewed the hole closed.
And here is my finished project.

Here is Captain modeling his new pillow, which actually is turning out to be a toy.  He won’t stop playing with it. ::sigh:: Guess I’ll just have to make him a bigger rectangular one.

Oh and notice my new cutting mat!  I got a rotary cutter as well!  I used a birthday gift card and a 40% off coupon and got a good deal!  I really wanted to use my 50% off coupon but apparently that one isn’t valid until tomorrow and I didn’t want to have to come back tomorrow so I just used the 40% one.  I love the ease of the rotary cutter!

Here’s the one I got.