Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa-approved Cookie list!

Here are a few holiday cookie recipes that I made this week!


2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, mix pb, butter and vanilla together. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Continue to add sugar until the mixture can be rolled into 1 inch balls that stay together. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Placing a ball on a fork, dip 3/4 of the ball in the chocolate. Place balls onto wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Place in a cool area or refridgerator to set. Makes 4 dozen.

**Real buckeyes are nuts that grow on trees and are related to the horse chestnut!**

Devils Food sandwich cookies

18 1/4 oz pkg devils food cake mix
3/4 c. shortening
2 eggs
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 t. almond extract
16 oz pkg powdered sugar

Combine cakemix, shortening and eggs. Form into small balls and flatten slightly on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. In a med. bowl blend cheese,butter and extract. Gradually blend in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Beat with a spoon 'til smooth. Refridgerate. When cookies are cool, spread filling between 2 cookies; repeat. Keep refridgerated. Makes 2 dozen.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 cups all purpose white flour
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (1 cups) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or spraying with vegetable shortening.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Using a beater attachment and a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Scrape bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and beat again. Scrape.
Turn mixer to low speed and add the flour and oats mixture a few cups at a time.
Add raisins and give it one final mix. Scrape the bowl good to make sure everything is blended well.
Using a cookie scoop or Tablespoon, measure out cookie dough and place on prepared sheets leaving some room between them to spread.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until slightly firm around the edges. Cookies will continue to bake even after you take them out of the oven.
Remove to cooling racks and cool completely before storing them in airtight containers.
Makes 25-30 warm, chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!
Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies: Substitute butterscotch chips for raisins.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: Substitute chocolate chips for raisins.
Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies: Substitute chocolate chips for raisins and add 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
Oatmeal Craisin Nut Cookies: Substitute craisins for raisins and add 1 cup chopped nuts, your choice.

I made gingersnaps this year from the better crocker cookie mix! I know *gasp* not homemade!! they actually turned out super yummy--Briggy helped me out with this recipe and he had such a blast! My hands were coated in so much cookie mess I didnt take any pics :/
This recipe is from a friend, she said its awesome!

Sparkling Ginger Chip Cookies

[If you can't locate whole wheat pastry flour, you can substitute spelt flour. Or feel free to use all-purpose flour if that is what you have on hand. As far as the unsulphured molasses goes, I use Wholesome Sweeteners or Plantation Organic Blackstrap Molasses. I used a Scharffen Berger Bittersweet 70% here. You can use light brown sugar, or light muscavado sugar in place of the natural cane sugar.]

1/2 cup / 3.5 oz / 90 g turbinado sugar
6 ounces / 170 g bittersweet chocolate
2 cups / 8.5 oz / 245 g whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup / 4 oz / 113 g unsalted butter
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 60 ml unsulphured molasses
2/3 cup / 3.75 oz / 100 g fine grain natural cane sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, peeled
1 large egg, well beaten
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C degrees - racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line a couple baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat, and place the large-grain sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Finely chop the chocolate bar into 1/8-inch pieces, more like (mostly) shavings really.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.
Heat the butter in a saucepan until it is just barely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the molasses, sugar, and fresh ginger. The mixture should be warm, but not hot at this point, if it is hot to the touch let it cool a bit. Whisk in the egg. Now pour this over the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.
I like these cookies tiny, barely bite-sized, so I scoop out the dough in exact, level tablespoons. I then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball shape. From there, grab a small handful of the big sugar you set aside earlier and roll each ball between your palms to heavily coat the outside of each dough ball. Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cookies puff up, darken a bit, and get quite fragrant.
Makes roughly 4 dozen.

Festive Candy Cane Kiss Centered Brownie Bites

1 brownie mix 9×13 inch size

18 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

1/2 Cup chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons heavy cream

3 original candy canes, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and scoop into a mini cheesecake pan or mini muffin tin pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray, about 3/4 way full. Press kisses into center of brownie batter, do not push all the way to bottom, some of the tip should stick out the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely.

2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, 30 second intervals until smooth and melted. Stir in cream until silky smooth. You can place back in microwave for 10 seconds to smooth more if needed. Dip tops of brownies into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve with a tall glass of milk.

*It took all the will power NOT to make these cookies, because there is no way I could show self-control with these..... (from

The Mother Load Layered Cookie Bars

Layer 1: Sugar Cookie

1 Roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Press sugar cookie dough into bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish that’s been lined foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

Layer 2: Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

(the recipe below makes double what you’ll need for the bars, use extra for cookies)

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)
2 tsps. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until well combined.

2. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in chips. Layer 1/2 the recipe over sugar cookie layer, pressing gently.

Layer 3: Peanut Butter Cookie

1 Cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined. Press over chocolate cookie dough.

Layer 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie

(the recipe below makes double what you’ll need for the bars, use extra for cookies)

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

3/4 Cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla

2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bag chocolate chips

1. Make sure oven is preheated to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bolw; mix to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Spoon 1/2 of the dough evenly over peanut butter cookie dough but don’t press, just leave uneven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center of dough is cooked mostly through. Edges will be brown. I covered pan with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.

2. Let cookies cool completely. Lift out of pan with edges of foil. I cut off 1/2 inch edges and just used softer centers, but do as you wish. Edges are crispier. Drizzle top with 1/2 Cup melted chocolate chips if desired.

*Note: You can layer dough and refrigerate until ready to bake. This is what I did and it worked very nicely.

8 large bars (if you cut off edges), 12 bars (if you keep edges)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu


I just finished planning out our Thanksgiving menu and wrote up my grocery list of last minute items! I'm a little nervous making the meal this year, since Its our first alone (and I've never cooked a turkey by myself!) but I'm sure it will all come out somewhat edible. I'm also a little nervous about baking everything that needs to go in the oven....we dont have double ovens (someday..I can dream!) So hopefully I can work everything out.
I don't like pumpkin pie, but Tom I'm giving in and making it!

Sage butter-Turkey

kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, to coat

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped sage
salt and pepper

1--Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven.
2--Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper.
3--Stuff the cavity with stuffing and, if required, truss the legs. Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being careful not to puncture the skin. (Im not going to stuff the turkey, I saw somewhere that some people just fill it was ribs of celery, onion, lemon, etc just to get some flavor....)
4--Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.

Sausage-Cran Cornbread Stuffing

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
3 ribs celery, small dice
Kosher salt
1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed, broken into bite-size chunks
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
10 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups dried cranberries
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and celery and saute over to medium heat. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft and are very aromatic. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, sage and rosemary and cook for another minute, then remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cranberries, and the sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist, actually wet. Taste to check for seasoning and season with salt, if needed and transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through and is crusty on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. MMMMM...stuffing!

Sausage stuffed stuffing balls

I know this is overkill because we are going to have sasauge cornbread stuffing, but Tom saw this on the foodnetwork last week when we were skimming through the channels and he said this was a MUST! so I guess they will be appetizers...

8-ounce pack spicy sausage (recommended: Bob Evans)
2 cups canola oil, plus 1/4 cup
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups chicken stock
1 (6-ounce) box chicken flavored bread stuffing mix (made according to package instructions)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drop dime-sized dollops of sausage into the pan. Cook until golden brown, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.

After removing sausage add a 1/4 cup of canola oil to the pan and stir in 1/2 cup of flour. Stir to create a roux, and cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring while you pour and let simmer, stirring frequently, until it thickens, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

In a separate saucepan heat 2 cups of canola oil on medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the stuffing, parsley, thyme, and scallions and mix together. Take quarter-sized or 1 tablespoon of stuffing mix and wrap it around the individual sausage balls. Cover the sausage completely and set aside

Once all of the sausage balls have been coated in stuffing, dredge them in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. When all the balls are lightly coated in flour, carefully drop them into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove them from the oil, to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Once all of the balls have been fried and drained turn off the heat to the gravy and add the fried sausage stuffing balls. Stir gently to coat the balls with the gravy and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Im hoping to find a can of "Silver Corn" I've never really looked for it, but I was remembering all the thanksgivings at my nana's growing up and she always had this. I hope I can find it at the store tonight!

Normally I would make my sis-in-law Amy's awesome Spicy Greenbean casserole recipe, but I think since I make that all the time, I'll make the traditional casserole (okay, maybe I'll throw in some bacon...)

Mashed potatoes--I'm not really following a recipe, just wing it as I go like I normally do...all the good stuff, butter, milk, sourcream, maybe some ranch seasoning, I've even thrown in some creamcheese before....whatever!

I have never had the icky canned cranberry sauce in my life...and I dont plan on it, but I feel like we need some cranberry dish, so when I saw this recipe I thought it seemed like a nice dish

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

2 cups cranberry juice
1 (6-ounce) bag sweetened dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 cup sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons corn starch
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have softened and apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove 8 ounces of the liquid to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch-juice mixture (slurry) to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Paula's Pumpkin Pie

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 piece pre-made pie dough
Whipped cream, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

(I plan on making a cinnamon graham cracker crust instead of the usual pie dough)

We are going to have food for an entire week and then some! I'm a little depressed that its just us this Thanksgiving and no other family members, It's just going to take some getting used to. Having family members in all different states really STINKS! But I am truly thankful to have such a wonderful family no matter how scattered we all are!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday at Walgreens

(and Target too)

I know it seems like all I've been posting lately is coupon info, Ive just become so passionate about the savings just a little time and effort can make. We really had to cut back expenses, and one of the things to get slashed was groceries/ I made an effort to learn about couponing and try my best at it. I was so overwhelmed at first when I would read blogs about these ladies getting things for pennies and thought there is no way in heck I could figure that all out....but let me tell you something--its not that hard....a few times practicing it out, staying organized (I've got a coupon binder that I want to show in another post) and strategizing really really really pays off. It is crazy how much I am saving on things that I either would never buy because it was too much and was a "selfish" purchase (ie $8 almay mascara) or things that you REALLY REALLY need but hate spending the money on (DIAPPPPPERRRS!)

I probably spend about an hour a day on couponing. By that I mean, I go to my helpful websites, print out coupons, organize coupons, clip coupons, look up flyers and deals online) Sometimes I spend more time (in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep!) but really, I don't dedicate a crazy amount of time like I thought someone would have to in order to get all these deals.

I didnt know this until I began my new "hobby" but a lot of grocery stores double and triple coupons up to 50 cents...and a lot of times they will have specials where they will double up to a $1 (Kroger, Albertsons...etc)
As much as I dont like giving all my money to walmart, you can get some great deals when you combine their rollback items with the Oreida fries I bought today. They are 92 cents, I had (2) $1.50/2 coupons. So I bought 4 packages for $3.68-$3 in coupons=17 cents per package.
Stores like Target, Walgreens and CVS not only accept manufacturer coupons like Walmart, but they also have their own store coupons that you are able to "stack" with the manufacturer. A good example is the lubriderm I bought today at walgreens. They are $3.79 each. I printed off $2 coupons for them, making them $1.79---but then there is a $1 off walgreens coupon (its in the Diabetes coupon booklet you can get from the pharmacy)so then it made each lotion 79 cents, which makes them a money maker because there is a promotion going on where you get $8 in register rewards
so I did spend $2.37 out of pocket, but if you figure in the $8 they give back they pretty much PAID ME $6.63 to buy the lotions! Yea!

This is what I got at walgreens this week for FRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

--6 Suave shampoos
(I used them as fillers because I had negative balances, they are a special item this week that helps out the cashier--she gets money added into her paycheck if she sells them--my girls at walgreens are AWESOME! So I usually buy whatever the product is to help them out)
4 clearanced nailposhes
(I had coupons making them a few cents or free)
--3 fragrance free lubriderm lotions
(perfect for the hub--no girly scent!) (generating $8 reward when you buy 3)
20 Almay one-coat mascaras!
I was able to get 12 of the $6.99 and 8 of the $7.99 that come with a 15count container of Almay eye make up remover wipes!
I know, youre thinking what on earth is she going to do with 20 mascaras...but I go through one every couple months, and I can always throw them in gifts for friends and visiting teaching gals...they'll get use out of them! Normally I am so NOT the crazy lady that takes EVERYTHING in the store, but all the other almay I wanted was taken (we have a pesky lady in my town that seems to take everything bright and early sunday morn!) so I was feeling a little fiesty and thought I'd beat her to the chase!
12 8oz hunts tomato sauce
A great staple, not to mention great food storage item! (on sale 3/$1 and there is a $1 off 3 hunts coupon online! match made in heaven!) these would also make good "filler items" if you have too many coupons per transaction or have a negative balance and need to up it a little!
Im hoping to get 12 more when they get their delivery truck in on friday!
2 Almay pure blends lip gloss (generating $5 reward)
2 Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioners

And I still have a $5 register reward to use towards my next deal!!
I get a lot of my ideas from has everything laid out, and actually has flyers months ahead of time, so you can plan out coupons for the upcoming sales! shes awesome!

Im not the best at explaining thats why I am supplying you with my list of the sites I check out daily. They provide coupons, deal scenerios, advice...these are awesome ladies who spend a lot of time helping us out!

you can click links from there blogs to print coupons, but you can always go to
to print out free coupons. you can print off 2 of the same coupon from each printer. you just have to click back and refresh/retry.

Lastly, I want to add the there are so many great TOY DEALS right now for christmas shopping. Today at target I purchased $135.04 worth of goodies for $42.06!
If my math is right, I think thats around 70-75% off. Crazy! To get the best deals at target, price match with other flyers...for example I bought the Hasbro games Scatterpiller Scramble and Giraffalaff Limbo--target's price was $20 and $28! Toys R Us has them in their Christmas "Big Book" for $14.99. I had $4 off coupons that I printed awhile back (they are no longer available for print) that I "stacked" with the target coupons that were $5 off (they are online or in the holiday coupon booklet in their store (it was in the toy section)
that made these games only $6. Seriously, that is awesome! I did the same thing with the Tag Junior reading system. Was $28.99 but after coupons I knocked it down to $8.99!!!
I guess my point is, couponing is not for crazy old ladies who have nothing better to do (okay, so thats kind of what I used to think about people who did this) but these ladies that have these helpful websites are all young moms! no matter if you are rich, poor, whatever--it never hurts to save a buck!
Thats my schpeal. If you have questions I'll try my best to answer, but if you go to these sites these ladies do an EXCELLENT job at explaining everything!!

Merry Savings! I can't wait for Christmas this year with my two little elves :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Degree Fine Fragrance deal at Target

I love getting super cheap/free deodorant! I can't believe I used to pay over $4 a stick before!!!
Here's the deal:
Print off $1.50 off manufacturer coupons from here: (make sure to print twice!)
and print off $3 off target coupon here (when you buy a stick and fragrance)

Buy Degree Fine Fragrance deodorant $3.29
Buy Degree Fine Fragrance body mist $3.29
Use 2 $1.50/1 manufacturer coupons plus the one $3 target coupon and pay
58 CENTS!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Great deal on Kid Essentials

Briggy hasn't been eating as many vegetables as I would like these days so I've been wanting to get him drinking a supplement that would help take care of any vitamin deficincies...but even if your kid is eating plenty of veggies...this is a great product that offers great nutrition.

Here are two great coupons that make them super cheap!

First go to their website and print off the $5 coupon (remember, after it prints you can click the back button/retry and it will print for a second time)

Then go here to print off the Buy One Get One coupon (remember to print twice!)

At my local walmart (the only place that carried it around town....) it was $8.97 (but my walmart is more expensive than others....) they should carry it at cvs/walgreens/target...but I didn't have any luck this past week finding it anywhere hopefully you can find an even better price on it...
I bought 4 packs @ $8.97 gave 2 of my $5 off coupons plus 2 of my B1G1 coupons and paid $8 for 4 packs...$2 a pack, not too shabby! Plus, briggy loves them! Inside each pack there is additional coupons for $5 off 2 packs that expire at the end of the year...hopefully I'll come across a good sale so I can get more soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yankee Candle Coupons

I don't really buy candles anymore since my love affair started with Scentsy...and the recent Glade and Airwick spray machines came out-- were clearanced and had crazy coupons in the past few newspapers....(I have about 15 that I either got for free or a dollar each...) so I'm pretty much scented-out right now, but I know many of you (especially my mother in law) are crazy about yankee--so here ya go!

$10 off $25 candle coupon:

Pay $1 for yankee votives and tarts with this coupon:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Walgreens trip--Round two

I went to Walgreens on Monday to get a few things, but only a couple of the RR deals were stocked in my store (there are some pesky ladies in my town that shop 8am Sunday morning and take for those of us who dont shop on the Sabbath day are left with nothing until they *hopefully* get a new shipment on Fridays)
Anyway, I am going back for round two tonight and thought I'd share my transaction scenario's with you in case you too are catching the Walgreens bug!

(My scenerio includes a more pricey OOP than normal...we are in desperate need of a Brita filter system because our water here is TERRIBLE and we're spending about $20 a month in gallon-jugs of purified water--the transactions are easily modified, just take out the Brita order if thats not something you need)

Transaction #1
Crest Whitening Plus Scope 6oz toothpaste
(2) 75 cents off coupons from 8/30 paper (I've read that some people have $1 coupons from that paper, but mine didn't have that....)
Earn $5 RR

Transaction #2
Brita Filter
$5 off coupon (sign up here to recieve printable coupon)
Use $5 RR from Transaction #1
OOP= $5
Earn $3 RR

Transaction #3
Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner
$5 off coupon (print it from here)
Use $3 RR from Transaction #2
OOP= $2
Earn $3 RR

Transaction #4
Carefree 16 count pads (this is a monthly RR) I've used up all my carefree $ 1 off coupons but you can get them online or from your 8/30 newspaper
Earn $2 RR

Transaction #5
Crest with Scope toothpaste
(2) 50 cents off coupons from 8/30 paper
Use $3 RR from transaction #3 and $2 RR from Transaction #4
Earn $5 RR

Transaction #6
Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner
$5 off coupon (you can print it twice from the link posted above)
Use $5 RR from transaction #5
Earn $3 RR

(you could always save the RR to use it to start off next's week's deals...or do what I'm doing and build up your water supply for foodstorage)
Use $3 RR

Walgreens 24 pk bottled water is on sale for $2.99 with in-ad coupon!

My total OOP this week is higher (as I mentioned before) but it's $15.50 (without the cost of the few filler items i'll need for a few transactions) but thats the cost of the Brita system without coupons or register I'm looking at it as getting everything else for Free!

Earlier in the week I purchased the Windex Outdoor All-in-one cleaning kit ($9.99 get back $3 RR) and used this $3 off coupon...just in case you need one!
(Print it from RedPlum here)

PS--This weeks newspaper is going to have 5 coupon inserts!!!! Make sure to pick up a Sunday paper saturday night!! :)

Huggies Rewards Points Codes

Trying to gather up all the Huggies rewards codes I've used the past couple months..they're may be some repeats in takes a while to cut and paste them into the code box, but if you have a little time on your hands during kids naps or nighttime, its worth it--ive won 2 jumbo packs of diapers!
(newer huggies products will have codes in them--they can only be used by you and not shared, but these are online-shareable codes!)


Codes Worth 1 Point Each


Codes Worth 2 Points Each


Codes Worth 3 Points Each


Codes Worth 5 Points Each


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brigham's 18 month celebration!

I planned on waiting until Briggy turned 18 months to give him chocolate and nuts. A couple weeks prior to his 18 month mark I gave him a little chocolate mixed with his milk to see if he 1) liked it and 2) had any signs of allergy to it.
He seemed to like it and didn't get a rash so I went for a celebration cake on the
He's going to be 2 before I can catch my breath--he's growing so fast! He liked the cake, but he really prefers fruit over anything else.

This recipe for chocolate cake is special because it has pureed veggies in--beets!
(this is from jessica seinfelds deceptively delicious cookbook)

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup beet puree (I personally think you could add up to 3/4 cup...I didnt taste anything funky)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 8oz package of cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

(I didn't have cream cheese on hand so I just made a buttercream)

1-Preheat oven to 350. Coat 9 inch pan with spray
2-In a large bowl, beat brown sugar with oil until creamy. Add the whole egg and whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate, beet puree, buttermilk and vanilla
3-Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat until smooth
4-Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. (35-40 minutes) Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.
5-Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar, cocoa and vanilla until smooth. Slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread the frosting over the top and between the layers of the cooled cake.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beautiful Gift

My aunt was able to visit up from the San Antonio area for Oliver's blessing day. She suprized us with wonderful gifts (tons of diapers and wipes--you know your a mom when that makes you very, very happy!) and this AWESOME BEAUTIFUL GIFT!

She took the picture of Brigham that I took from Mother's day (where hes picking at a big flower) and printed it on transparency paper...glued it to this glass block...and then on the back printed "He loves me--John 3:16" on the back part of the block... so through the light you see the scripture through the photo.

Get it? He loves me...He loves me not....with the picking of the petals and of course John 3:16
--For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life--

How SUPER CUTE is that?! I still can't get over how great it is...and she assured its a very simple affordable craft project.
I have a feeling I'll be making a lot of these!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Birth Announcements
Birth Announcements by

Friday, July 17, 2009

Brown Sugar and Oatmeal Banana Bread for the Brigster!

Yesterday was my little Brigham's 17 month birthday!! I can't believe how time is flying and how much of a little boy he is looking like instead of a mushy little baby! I do miss that baby munchkin phase...but it should only be a *couple* more days until we have a new mushy baby to hold!
Yesterday I wasn't feeling so hot, so I didn't end up doing anything to special for Brigs. He's sort of had a boring couple weeks with me mostly laying in bed not doing much of anything...we did make Ollie a birthday card..but no special treats :(
So today I'm feeling better and thought I'd redeem myself by making my little monkey one of his favorites: Banana bread! This is a new recipe to me...sounds good...I haven't given Brig's nuts yet so I won't be adding the walnuts...can't wait to suprize my little man when he wakes up from his nap!

Brown Sugar and Oatmeal Banana Bread

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
3 small eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 ripe bananas mashed
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
(1/2 cup chopped walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350--lightly grease 9x5 loaf pan
1- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
2-Stir in eggs, one at a time
3-Add vanilla and banana
4-In a separate bowl sift flour, powder, salt and oatmeal together
5-Combine wet and dry ingredients
6-Bake for 1 hour in preheated oven

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I am excited to report that my target couponing excursion was a success. They didn't have a few of the travel size items that I would have gotten for free, but I'm headed to Walmart tomorrow evening to see if I can stock up (renu contact solution and nexcare bandages) As well as $2 20-water bottle packs of Nestle Pure Life (I don't have any water stored in my food storage closet, so I thought this might be a good way to start it) $23.72 Kashi bill was slashed to $4.60!!!!
And I did some "frozen food" shopping so we would at least have some go-to items when I have Oliver and am not up to cooking....and saved $20.66 from my $45 grocery bill (I did buy things without coupons)

The best deal from the frozen food bill was the Eggo Bake Shop items. They are normally $2.79 (marked down this week to $1.50 at target) (however, it wasn't marked at the price, so I checked with a salesperson)
and there are $1 off manufacturer coupons for them at
so I bought 3 boxes of the twists, muffin tops and pastries for the SALE price of ONE! :) They come in handy for Tom's quick breakfast out the door.

I did buy some fancy new Degree deoderant with coupons....I got 2 regular size sticks for a little over a dollar a piece. They would have been nearly free If I had a coupon from a few weeks back..oh well...still way better than the $4.50 I normally pay for one!!!

There are SOOOOOOO many free sample sites that I feel are worth the minute or two to sign up...because when stock piled they can be put in 72 hour kits (most of the samples are healthcare products)

Yes, it does take a little time to search out the coupons (but not really with those sites I listed on the previous post--they do all the work for you!) but clipping the coupons and planning meals around what you can buy for pennies....makes me feel like I am contributing more to our families financial situation (in a positive way) since I am no longer working outside of the home.
Its worth it!! I would urge all of you to try it out!!!

*PS- I was so scared I was going to get a grump that wouldn't be nice about all the coupons, but the lady that rang me out was super nice and helpful. She even told me "you can always go to to print out extra manufacturer coupons" in her sweet texan accent... :)
They actually didn't have the 10 oz boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal that the target coupon posted as I was able to get the next size up :) *

Monday, July 6, 2009

Coupon Queen

Okay, I am SO not...I am a wannabe couponing queen desperately trying to figure out the system. There are SOOO many of you ladies out there that have got it going onnn!!! seriously, I am in awe. Lately I have not been able to sleep AT ALL at night. (Up until 4 am awake at 7 am....) So I have been searching and reading up on coupons, freebies, rebates, etc etc.
I am starting to get the hang of some of it....except the CVS and Walgreens rewards points...that is just way over my head. Hopefully I'll get there someday.

There are these AWESOME blogs and websites that pretty much make couponing easy. They list the links of the printable coupons, tell you about the other inserts, put scenarios together (tell you how much to buy and what coupons to use per transaction) to save big. I have been adding their blog buttons on my side bar....check them out when you have time!!!

Krazy Coupon Lady
NWA Deals
Deal Seeking Mom
A Frugal Friend

This post is mainly about my *upcoming* target grocery trip I have planned for wednesday (unless Oliver decides to pop out sooner)

I love Kashi products, but haven't bought them recently because they tend to be on the expensive side. They taste great and are so much healthier for you than the average snack food.
Check out this scenerio (from Krazy Coupon Lady)

Krazy Kashi Scenario:

No newspaper necessary! All you need is ONE computer for printing!
8 products, 6 manufacturer coupons, 6 Target Coupons

Buy These Items:
(2)Kashi 10 oz. Heart to Heart Cereal: $5.32
(2) Kashi crackers $5.00
(2) Kashi TLC bars $5.00
(2) Kashi Go-Lean Waffles unconfirmed price $5.32
pre-coupon total: $20.64

Use these coupons:
(2)$1.50/1 Kashi Cereal Coupons
(1) $0.50/1 Kashi Cereal Target Coupon
(1)FREE Select Kashi cereal with purchase of any Kashi cereal Target Coupon(Heart to heart, Heart to Heart warm cinnamon, or Go0Lean Crunch Honey Almond Flax)
(1) $1.00/2 Kashi Crackers Target Coupon
(2) $1.50/1 Kashi soft-baked cereal bars
(1) $1.00/2 Kashi Granola or Cereal bars Target Coupon
(2) $1.50/1 Kashi Waffles
(2) $0.25/ Kashi Waffles Target Coupon

Final Price: $3.98 for 8 Kashi Products
(if you take out the Kashi crackers, this deal will still be a moneymaker of $0.02!!)


I've been reading that Target isn't the most "cooperative" when it comes to couponing. I am sure this varies region to region, and I am hoping for a friendly cashier....but they do recomment carrying a copy of the coupon policy as sort of "proof" that what you are doing is in fact okay with their corporate policy.
here is the email target sent out explaining their coupon rules:

Thanks for asking us about using coupons at Target. Coupons are a great way to save even more when shopping with us, and it’s easy to use them at our stores. Because of the variety of coupons available to our guests, we do have some guidelines for how coupons can be redeemed at Target.

When accepting coupons, we use the following guidelines:

We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued and manufacturer-issued.
We’ll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
We can’t give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in this case, we’re able to adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
We can’t accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.
All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier while you’re checking out.
For questions about using a specific coupon, we encourage you to stop by Guest Service and ask to speak with the Guest Service Team Leader. They’ll do their best to help while you’re in the store. If you still have questions after speaking with them, please call our Guest Relations team at (800) 440-0680. Either way, we’re here to help!

I'll let you know how my wednesday excursion works out!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Visiting Teaching Project

Now that I am settled in our new ward (Kaufman) I have been assigned a VT companion and a few lovely ladies to visit teach.
I was trying to think of a useful gift to give but also something that would start off our friendship I put together magnet boards for each sister that had magnets with each of our info and a magnet with a quotation on prayer from June's message.
I was going to apply spray adhesive to the board and paper, but I decided against it in case they don't like the paper I picked out...its just attached with glue dots on each corner. I think its a neat little gift and I hope they find them to be useful and fun!

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Prayer changes our lives. Through it we draw near to the Lord, and he reaches out his finger and touches us, so we never again are the same."

Friday, June 12, 2009

The cutest scrapbook line EVER!

My sister Jessie sent me a link to this scrapbooking line a couple months back...but they just shipped out to stores at the end of april. I just remembered about it, so I went online to get the numbers of all the scrapbook stores around here that sell cosmo cricket supplies. Both the Hobby Lobby's around here DONT HAVE IT! ERGH!!! I tried finding some of the items for sale online, and there were a few sites that had some pieces, and then another site would have only item...not one site that had all the papers, stickers and chipboard.
I am so angry!!!! I wanted to buy a whole bunch and decorate a memo board, magnet board and magents all with these prints for my craft room and some for my kitchen. I tell ya, if there ever was a scrapbook line that totally encompassed my personality its cosmo cricket--theyre stuff is just insanely cute and fun.

(He's my favorite. What a cute happy little toaster)

I really love the Happy Camper line too because of all the *cute camping* decor I am getting for Briggy's room.
I love the chocolate and marshmallow---"I love you S'more!"

Speaking of Smores...When I first moved out to Texas I was introduced to this yummy recipe that is so fun and cute. I'm pretty sure it originated from the back of a Golden Graham cereal box...
I think they are fun summer snack...or great for rainy days when youre stuck inside, build a tent/fort in your living room and eat snacks and and tell stories with the kiddos....

Indoor S'mores

8 cups Golden Grahams® cereal
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows, if desired

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal. Butter 13x9-inch pan. In large microwavable bowl, microwave 5 cups marshmallows, the chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter uncovered on High 2 minutes to 3 minutes 30 seconds, stirring after every minute, until melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in vanilla.
2. Pour over cereal; quickly toss until completely coated. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows.
3. Press mixture evenly in pan, using buttered back of spoon. Let stand uncovered at least 1 hour, or refrigerate if you prefer a firmer bar. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

another walgreens coupon code...

4DAD saves you 33% on all photo items. I think I'm going to print a poster of Briggy for my craft room...just thought I'd share the code....Its good until June 13th!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Walgreens Father's Day coupon code


25% photo gifts for Dad using the code: DAD25
Get 25 4x6 prints free when you purchase 25 using code: 2XSMILE
(This deal runs through the 6th of June)

I think I might make my dad a Briggy deck of cards....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

And the winner is...............

Hannah Robinson!!
Here is a cute picture with her and her babies. I hope you like what will be coming your way!! (Hopefully I can make the package cute and take a pic before I send it off)

Hannah is a super creative, friendly and spirtual homemaker. I dream of having her sewing abilities someday!! Check out all her cool creations on her etsy site:

Thanks to everyone who participated in my little contest. I like making up little gift maybe I'll have them more often (I havent been assigned VT's I am missing out on my little packages and projects!!!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Special Summertime Surprise!

In celebration of my 100th post (today is #99) I wanted to do something cute and special. I have so much fun with my blog, finding interesting sites, recipes and tidbits to share...I wanted to do something special for my friends and followers. (I know there are only a handful of you, but I am grateful you stop in and check up on me every once in a while!)
Anyway, I put together a cute Summertime Homemaking Package as a gift for the lucky winner....

How do you win this fabulous secret summertime surprise?

Leave me a friendly comment on this post-- that puts your name in the drawing. If you comment a quick homemaking tip or email me a great summer recipe your name will be entered multiple times. (If you win I'll need your address information, so leave me your email address that way we can get the details when the time comes!)

I'll be leaving the posting open for 48 hours! You can click the "email me" button on the left for easy email delivery, or jot down my email info:

I'm hoping to get some fun facts and recipes from you ladies to post, so don't be shy!

Here's a yummy summer citrus recipe to get the contest going....this is from one of my new favorite blogs:

Sugar Pie Farmhouse

Check out her website and blog--full of great recipes!!

Mrs. Borden’s Creamy Lemon Pie

3 egg yolks
(1) 14 ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Blend with a mixer until creamy. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Just before serving add the fresh whipped cream. Garnish with sliced lemon.

I think it’s best to prepare this pie the day before to make sure it’s good and cold…but make the whipped cream just before serving.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Great Visiting Teaching Website!

I just stumbled on a new visting teaching website:

The website is so cute and has so many ideas to magnify our calling as sisters in the Gospel!

Visiting Teaching Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anniversary Picnic in the Park

Tom and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary on Monday, the 25th...which also happens to be Memorial Day. We decided on a very low key date that will probably include Briggy swimming in the neighborhood pool (the grand opening is tomorrow and the kiddie pool looks so nice!) We know he'll get a kick out of that. Then we thought just a quite picnic at the park with our little Briggy would be a sweet celebration.
I have been debating on the picnic menu, because I wanted to do something not "memorial dayish" and certainly not too fancy.
I thought an italian twist on the meal would be nice, since Tom and Italian go hand in hand.
Any suggestions for side dishes that would compliment what I have so far?
Let me know!


1 Round Italian loaf, slightly hollowed out
2/3 c. Olive Tapenade* (see below)
2 c. Shredded Lettuce
4 oz. Sliced Mortadella
4 oz. Sliced Ham
4 oz. Provolone
1 Tomato, coarsley chopped


Slice loaf in half horizontally, then pull out some of the breading to create a hollowed interior.
Spread half the tapenade over the bottom half.
Layer the lettuce, mortadella, ham, and provolone.
Top with chopped tomato.
Spread the remaining tapenade into the hollowed top half of the bread.
Place the top over the bottom, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30min to 6 hours.
Cut into 6 pieces (like a pizza) and serve.
Makes 6 servings.

(Tapenade recipe)
1 cup pitted kalamata olive
1 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
1-2 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup of pitted canned black olives (decreases saltiness)
Add garlic to food processor, blend until minced. Add remaining ingredients except olive oil. Blend until smooth, adding olive oil slowly while the blade is running.
Adjust ingredients to your liking - Additional pine nuts, parsley or pitted canned black olives will make it less salty and intense in flavor, while additional oil will increase the creaminess. You can also use other fresh herbs such as sage or basil.
Serve at room temperature.

Italian Picnic Salad

1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped fine
3 scallions, both green and white, chopped fine
1 pint or 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 pound orzo, cooked and rinsed in cold water
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


We eat this almost all summer long in Italy. It's refreshing, light and goes with almost anything. Be sure to toast the pine nuts; I like to place mine in a 350 degree F oven in a rimmed pan for about 5-8 minutes until they turn a light golden brown.

1. In a large bowl, combine the onions, scallions, tomatoes, pine nuts, salt and pepper and the orzo pasta. Toss well.

2. In a small bowl, combine the fresh basil, vinegar, garlic and olive oil and mix well. Add to the orzo mixture and toss thoroughly.

And...not so Italian dessert....

Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes!

1 (18 1/2-ounce) package chewy fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)

1 (12-ounce) package peanut butter chips or 24 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill the cups half full with brownie batter. Place about 1 tablespoon peanut butter chips in the center of the batter, or press 1 peanut butter cup into the batter in each muffin cup until the batter meets the top edge of the peanut butter cup.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Briggy and Ollie's playroom....

is ALMOST done. I need to buy bean bags for the reading center and in front of the TV. I wanted those reallllly cute fancy kid cozy chairs that have their names stiched on from PBK or Land of Nod...but those are 100 bucks each! :( Too rich for my I'll probably end up buying 4 bean bags for walmart for the price of one cute long as they arent the shiny vinyl kind, they should look cute. I am also waiting to drive up to IKEA to get the red table and chair set...other than that, I am pretty much done...I have a spot for an easel, but I think I'll wait until Briggy is a bit older to put that in.....oh...and I was trying to figure out what the heck I could store books in that WASNT a bookcase (lack of room and they make me nervous with a very climby Briggy) I found these chrome plated magazine racks that hang (I guess theyre meant for the bathroom) Anyway, I want to buy three and spray paint them red and hang them up vertically in the space between the canopy and the window...they'll hold plenty of childrens books and look cute (I can't wait to post pictures!) I want to hang a large bulletin board up for when Briggy actually starts making pictures so I can display them....but I haven't found any reasonably priced boards (I want a pretty big four feet long) if any of you spot one, could you let me know?
Anyway, the main reason I am posting about the playroom today is the toy storage that I found last night at Walmart. I was planning on buying that (really cute) but really expensive toy drawer unit from ikea that I posted awhile back. It was reasonably priced ($300) compared to all the other storage units I had been looking at at other stores....but still a hefty sum. They had on display a "rollback" of these Sterlite "recycling center" drawer units. They only had four left (I kind of wanted I might venture out to the next town to see if they have any more...) But they are cute because they are a bright blue and green, and the boxes are SUPER DEEP and they can actually fit REAL toys...not those dinky little bins....they were only $14 for the 2 drawer $60 compared to the $300 makes mommy and daddy very happy! In the picture below you'll notice I have a cheap white laundry basket on top...I'm going to buy three more and spray paint them the bright cherry red to fit the longer bigger toys that wouldnt fit in the drawers...and give that wall the punch of red that it needs. I'll probably hang up the bright red clock I had in Briggy's old room up there too.
What do you think? maybe not QUITE as cute as the Ikea unit, but pretty good considering...and it will get the job done!

I found these at for $10.99 a piece. Not to bad...they'll look cute bright red hanging on the yellow wall!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vinyl Lettering Party

Last night was my first night out "on the town" without a husband or brigham attached to me. Normally, I prefer to be with them, and have rarely (I think maybe 3 or 4 times) left Brigham with Tom and *once* with a babysitter (while he was sleeping) I know, I'm a freak. I get so worried and the whole time I'm out all I am thinking of is horrible things that could possibly happen to my little guy. (I must also confess that I never even let Tom take Briggy anywhere without me) I know, I really need to loosen up! But actually, last night was the first time I didn't really fret or think too much about what was going on at home while I was out having a good time! Baby steps....
Anyway, I am in the market for some vinyl lettering to fill some space on my this was the perfect opportunity for me. The hostess was great, the company was fantastic and I even won a 12x12 ceramic tile with a beautiful quote that matches my kitchen wall color! Yippie!

The ladies that sell the vinyl are super sweet and have tons of options..not to mention they will customize anything for you. If you live in the Dallas area...I would definitely check out their blogs (and parties)

Distinctive Designs:
Carrie Folsom and Andrea Petttit

Here is the beautiful tile that will really help me spruce up my kitchen!

PS--Gymboree's circle of friends 30% is going on until this sunday! Online code is GYMCIRCLE (purchases will go towards earning you gymbucks!)
PPS-this is my 95th post! I am planning a special giveaway for my 100th....stay tuned for details!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

another coupon....

I am making a framed photo wall for my living room with *lovely* sepia tone versions of some of my favorite pics. I always thought Walmart was cheapest...but walgreens is actually really affordable. (2.99 for an 8x10) I missed the free walgreens 8x10 coupon for mothers day--my computer was NOT cooperating :(
anyway, I typed in walgreens coupon codes just to see if anything might pop up and
AFFSAVE33 saved me 33% of my I ended up only paying $11 dollars for 6 big prints....pretty good.

The coupon expires 5/22/09 and it works if you have a photo order of $15 or more.

Jessie made these cooler for me: (they'll be 8 total...but the 3 that are going to be oliver...have to wait a few months! :)

Oriental Trading Company Coupon

I recently recieved the "reading corner" canopy for the playroom, and inside the box was a coupon for 10% off any order of $65 or more. There are a ton of crafts and games and learning tools for sale (which are great for bored summer syndrome and sunday school activities...) anyway, I thought Id share!

This offer expires May 31st:
(thats the keycode you would type in when checking out online)

PS--Briggy loves the canopy!! I can't wait to get that room all done!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp

In honor of my new blog background, I dug up a recipe I saved from last summer as a *must make* for a summer barbeque party. I am excited to make this, because Tom has never had rhubarb before! I told him how when I was growing up I would break off the rhubarb stems at my nana's house and she would let me dip them in sugar between swimming breaks....those were the days....

Cherry and Rhubarb Crisp

Fruit Filling
3cups Sweet WA Cherries; washed and pitted
3 cups Rhubarb; washed and chopped
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbl. Cornstarch
2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 cup All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 cup Walnuts; coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Butter; melted

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Lightly butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
3. Place cherries and rhubarb in a medium sized mixing bowl.
4. Combine the sugar and cornstarch and sprinkle over fruit mixture.
5. Add the lemon juice and toss gently. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
6. Sift together the flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the walnuts. Pour in the butter and toss with a fork to form large crumbs.
7. Sprinkle topping over filling.
8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crumbs begin to brown and filling juices are bubbling. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Craft room curtain fabric

My walls are pretty much the same blue color and the furniture in the room will be red and white. I just think it is so adorable! I either bought this at a flea market yearsssss ago or its from my sister jess--I can't remember for the life of me when or where or whom I got it from....I'm just so glad I found it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sewing/Curtain dilemma

As you all know, I haven't a clue how to sew. But I did want really cute homemade curtains/valance (whatever) in my craft room. I was digging through some boxes and VOILE! an adorable piece of retro fabric appeared! It just so happened to match my color scheme perfectly--totally meant to now I know this IS the fabric for my room...the only problem is I dont know what to do. I will probably find someone who can sew to either help me or do it for me...but the size of the fabric piece might be a problem. Basically, I am writing this to anyone who knows anything about sewing to suggest ideas on what to do....

The piece is a long strip (about 10 feet long) and 3 feet wide. The print is horizontal specific (does that make sense?...I hope) I have 2 windows that are 3 feet wide and 5 1/2 feet long.
I would like those retro looking red pom-pom trim incorporated in the design.

So.....what should I do?? Can anything cute be done with those dimensions?

Thanks for the help!!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Ultimate Enchilada

I am a food network junkie--with so many favorite shows, but my favorite guy is Tyler Florence. He's so cute and his recipes are always delish. A couple weeks ago I saw the episode for his "Ultimate Enchiladas" and have been craving them ever since. Finally I gathered up the ingredients and made this for dinner last night--a total hit with the hubber! He said it was the best enchilada he's EVER HAD! I have to admit they were super super good. My casserole dish was only big enough for 5 plump enchiladas--his recipe calls for I have a ton of the filling left...I'm thinking of mixing it with elbow macaroni and baking it off with cheese--for dinner tonight or tomorrow...I'm not sure what else to do with it, other than make more enchiladas. Anyway, here is the recipe!

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:

1 pound tomatillos, husked
1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
4 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced


Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock, storebought
Chopped cilantro leaves
1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
10 large flour tortillas
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sour cream (It doesnt mention what to do with the cream except to garnish--so im not sure if this was an error on the web, I mixed a cup with the chicken mixture and garnished with the rest)
Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:
On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.

Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes at 350 until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.

I really prefer this salsa verde over the usual red enchilada sauce. Soooo good!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Decorating 101

For the past couple weeks I have been submerging myself in home decorating blogs, flipping through magazines and trying to compile a list of all the new furniture we need to fill up our new home! Its been a little overwhelming because in the past (even at our little apartment since marriage) We never invested in nice pieces of furniture...and we werent allowed to paint and hang up too much there is a whole world of things we need to buy and explore!

I thought Id share some of my findings....partly so I can actually visualize the stuff in one spot, instead of going to each website and looking everyday.

Heres what I've been thinking so far....

When you first walk in the dining room is on your left. I found this VERY AFFORDABLE dining set at Walmart (BHAG Brand) It has been unavailable for the past couple months, and today when I went to add the picture, its back for sale--yea!!!

The guest bathroom is also a little ways down the hall on your left. Im not 100% on this, but its its a contender. I also found this at walmart.

The guest bathroom is also on the left, we are thinking of making it more masculine: Black, White and Charcoal grey. I want to frame up some vintage black and white baseball pics in there too. We'll have the computer in there along with a small sofabed....havent found one I exactly like for a good price.

The living room will have our olive green couches and this mahogany media center that is a little more than I wanted to spend, but not in the thousands like the Pottery Barn version. (This is also from Walmart--Canopy Brand)

The kitchen will be a rustic red/barn-country red color. Know what I mean? I have been having the DARNDEST time finding curtains/chair covers that I like to match. If any of you come across anything cute let me know. Im thinking of brown/cream/and the same red. I like gingham and plaid but I'm not sure thats the right route I should take....suggestions are more than welcomed!

My craft room. *sigh* I feel so grateful that I have such a sweet husband that is letting me use that space for all my crazy craft projects that never used to seem to get done at our apartment. Since I now have a great designated space, I will be sure to do more and I really really really want to learn how to sew, so thats on my to-do list too.
I love the turquoise/red/white combo...and recently while searching ideas with those combos I realized its pretty popular. I found this girls craft room which is very similar to something I would like to do. Turns out its the girl that has a blog I check out pretty frequently and didn't realize this is what her craft studio was like. Her blog is and she ALWAYS has the cutest stuff posted.

Here is some furniture I found that I think I want in the room. (Most of the stuff is Ikea)

The kids bathroom is upstairs next to the kids bedrooms and playroom. I want to do the aqua and green color combo, with the addtion to some frog decor.

The kids playroom will be a sunny/marigold yellow wall with accents of green, brown, red and blue.
I bought these Dwell Baby curtains on clearance at Target and love them.
The play table and chairs will be in red from Ikea, and the storage unit on the far wall is also from ikea. In the corner will be the "reading corner" where I'll have this neat canopy and there will be bean bags in coordinating colors. (From oriental trading company)