Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thrift Thursday -- JCPenny Trip

I absolutely love when JCPenny marks down their clearence items to 80 percent.  I earned a $50 gift card from My Points and used a 15% off total purchase survey coupon.  I was happy to stretch my "free" bucks.

Here's what I bought:
(2) 4T Pajamas -- 5.09 each
(2) 5T T-Shirts (for next year) -- one $3.05 and one $2.52
(2) Button Down Shirts for myself -- $4.39 each
(1) Pair of Jeans for myself -- $6.09

Grand total after discounts=$32.30 (a grand total of $124.36 saving off original price)

That also leaves me with $17.70 on the gift card.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ditched the Drying Rack

I was starting to hate our drying rack in the kitchen.  We do a fair amount of dishes by hand.  However, we (both my husband and myself) got into a bad habit of leaving the dishes in the drying rack.  It would never get cleaned out until more dishes were washed and then I would get frustrated because I had to put the dishes away before (or while) I was washing the next batch.  It drove me crazy.  I also hated that the drying rack itself needed cleaning often.  It all was just becoming a ball of frustration and extra cleaning.  I decided to do without the drying rack.  Now we just wash the dishes and dry them right away.  It actually takes less time than you would think.  I like how there isn't always something that needs to be put away in the kitchen.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's cookin' - Sun-nana Poppers

I've been a little pre-occupied lately with a few "real world" things lately.  Here's a late What's Cookin'.

I found this recipe in Hungry Girl 200 Recipes for 200 Calories by Lisa Lillien.  She has a whole chapter on using Cool Whip in recipes!  I altered this recipe a little to meet our food allergies needs and changed the name.  It's really easy to make (kids can help) and my toddler loves them.

Sun-nana Poppers
1 Medium Banana
2 Tbsp Cool Whip
1 Tbsp Sunbutter (original recipe calls for peanut butter)

1. Cut banana into slices about 1/4 inch thick. About 20 pieces. 
2. Lay half the pieces flat on a plate lined with wax paper or parchment paper.
3. Mix Cool Whip and Sunbutter together until well blended.
4. Even distribute Cool Whip mixture on one banana slice.  Top with another banana slice to make small sandwich.  Repeat with rest of banana slices.
5. Put in freezer for about 1 hour. Then eat and enjoy!

**These are best to eat right away otherwise they will get mushy.**

For more great recipes go to the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

TP -- Stock up price

Ever wonder how to tell is if toilet paper is a good deal or not.  Deal Seeking Mom has a great concept to figure this out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day Memory

The day before Father's Day, I was wrapping gifts with our daughter.  I told her we needed to hide the presents from Daddy.  I asked her where should we hide them.  She eagerly answered her room.  Okay, I told her.  We "hid" them in her room in a JCPenny plastic bag.  I gave her instrtuctions to bring the bag into our room Sunday morning after she woke up.  (She's always up before us on weekends).  I wasn't really sure if this almost 3-year-old would remember or completely understand.  But sure enough at 7 a.m. I was woken up to the rustling of the JCPenny bag as she proudly carried it into our room as she said "Happy Father's Dad."

So much fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Father's Day Poem

I saw this poem and am excited to use it this year on my husband's Father's Day card.  I typed up the poem on white paper and glued it to the front of a piece of scrapbook paper.  We put foot prints on the inside of the card.

Walk a Little Slower Daddy
Walk a little slower Daddy, said a little child so small
I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.
Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be.
Then I will have a little child who'll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!
                                                       - Author Unknown

Fairy Dust and Glue

At our house napping and bedtime are very challenging for our daughter.  It's not that she won't sleep -- it's almost impossible for her to wind down without help.  She has always been this way.  She is just a very active little girl.  We used the Supernanny Sleep technique to get over the initial hump of staying in bed at night, which still took months to work for us.

About six months ago I added something to our night time routine.  I dig in my pocket for some (pretend) fairy dust and sprinkle it all over her body.  I tell her it special fairy dust to help her sleep.  She tells me what color it is, and we give a little to her toys she sleeps with, too. Lately the color of the fairy dust has had multiple colors.  Well, fairy dust along wasn't really working, so I now give her some glue that I rub all over her.  It's supposed to help her stick to her bed and pillow.  She tells me what color the glue is, too.  Does it work?  Mostly.  She still peeks out her bedroom window after we close the door (I know because the curtains are messed up when I check on her before I go to bed).  But she doesn't come out of her room anymore after being put to bed.  As an incentive I put a "surprise" book in her room for her to read in the morning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Slicing Strawberries Tip

If you need to chop strawberries into small slices, simply use an egg slicer.  You will be so impressed how easy it is.

Check out this simple Strawberry Refrigerator Jam over on my other blog!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Giveaway -- Free All Natural Jamba Smoothie Kit -- Closed Winners E-mailed!

Recently I was contacted by Jamba Juice to do a review and host a giveaway.  They sent me three samples of Jamba Juice All Natural Smoothies that you can buy right in the freezer section of your grocery store.  I was excited because the closest Jamba Juice to me is a good 25-minute drive away and the convenience of being able to buy from the store is very appealing.  Following my review, I will give instructions on how you can win one of these smoothie kits!

The Facts

  • The All Natural Smoothies come frozen in three very different flavors-- Strawberries Wild (my favorite), Mango-a-go-go and Razzmatazz. 
  •  Each kit contains two 8 oz serving giving you 100 percent Vitamin C for the day and one whole serving of fruit. 
  • To make simply blend apple juice with smoothie kit.
  • Each of the Smoothie kits are fat free and only 120 calories per serving.
  • No high fructose syrup, no trans fat, nopreservatives.

The Review

The smoothie kits were very easy to make and we all like easy, right.  All I had to do was measure 1 cup of apple juice into my blender and add the contents of the smoothie kit.  In about a minute, I had two smoothies ready to eat.  My favorite is the Strawberry Wild -- I'm just partial to strawberries and bananas anyway.  Normally, I don't drink smoothies at home that have yogurt, but I couldn't tell the difference with these smoothies.  The flavors are clean and sweet.  I really enjoyed having a little treat in the middle of the day that had some good-for-you stuff in it, too.

The Giveaway

The average cost for a Jamba All Natural Smoothies kit is between $2.99 and $3.29.  However, if you want to try one for free, you can enter my giveaway.  I am giving FIVE (5) lucky winners a coupon for a Free Jamba Juice All Natural Smoothie -- you pick the flavor!

To enter:  Leave a comment below stating what flavor smoothie you would like to try! (please leave an e-mail or link to your blog so I can contact you if you win!)

Bonus entries
1)  Subscribe to my blog.  Leave an extra comment letting me know
2) Follow my blog.  Leave an extra comment letting me know.
3) Promote on your blog or elsewhere. Leave extra comment letting me know

Five winners will be selected through on Thursday, June 17 and will be notified through e-mail!

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Blog slow down

    I'll probably be slowing down on blogging a little as the summer is upon us.  Here are some of the fun things we are doing and plan on doing this summer.

    • Parks (there are so many in our city in that we have many favorites)
    • Zoo (free)
    • Library (story time, reading program, special events)
    • Biking (for Mother's Day my husband bought me the piece that attaches the bike trailer to my bike -- ah feels good to be biking again!)
    • Walks (just around the neighborhood)
    • Hiking (free country parks with nice trails)
    • Botanical Gardens (free)
    • Strawberry picking (free plus the cost of the strawberries)
    • Farmer's Market (our daughter is really interested in trying the fresh produce)
    • Sensory Table (I fill with water and bring the bath toys outside)
    • Picnics
    • Swimming (at the pool.  I hope to try a couple beaches on the lakes this summer, too)

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Windfall Money!

    Lately I have been getting lots of survey opportunities from the survey websites I belong to.  I have actually been able to redeem some of those points that accumulate for gift cards.  A couple weeks ago I was asked to do a survery that lasted for three days.  It was pretty easy to do (about a half hour of time each day).  I got $125 gift card to Amazon.  I also had a $5 Amazon gift card from another survey I completed, so I put them together.  I searched Amazon very hard to find something to buy that would be worth it.  I bought a couple toys and some allergy-free snacks!

    Here's what I bought so far:

    I have a $37 balance available on my Amazon account and am cashing in another survey points for a $10 gift card.  I plan to buy Foodsaver bags!

    What would you do with $125 gift card to Amazon?
    (sorry not a giveaway just a question today, but stay tuned for some great giveaways in the next couple weeks)

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    What's cookin' - Easy Sausage Pepper Pasta

    I made this last week trying to use up so deals I've been getting to stock my pantry and freezer.  I had some homemade sauce and peppers in the freezer so the prep was pretty simple.  The taste was exceptional.

    Easy Sausage Pepper Pasta

    1 jar spaghetti sauce or homemade sauce
    1/2 cup red and yellow peppers, chopped
    2 to 3 links Italian sausage
    1 lb pasta, I used penne, but any kind works
    1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese

    1. Put 1/4 cup water in pan and cook sausage on medium low for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned.  You may need to add extra water.  Cut sausage into 1/4 inch slices.
    2. Boil pasta for 8 minutes. Drain.
    3.  Mix cooked pasta, sausage, peppers, and tomato sauce together in casserole dish.
    4. Top with Mozzarella cheese.
    5. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or when cheese is melted.

    For more great recipes check out the Grocery Cart Challenge and Life as Mom!

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Week long series on my other blog

    On my other blog Life with a Dairy-Free Toddler, I am detailing meals that my toddler eats.  Even if you don't have special dietary needs, you may pick up an idea or two.  Check it out!


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