Saturday, October 30, 2010

Deal of the Week

I had a couple days off from school and we went power shopping yesterday!  I had to share the best deal I found yesterday at Bed Bath and Beyond.
I saw this roaster with V-rack advertised for $20 with a $10 mail in rebate.   I also used a 20 percent off coupon and received $4 off.  So, I was able to get the roaster for $6.87 after coupons, rebate and taxes.  I can't wait to use it.  I've been using an old broiling pan to make my turkeys that just wasn't too ideal.

Another awesome deal was this small Woody and Buzz Lightyear toy for just $3.98 (originally $12) at ShopKo.  (We just watch Toy Story 2 and our daughter is slightly obsessed so we couldn't have found this at a better time).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Glade Winter Collection - coupon giveaway

I know, I know... Can't think of Holiday scents just yet.  I know.

But as a BzzAgent I was given a chance to try this great new candle from Glade.  Wow!  I just love the smell of apple cinnamon.  These are really fun candles with great scents.  There are candles, oil candle holders, scented oil candle refills and plug-ins refills.  The scents include: Apple Cinnamon, Bayberry Spice and Everything Nice, French Vanilla, Peppermint Crush, Sugarplum Fantasies, Baked Magic and Chocolate Cherry Sparkle.

I am giving away a coupon for $2/2 Glade Winder Collection products to three winners.  I'm guessing these will go on sale soon and be close to free after coupon.  See that's why I'm doing this now -- thinking about the savings.

To enter leave a comment with e-mail contact information by November 5, 2010.  Three winners will be drawn by and will be e-mailed as a winner.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crafty Fun -- Elmer's Products

As a member of BzzAgent, I recently was giving several products to try from Elmer's CraftBond and X-Acto.

Items I received for Elmer's CraftBond include:
  • All-Purpose Glue Stick
  • Permanent Tape Runner
  • Clear Glue Pen
  • Sticky spots
These items range in price from $2 to $9.  They are acid-free and archival safe.  Check out for more information.

Items I received for X-Acto Designer Series include:
  • Zig Zag Decorative Edge Scissors
  • Scalloped Decorative Edge Scissors
  • Corner Rounder Punch
These items range in price from $2 to $20.  There are many other cutting tools available and more information can be found

Now onto the project I worked on.  Now that I'm teaching pre-Kindergarten, I have lots of use for these tools.  I created a class book showing our students making banana muffins.  I used the tape runner and realized pretty quick you can't use it on construction paper.  However it worked great on laminated pieces and photos.  It saved so much time.  I normally use double sided tape, but the tape runner was a much more efficient use of time. I also liked using the corner rounder.  It made the project look really professional.  I wish I could show the actual pictures but with privacy of children's photos I just can't.

The format of the book was very simple.  I used repetitive text on each page.  Sam added flour, Josie added sugar, Anna stirred the batter, etc.  Then about each sentence I showed the child doing the action.  For a class of 15 I only have five pages (back to back).  I simply slide each page into a plastic in a binder.  When I read the "story" to the class each child beamed as their name was read.  Really fun to do!

I plan to use all these tools on future projects with the class and will be adding those zig zag scissors to our art center for the children to practice with.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Deal of the Week

Sometimes I just like to "shop" and see what I can find.  Some of my favorite places to do this are the clearance racks at Target, Walmart and Dollar General.  I don't get to the Dollar General very often, but whenever I shop at the end of season or after a holiday I score some pretty great deals.

This week I bought a package of Huggies Little Swimmers (11 ct, size M) for $1.87 at the Dollar General.  I've never seen that price for swim diapers that cheap.  I also scored a staple remover for 15 cents and a pack of three small memo pads for 37 cents.  Love those cheap deals!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's Cookin'- Taco Salad

I had this awesome taco salad at a function recently.  I searched for a couple different recipes and adapted it to my own tastes (and what I had in my freezer).  Turned out really tasty.

Taco Salad
(original recipe)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1  package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle French dressing (I used Kraft Catalina)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce (I used spinach)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) package Doritos
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa (optional)


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain.
  2.  Stir in the taco seasoning, beans and French-style dressing. 
  3. Fill the dressing bottle 2/3 full of water and add to the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Crush the bag of chips, open the bag, and toss the broken chips into a large bowl with the lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. When the meat mixture is done, combine it with the lettuce, tomatoes, chips and mix well. Then, add salsa and sour cream.

**Note this needs to be mixed together right before eating otherwise the chips get soggy.  I actually made this as a lunch/snack and just kept all ingredients separate until right before eating and just added how much I wanted to eat for that meal.  The recipe can easily be halved.**

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sign up for tips

If you haven't been to (or know about) Mailbox's website lately, I highly recommend checking it out.  I recently signed up for daily tips and have gotten some wonderful ideas for teaching.  I particularly like that their tips are sent by e-mail with a link to their website, and you can quickly read them.  I personally can't stand long winded bits of information.  I like to read it and move on.

Here's a song from Mailbox that I've been singing with my 4-year-old class and they just love it. (So does our 3-year-old daughter):

Catch a Bubble (to the tune of Clementine)

Catch a Bubble
Catch a Bubble
Put it right into your mouth
Catch a Bubble
Catch a Bubble
Put it right into your mouth

**I have the kids pretend to put bubble sticks in bubble solution and blow pretend bubbles before we sing.  I vary it a little by blowing big bubbles slowly and little bubbles quickly.  I also ask them to tell me what color their bubble is or what it tastes like.   So many things you can do to activate that little imagination.**

Monday, October 4, 2010

I stepped on the scale last week

I have blogged a little about my goals to become more fit and healthy.  I began my journey last November (almost 1 year ago).  I couldn't believe it when I stepped on the scale last week, and saw that I officially have lost 20 pounds since I began working out.  I've posted about how much work I put into being more active and the commitment level.  I am very proud of myself.  I weigh what I weighed in college (and that was,ahem, more than 10 years ago).  After having our daughter I thought I would get back to pre-baby weight, but never anticipated losing so much.  I still have goals to stay active, but now it's more for staying active than losing weight.  Changing what I was eating was the key component, especially the soda drinking.  I'll admit in the last month I've been drinking more soda in a week, maybe three or four cans.  But I was drinking two a day, which was a lot of empty calories a day.

My advice for anyone trying to lose weight is to start small, stay committed and change what you eat.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trying hard

Okay, I know it's been a long time since I posted and I sure hope many of my readers are still with me.  The reason I've been behind in blogging is because I have had yet another change in our lives.  The job that I took in August just didn't seem to fit me as well as I had hoped.  I luckily found a teaching position (in the city we live in) to teach Pre-Kindergarten (4K).  It's exactly what I want to be doing and I started last week.  It's only part-time but our goal was to have me teach again and allow our daughter some social time with children.   My job is in a child care center so my daughter is just down the hall in another classroom while I'm teaching.  So I'm at a new job and she's at a new preschool but we are together more.  I struggled with making the change since we just started in August.  But the level of stress that both of us had was more than I had anticipated.  Although at no point was it bad or disappointing.  I reflected on the new position and knew that if I had found the job in July I wouldn't have hesitated.  So, long story, short -- I should be back to blogging regularly again soon.  Hopefully, I can share ideas from my teaching experiences, too.


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