Friday, October 30, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

Just wanted to make you aware that I am posting this at 4 in the morning. :o) I promised two tips today because I ran out of time last week. Well, I was called into work today. :o(

Tip 1: Make a grocery list and STICK to it. I never make a trip to the store without my list. I even go so far as to put the list in order as the items appear in the store. (I know. It's a little OCD.) Many times we will be cruising aisles and see items that we want and do not necessarily need. Try to stay away from these last minute purchases and keep a little extra money in your wallet.

Tip 2: Stockpile when prices are low. If you come across deals that are just too good, stock up on those items. Peanut butter has a quite a long shelf life. I was able to stock up on Skippy at just over a dollar a jar. You can't buy peanut butter at Aldi for that cheap. This applies for many items: shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. Just use your imagination.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shame on me.

-I'm sorry. I did not do a Frugal Friday tip last week. I was super busy preparing for a garage sale and then actually participating in the sale. I promise to double up this week for you. I wouldn't want to let any one feel robbed.

-Football season has ended. I thought I would have all this time on my hands, but I seem to be just as busy. Weird how that works.

- I have purchased several fabrics for some up coming projects. I made a promise to myself. I cannot start the sewing projects until I finish painting the kitchen. I will probably knock that out in the next couple of weeks. I have limited time because my hubby sleeps during the day. I try to keep Crash downstairs as much as possible. He is sooooo loud. LOL.

- I got a treadmill! It was my SIL's. I was so excited when my hubby picked it up. I've used it a couple of times. I cannot adjust the incline, so I am working my way up. The first day I only did 15 minutes. Tonight I went for 20. I'm really afraid that my knees aren't going to like the incline. I want to ease my body into it.

- I am down 13 pounds. It's not much. Well, it's a drop in the ocean, really. LOL. It is a start though. More importantly, I haven't gained any back. I only have 37 more pounds to go. I have been able to fit back into my jeans more comfortably. My work pants are getting loose too.

- My hubs has a couple of days off. I'm a little nervous. We usually bicker when he is off. LOL. I'm sure it will be fine though.

- We are going out on Friday night. I am super excited. We haven't been out in a million years. I'm sure I will have some photos from our night out.

- I told my hubby he should get "fixed." He said that he doesn't want to. He wants to have the "option." I think he has baby fever too. LoL. My heart went pitter patter. All hope is not completely lost yet. I certainly won't get my hopes up, but I can't help but be a little excited.

-That's enough randomness for now. Night!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cookie Time!

This new diet is killing me. Ok, so I haven't done so well with it lately, but I am still trying. The other day, I got to thinking about how I miss chocolate. I realized that it is nearly December which means time for COOKIES!!!! I LOVE cookies. There are a million different kinds you can make. I have started putting together a list of cookies I am thinking about making. And in case you are wondering, No. I am not including cookies in the food budget. I am going to splurge. Plus, I will probably give a ton away. They can count as "gifts". Hehehehe. I can rationalize anything.

No bake oatmeal cookies. My mommy is going to make these for me. Mine never turn out.

The next recipes are all from Hershey Kisses. They have an odd scroll site, and I have no idea how to link to it. Sorry!
Tuxedo Brownie cookies

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Krunchy Kisses Cookies

Kisses Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found the next two recipes at Top Secret Recipes. I cannot wait to try them!

And I can't forget the good old Christmas stand-bys:

Peanut Brittle


Wowsers. That's a lot of cookies. In reality, I probably won't make them all. I will consult with the fam to see which ones sound the best. I vote for the Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies. Yum!

What are some of your favorite cookie or candy recipes?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

If I am going to make this a weekly feature, I should really try to come up with some sort of cute logo. LMAO! We will see about that.

Today's tip to save you money is pack a lunch. I know. Very elaborate and high tech. We pack lunches and snacks for so many different things.

I pack a dinner for my hubby to take to work every night. I take breakfast to work with me for Crash and me. Tater and Grace bring their lunches to school nearly every day. As a special treat, I will let them buy the tray lunch occasionally. Not only does this save your bank account, but you know that your kids are also getting a nutritious, balanced meal instead of one packed with carbs and fat. If we have a long day planned to the zoo or the park, I almost always pack a lunch for us or a the very least some snacks. Food at amusement parks is soooooo darn expensive.

These days, there are so many different vessels for your lunch:
traditional brown bag
Bento Boxes

reusable lunch sacks
I really love the Bento style boxes, but they are a little pricey for me. My kids have slightly larger insulated lunch boxes. They aren't very cute, but the cute ones were also too pricey for me. LOL. See the trend?

My kids are super boring. Given the choice, they will pick pbj almost every time. Ok. Well, not really. Grace eats only peanut butter. Tater eats peanut butter and jelly. Crash eats jelly. LOL. Weird. For a change, they love it when I make ham and cheese roll ups. It's super easy: ham cubes, cheddar cheese and a tortilla. Fancy. :o)

What's your favorite lunch to pack?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Etsy is going to get me in trouble.

Have you heard of Etsy? If not, you are missing out. Etsy is the home for all things homemade and handcrafted. Seriously, if you need something unique, there is a good chance Etsy will have it. I was looking around the other day when Tater was home from school sick. I found so many things that I am in love with.
I found some blankets that I may get Crash. He is crazy in love with frogs right now. He is still using his snuggly blankie we got him when he was born. I figure it's time to step up to a big boy blanket, and frogs seem like the perfect choice. I am going to get him a flannel or fleece one this year. Next year, I have plans to make quilts for all three of the kiddos. Yeah, I just may be crazy. I think the blankets were $15 and under which isn't a terrible price.

My favorite blankets are number 1 and number 2. 3 just doesn't seem as exciting to me.

My next search was for reusable lunch sacks that are washable. My kids take their lunches to school. To be "green", we use containers instead of baggies. They complain that the containers can take up too much room. Here are a couple of sacks I found. I'm not crazy about the fabrics. These sacks range anywhere from $2-$6 each.

I did, however, get the crazy idea to see if I could find a pattern to make my own. Wouldn't ya know? I did! So, I will be making some sacks for the kiddos in the near future. The best part is that I can get fabrics they each will love.

Grace is getting a Nintendo DS for Christmas. She received one a few years ago, but Crash decided to rip it in half recently. I wanted to get her something cute and different to carry her DS and some games. All of these are $12 and under.

I think number 1 is definitely my favorite. I'm not too keen on the fabrics, but Grace would like it. I love that it has a little handle on it and looks like a little purse.

A while ago, I saw someone post something on a forum about cute covers for straps for the digital SLR. Ummmm....hello! I need one! What a great idea! I can't remember the prices on these, but they were very inexpensive.

The first and last ones are my fav. I was also able to find patterns to make the covers. It doesn't seem to difficult either. I am definitely going to give it a whirl. I'm not the most talented with a sewing machine. If I screw up I have two options, buy it from Etsy or ask my mommy to make them for me. :o) She works wonders with a sewing machine.

What are your favorite Etsy finds?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Babies, babies, everywhere.

Who doesn't love babies???? I know I do!! I just wanted to show a few photos of some super cute babies.

L (my niece-sorta)

D. Lee my nephew

He is too stinking cute.

His mommy kept making him laugh.

Baby smiles are so cute.

We will be visiting D. Lee again soon, so I should have more photos of him. We are hoping to visit L again this weekend so I should get some more shots of her too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crash crashed twice.

Sorta. Last Thursday night, Crash took a spill at Tater's practice. He was throwing something away for Little Papa. On his way back, he tripped (nothing new) and hit his head on the concrete base of the dug out. Little Papa beat me to him. Of course, head wounds bleed. A lot. With the help of another parent, Little Papa, Little Grandma and Grace, we were able to get the bleeding to stop. Little Papa ran to Walgreen's to get some butterfly closures. I have taken Tater to urgent care in the past for a cut to the back of his head. I learned from that experience to give it a little time to see if it will stop bleeding and stay closed. So, we bandaged him up and went home. Three hours later he snuggled his head into the couch to go to sleep and instantly split the cuts back open. Ugh. Crash and I headed to the emergency room. (Ironically, last month I just paid off the bill for the last e.r. visit. LOL.) As we waited he would snuggle against me and kept opening the wounds. The doc finally came in and said he would definitely need some glue on both of the cuts.

Just after receiving the glue.

The doc did a very good job of getting the cuts closed. He shouldn't have much scarring.

The next Sunday, we had my bro and his family over for a visit. Crash comes out of his room crying. Ugh. I run to him and see his hands and mouth covered in blood. REALLY?!?!?! He some how managed to bite his tongue. I immediately thought that we should probably have signed up for the better insurance plan. LOL. The bleeding stopped pretty quickly. We gave him a popsicle and some ibuprofen to help with the pain. I took some photos the next night.

You can see on the right side how swollen his tongue was.

He enjoyed sticking his tongue out at mommy.

Yep, he still had food on his face. I usually put him right in the tub after dinner. Luckily, his tongue healed up quickly without any infections. Thank goodness!!

These recent accidents have not tamed him any. He still has NO fear of anything. Sigh. Boys will be boys.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Frugal Friday Tip

I am going to try something new. I am not making any promises though. Every Friday, I hope to give my readers a new, helpful tip to save money. We shall see how it goes.....

Check the prices per ounce. I know. It sounds like it could be a lot of work. Luckily, most of the time you can find the price per ounce right on the tag on the shelf. I always carry a calculator with me just in case some stores aren't as helpful.

Great Value Brand Bacon Bits

McCormack's Brand Bacon Bits

I originally reached for the GV bacon bits because they are cheaper. So I thought. The price of the package is cheaper and the package is larger. Well then it has to be the best deal, right? Nope. It's nearly $.06 per ounce cheaper to get the name brand bacon bits. Walmart can't stick it! :0) You will find this pricing discrepancies in cereal and cheese also. They try to get you to buy in bulk when actually the smaller packages just may be cheaper.
Make sure you do your math!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Great weekend.

Last weekend was a blast. Saturday was pretty busy for us. First, we had Tater's game of course. After that, we headed up to Home Depot for their Kid's Workshop. The kids made firehouse banks. They each got a cute Home Depot apron too. My parents tagged along. I am so glad they came to help out so that I could get some photos.

Crash is watching Smokey the Bear. He was scary!

Big Poppa helping Tater. I would have been scared.

Big Grandma helping Grace even though she really didn't need help (so she says).

Crash is supervising.

Crash's favorite part. He loves to hit stuff.

The kiddos with their banks.

The kids had a blast making their banks. I just want to note that it took 5 shots to get this picture. It is soooo hard to get kids to focus at the same time.

Because it was Fire Safety Week, there were several local fire departments there. Air Evac even landed in the parking lot. It was pretty cool!

Air Evac coming in for a landing.

Ameren U.E. was also there. The kids got to operate the boom.

Big Grandma trying to get Crash to look forward. There was just too much going on!

Grace and Crash in the chopper. Tater didn't want to get in for some reason.

After we finished up at Home Depot, we ran home to get the kiddos some grub. My hubby was tired since he had been up working all night, so he finally went to sleep. The kids and I headed to the park to help Tater with a project for school.

Grace being such a good helper.

He's plotting to take over the world.

I'm the king of this park!!!!

He was pointing and yelling at the tree. I'm not really sure why. LOL. It was pretty funny though. We cut the trip short because a couple of kids were bugging Grace. Apparently, a little boy had a crush on her and was having his friend/sister ask Grace questions. I think Grace was put off by the boy's extremely long hair. Seriously. It was longer than Grace's. LOL. I will enjoy this time because I know soon enough, my daughter is probably going to be boy crazy. Eek!!