Tuesday, November 30, 2010

4 Ways Babies Are Like Fruitcakes

1.  The minute they enter the room, they start getting passed around from person to person.

2.  They're incredibly sweet-and consider yourself warned, also can be slightly sticky.

3.  Eighteen years later, they're often still found just sitting around your house.

4.  Everyone compliments everybody else's but secretly thinks they made the best one.

I found this in Parents the Early Years Dec/Jan issue and just had to share.  Plus my baby is turning 2 this week and I needed a reason to look through pictures! 

Enjoy your little ones!

Monday, November 29, 2010


So if you are not using Swagbucks yet, here is another reason to sign up, they give you 50 FREE Swagbucks for your birthday!  Yep, mine got automatically added to my account today!  You only need 450 Swagbucks to score a $5 Amazon gift card!

If you are not familiar with Swagbucks, it is simply a search engine that awards you points or Swagbucks every couple of searches.  You can then turn those points into prizes!  I have already earned multiple Amazon gift cards, great for the holidays.  The will occassionally post codes for FREE points also.  It is so easy to do and earn FREE stuff!

Go here to sign up now and start earning your Swagbucks!

It's My Birthday!

It's my birthday today!  Where does the time go, it is hard to believe another year of my life has quickly flew by!  This was an amazing year for myself and my family.  We enjoyed a great summer vacation at the beach with our 4 year old and 1 year old boys.  I cannot believe how quickly they have grown!

So today, I am taking the day off of work just for me!  I will be spending the afternoon being pampered at the spa, just for me!  Later tonight my kids and wonderful husband are treating me to a dinner out, I just hope everyone behaves!

So I am, Out of the Office, for today! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 11/29/10

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week and I hope you all did too! Luckily the boys came down with colds and fevers early in the week and were all better to be able to enjoy dinner with family on Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful celebration at my sister’s house and all the kids had a great time playing with each other as usual. On Friday, my oldest son and I had a date afternoon and went to see “Tangled”, great movie and I highly recommend it. We got to enjoy popcorn and each other’s company which made the day extra special! Hey it starts Birthday Week around here and I am so excited for the festivities!

Monday – It’s My Birthday and I am picking our dining location!

Tuesday – Orange Crock Pot Chicken (courtesy of A Few Shortcuts!)

Wednesday – Skillet Lasagna (recipe to follow)

Thursday – Breakfast for Dinner – French Toast & Sausage

Friday – Chicken Breast Divine

Saturday – My Son’s 4th Birthday Party (I’ll share the party plan & menu with you later in the week!)

Sunday – Turkey Roast

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organizing Junkie!

A Cup of Kool Aid…

…Makes the Medicine Go Down

Is this wrong? I have a child that hates; I mean absolutely hates taking any type of medicine. It is a battle every time we have to give him something. When he needs antibiotics I literally have to ask the doctor, “how does that one taste?” The doctor even has a note in his chart that he is not a good medicine taker!

We have tried, forcing it down him; believe me that does not work. More often than not there are consequences for Mom & Dad for those attempts (I’ll spare the details). We use to use yogurt which worked for awhile. Then he figured it out and flat out refused to eat it! We were then on an orange juice kick and once again that worked for awhile and now the child refuses to drink orange juice.

So awhile back, my husband attempted to mix it in Kool Aid. I thought it was a bad idea, but it worked! It has been working for a while now. The child loves Kool Aid. It sounds really bad when I tell him he has to drink his Kool Aid! This past week he had a fever and we mixed grape flavored Motrin in his grape Kool Aid. It went down so nice and easy and he never knew what hit him. But you do have to be careful and not let him see you sneak it in, he is on to us!

He is now at the age now that I could actually start to buy chewable Tylenol and Motrin. That is going to be my next test. I sure hope he will chew them; it would make my life easier! So for now we are sticking with the Kool Aid, it is the only thing that works for us. I dread this winter season, because I know he will need antibiotics at least once, and giving a child medicine who hates to take medicine for 10 days straight it just pure torture on his well-meaning parents!

Do you have medicine issues? How do you handle them?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bed and Breakfast – Free Bonus Gift Card

Do you need a unique gift for someone who enjoys traveling? Well HomeAway has a new site Bed and Breakfast. This sites gives you an alternative over hotels. It lists over 11,000 bed and breakfast properties. You can give the perfect give this year and give a gift card to Bed and Breakfast. When you order a $200 gift card, you will receive a FREE $75 gift card, with promo code BBHA75. Hurry because this offer ends 11/30/10.

I have personally never used this site, but I have used HomeAway several times for rentals for vacations. I am always impressed with the properties and their owners!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken Cheese Rice Soup

Sorry, no picture, but this is a really good recipe.  You can even substitute your left over turkey for the chicken!

1/2 onion diced
1 cup shredded carrots
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups diced chicken (or turkey)
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cups cooked rice

Saute onion and carrots in butter for 10 minutes until tender not browned.  Stir in flour, add milk, broth, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, about 10 mintutes.  Stir in chicken and cheese, cook and stir over low heat until cheese melts.  Add rice and serve!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. This day reminds us to be thankful for everything that God has provided for us, we should make more time throughout the year to count our blessings, which are so plentiful! I pray for the families who are struggling this year and ask that they are granted peace and hope in the months to come! Enjoy your day, your family and friends, and the lovely meal you will share together.

May God continue to bless you and your families!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free Slice of Pie at Bob Evans 11/26 - 11/28

Go here and print a coupon for a FREE slice of pie from Bob Evans!  The coupon is valid from 11/26/10 - 11/28/10!  Sounds like a nice break from shopping and enjoy some hot chocolate and pie!

Cheap Diapers with Free Delivery from Amazon!

I am LOVING these Amazon coupons for diapers.   I have been getting all of my diapers shipped right to my door.  If you get Parents or Parenting the Early Years magazine, they have had these AMAZING 20% off diapers coupons in the past 4 issues.  Plus if you use the Subscribe & Save Option (cancel once you receive your first shipment you receive an EXTRA 30% off DIAPERS!  So I ordered a box of size 4 Pampers Cruisers 140 count and check out my final bill below!  Plus they have an extra $1 coupon and FREE shipping!

It's Not Too Late - Butterball Coupons!

Its not too late, just in case, here are some great Butterball coupons!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Everyday with Rachel Ray - $5 For 1 Year

WOW - this is a really good deal, now through December 1st, you can get a 1 year subscription to Everyday with Rachel Ray for only $5!  That is 87% off!  Go here to order!  This would make a wonderful holiday gift for someone who loves to cook!

I personally receive this magazine and it is one of my favorites!  Every issue I seem to find a few new recipes to try out on the family.  There is also some great shopping tips inside every issue!

Dangers of Reusable Grocery Bags

I know I use them when I shop at Aldi and Target. Apparently now there is an investigation concerning reusable bags and lead content. Read on for more info:

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York asked federal agencies Sunday to investigate and ban reusable shopping bags with dangerous levels of lead following a Tampa Tribune investigation that found high levels in bags sold in the Bay area.

Schumer, the senior senator from New York, called on the federal Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate whether any of the reusable bags being sold at groceries and other stores across the country pose a danger.

Because the bags are being used to carry food, high lead levels pose a danger to the country’s food supply, Schumer said in a letter addressed to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

Lead is linked to learning disabilities in children and fertility problems in adults. Health advocates say any level of lead is toxic.

The lead found in the grocery bags the Tribune tested would not easily rub off on food, and merely touching one of the bags is unlikely to prove harmful, according to Hugh Rodrigues, president of Thornton Laboratories in Tampa, which tested the bags. Over time, though, as the bags wear down, their paint can flake off and threads fray, releasing the lead. The more elaborate the illustrations on the bags, the more likely they are to contain toxic lead, the Tribune investigation found. Yellow and green paint on bags is a common carrier of lead.

Article source

Monday, November 22, 2010

Totsy - The Private Sales Site for Mons & Kids

With private online sales every week of the year, Totsy offers its members sales on high end brands for baby and Moms at 40-80% off.

Join us and you'll be amazed at the savings on apparel, toys, gear and more!

Exclusive access, top brands, great deals, the savvy mom shops at Totsy!

Click here to join!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 22nd!

Yeah - it is the start of the holiday season!  I am so excited for Thanksgiving, first for the food, secondly because I do not have to cook, and third it means a really long weekend away from work!  My sister is hosting the Turkey Day festivities this year and I only have to bring a side dish! 

Monday - Shake -n- Bake Pork Chops
Tuesday - Chicken Cheese Soup (New recipe, I'll share later)
Wednesday - Steak Sandwiches
Thursday - Turkey and all the trimmings at my sister's house!
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Eat Out
Sunday - Roasted Chicken and Mashed Potatoes!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organzing Junkie!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bodies...The Exhibition

If you live in Cleveland (or planning a visit), Bodies...The Exhibition has now been extended until January 2, 2011.  You can get 20% off tickets when you order online here.

BODIES…The Exhibition provides an intimate and informative view into the human body. Using an innovative preservation process, the Exhibition allows you to see and celebrate your body’s inner beauty in ways you never dreamed possible. Over 200 actual human bodies and specimens, meticulously dissected and respectfully displayed, offer an unprecedented and wholly unique look into your amazing body. Come explore, experience and celebrate the wonder of the human form.

Honey Baked Ham

It’s not the holidays without a Honey Baked Ham. It you are having a party or large gathering, it is so easy to serve a Honey Baked Ham and only have to worry about the side dishes. We always serve our with Cheesey Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, and Corn!

Here is a link to some great coupons to make it a little more affordable!

$7 off a Half Ham
$3 off a Boneless Ham
$21.99 for a Sliced & Glazed Turkey Breast with any Ham purchase

Monday, November 15, 2010

Play-Doh Fun!

Well we love our Play-Doh at our house. My almost 5 year old (oh my!) asks to play at least a couple times a week. Right now he plays when his younger brother is napping. This is also when we play our big boy games! When we first started playing with Play-Doh, I was obsessed with keeping the colors separated! Well after a couple of years, I have given up on that premise. Kids really do not care (at least mine does not) if the colors are perfect! Here are some of my Play-Doh Tips.

1. Keep all Play-Doh items in a plastic bin. It makes clean-up and storage such an easy task! Throw everything back in and put the lid on for next time!

2. Play outside when weather allows. We use a small table and simply dust the table off and no more mess!

3. When it is cooler, we play in our sunroom, much better than having a mess in the kitchen!

Free Cake Sampling at Cold Stone on Tuesday 11/16

Try free samples at the eight layer cake national sampling event at Cold Stone Creamery on Tuesday, November 16th from 5pm - 8pm.  Find a store here and call ahead to make sure your location is participating!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 15th

Last week we had the most beautiful weather in Ohio in the month of November.  It makes you really appreciate 60 degree days when it could be cold and snowy!  Well that is in the past now and it is back to the cold!  We'll take it when we can get it, at least the kids got to enjoy a couple days at the playground with Dad!

Monday - Meatball Subs
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Chicken Breast Divine
Thursday - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Friday - Pizza Night
Saturday - Date Night
Sunday - Maple Glazed Stuffed Pork Roast

This post is linked at MPM at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tired of Couponing – I Hope This Passes!

I am having a really hard time with couponing lately. I use to be so get-up and go when it came to couponing. In fact I was a bit obsessed. I thought I had to get every great deal that came around. Well, now that I look at my stockpile of 10 tubes of toothpaste and 10 bottles of men’s body wash I had to “redefine” my limits. Now I only buy items I have a lot of already that are money makers after coupons.

The past month I have somewhat lost my drive to coupon like a mad woman. I use to get so excited when I saved over $20 in coupons in one grocery trip, now not so much. Lately our shopping habits have changed. We have been going to Aldi a lot more often since milk is cheap as well are a lot of the household staples. The store is also close to our house and easy to get in and out of for a quick milk run. I have been doing a lot of price comparisons and more often than not, Aldi is the lowest price in town and you do not have to remember your coupons.

I am still making the occasional Giant Eagle runs, but last month I only went to the store two times. Once to use my accumulated foodperks and then another time to use the Catalinas I had from the previous trip before they expired. I still buy a lot of my meat at Giant Eagle since they often run BOGO sales on different cuts of meat. I do stock up at those sales. Giant Eagle is a lot more expensive for everyday items, but on the flipside when you pair up sales with double coupons, you can really score some great almost free to free items, which I love.

I have alot going on at work right now so my time has been limited.  Plus I would rather spend time with my boys after a hard day.  Right now I feel a lot more content since I am not obsessing over coupons and deals. However, I did see a slight rise in our grocery budget for October. Our previous three months we spent:

August - $287.31
September - $314.26
October - $371.32 (ouch!)

Our family goal is $300 a month for a family of four. I know we can do it. On the flipside, I looked at the money spent eating out for the past three months:

August - $204.39
September - $189.49
October - $144.56

So now I am seeing a trend, of course if we are eating out less, then we would need to buy more groceries for at home. When I combine the 2 amounts:

August - $491.70
September - $503.75
October - $515.88

So I still think October was a bad month, I am striving for November to keep the groceries under $300 and keep the eating out under $120. Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Shopping Season

It’s November, and yes time to start Christmas shopping if you haven’t started already! We also have a lot of winter birthdays in our family also, so we are buying birthday gifts normally at the same time! Here are a few ways/rules which I use to tackle the holiday shopping.

1. Determine you total amount to spend on gifts and begin saving 6 months to a year in advance. If not this year, start in January for 2011! It is a lot less stressful not having January bills after the holiday is over!

2. Make a list of who you are buying for, your budget for each person, and potential gift ideas. Once you buy their gift(s) update your list and the amount spent.

3. Slow and Steady and Start Now. I found that mini trips are the best way to shop. Have a list and go and get what is on that list. Frustration sets in when you wander aimlessly around the store trying to find out what to get a person. You also get worn out when you go to store after store after store!

4. Never enter Toys R Us on the weekend or in the month of December! I do mini Toys R Us trips on my lunch hour throughout November! I find it is less crowded and a more pleasant experience. Toys R Us sends out loads of coupons and I utilize them as they come!

5. Utilize Amazon and other online coupons & free shipping offers! Nothing makes a more pleasant shopping experience then never having to leave the comfort of my office chair!

6. Maximize your online savings by using Amazon gift cards earned through Swagbucks and shopping through EBATES first!

7. Use those JCPenney coupons! I have a $10 off a $10 purchase coupon right now sitting on my counter. I will go in and buy 1 or 2 items to get the total right over ten dollars and that’s it. This is the perfect time to buy socks, hair accessories, and tights for stocking stuffers!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beef Tips & Noodles

This meal was an absolute hit in my house.  Next time I will serviously have to make a double batch!

1# round steak, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, diced
4 cups of beef broth
1 tsp Marjorjam
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 bag of egg noodles

In a large pot, coat beef in flour and then brown in oil, add onion about halfway through.  Once browned, add beef broth and spices.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour and 15 minutes.  Add egg noodles and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy!

It Made Me Laugh

Thanks son!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 8th

Someone forgot to give my boys the memo that you were suppose to gain an hour of sleep with the time change.  Nope not them, instead of getting up at their normal 8 am, they were both up at 7 am!  So much for gaining an hour an sleep!  Here's what on tap at our house this week:

Monday - Beef Tips & Noodles (I'll share the recipe after I make it)
Tuesday - Jambalaya
Wednesday - Breakfast for Dinner -- French Toast
Thursday - Meatball Sub Casserole
Friday - Tuna Noodle Casserole
Saturday - Eat Out
Sunday - Celebrating Mimi's 62nd Birthday!

This post is linked to MPM at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

30% off at Snapfish

Now is the time to print those Halloween pictures at Snapfish! Use code SHARE30 at checkout to save 30% on everything in Snapfish’s fall e-catalog here. This code is valid until 11/14/10.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Don't Forget to Turn Your Clocks Back!

Yep its that time of year again, time to change the clocks.  Fall is my favorite time, that means one whole extra hour of sleep (if the kids let me)!  Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour tonight before going to bed!

Why Observe DST?

Many countries observe DST, and many do not. The reason many countries implement DST is in hopes to make better use of the daylight in the evenings, as well as some believe that it could be linked to reducing the amount of road accidents and injuries. The extra hour of daylight in the evening is said to give children more social time with friends and family and can even boost the tourism industry because it increases the amount of outdoor activies.

DST is also considered as a means to save energy due to less artificial light needed during the evening hours—clocks are set one hour ahead during the spring, and one hour back to standard time in the autumn. However, many studies disagree about the energy savings of DST and while some may show a positive outcome of the energy savings, others do not.

It is difficult to predict what will happen with Daylight Saving Time in the future. The daylight saving date in many countries may change from time to time due to special events or conditions.The United States, Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March (previously the first Sunday in April) through to the first Sunday in November (previously the last Sunday in October).

Check out more info here!

Send a Pack of Kleenex to a Friend

You can send a pack of Kleenex tissues to a friend (or yourself) when you go here.  One request per address!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another $5 Mail in Rebate for Toy Story 3

WOW – Here is another $5 Mail in Rebate for Toy Story 3 Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD. The best part is you can combine this with the other rebate I posted here! There are 2 Proof of Purchase tabs on the Toy Story 3 DVD. This rebate only requires a copy of the receipt!

For this rebate you need to purchase any 2 AA/AAA-12, C/D-4 or 9V-2 packs (or larger) of Rayovac Alkaline Batteries and Toy Story 3 Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD. Who doesn’t need batteries for the Holidays?

Purchases must be made by 12/31/2010 and postmarked by 01/15/2011!

So in reality you can get this DVD really cheap!

DVD on sale at Giant Eagle for $15.99
Get back a $5 Catalina OYNO (Valid 11/2 – 11/10)
Submit $5 Campbell's MIR here
Submit $5 MIR Rayovac here
Final Price = $1.99!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Get Over $100 Back on Hasbro Games at Toys R Us

Toys R Us and Hasbro are running its board game rebate again this year. I participated last year and you are able to get a lot of games at a really great price! The rebate slips are only available at Toys R Us and they are usually hanging up by the games. The games that are included and their rebate amount are:

Battleship - $3
Operation - $3
Monopoly - $3
Scrabble - $3
Connect 4 - $3
Sorry - $3
Trouble - $3
Twister - $3
The Game of Life - $3
Bop It - $3
Bop It Bounce - $3
Cuponk - $3
U Build Games (All Versions) - $3
Guess Who - $3
Gator Golf - $3
Hungry Hungry Hippos - $3
Elefun - $3
Pop Goes Froggio - $3
Memory (All Versions) - $2
Hi Ho! Cherry-O - $2
Chutes and Ladders (All Versions) - $2
Cootie - $2
Candy Land (All Versions) - $2
Don’t Spill the Beans - $2
Don’t Break the Ice - $2
Ants In the Pants - $2
Monopoly Streets (Wii, PS3 & 360) - $5
Family Game Night 3 (Wii, PS3 & 360) - $5

Limit of one rebate per game per household and limit one rebate check issued per family. You can only mail in the form once! Purchases must be made from 10/21/10 through 12/31/10. You only need to mail in the receipt with the form (no UPCs)!

Today I went to Toys R Us and picked up Hungry Hungry Hippos on sale for $12.99 and Sorry on sale for $10.99. These both qualify for a $3 rebate! My Christmas shopping officially began today!

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Free Coffee @ Bruegger’s 11/10 & A Free Bagel!

On Wednesday, November 10th, go into your local Bruegger’s anytime before 2 pm to get a FREE cup of coffee. Guests are encouraged to make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.

You can also purchase the 2011 Bottomless Mug which proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network.

If you sign up for the Fresh News program from Bruegger's you can get a FREE bagel with cream cheese!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chopped Spinach Salad

This is a super easy and flavorful salad.  I like to top with a Balsamic dressing!

Bag of Spinach
shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs, hardboiled, cooled, and chopped
6 white mushrooms, chopped
Bacon Bits

Layer ingredients in a salad bowl, chill and enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beauty and the Beast or Toy Story 3 Rebate

Here is a great find just in time for the Toy Story 3 Release today! Go here to print a $5 mail in rebate wyb Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD Combo Pack or 2-Disc DVD or Toy Story 3 Blu-ray Combo pack or DVD plus any 3 participating Campbell’s Condensed Kids soups or SpaghettiOs pastas!

DVD purchases must be made between 10/5/10 and 1/31/11. Soups or SpaghettiOs purchases must be dated between 9/20/10 and 1/31/11.

There is a limit of one per household and must be postmarked by 2/28/11.

You can also print a coupon for $8 off the Toy Story 3 Blu-ray Combo pack here. Coupon expires 11/8/10.

Giant Eagle is offering a $5 Catalina OYNO when you buy either the Toy Story 3 Blu-ray Combo pack ($27.99) or DVD ($15.99) 11/2/10 – 11/10/10.