Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 1, 2011

I had to take a double-look at the calendar, August 1st?  How did that happen?  In 23 days my oldest will be starting kindergarten.  He is very excited, so am I, just a little nervous about the whole school bus thing.  But he insists on riding the bus, so I will oblige and swallow my pride and put him on that bus!  Then I will wave goodbye and watch the bus drive away with my baby, and then... Yes I know I will be balling my eyes out!  Okay, I totally went off on a tangent there!

It's summer, it's hot, we are still grilling!  I actually picked up 2 roasts this past weekend because they were BOGO at Giant Eagle and I could not pass that up!  I am kind of excited to make one in the crock pot once the weather cools down!

Alright then, here is what is on the calendar for this week!

Monday - Simple Bean Tostadas
Tuesday - Pizza Party at the Rec for the end of T-Ball!
Wednesday - Beefy Zucchini (fresh from the garden, of course!)
Thursday - Steaks and Easy Seasoned Potatoes (I put these in a foil pan on the grill)
Friday - Hamburgers
Saturday - Eat Out
Sunday - Family Picnic

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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Free Sample of Kirkland Diapers from Costco

Go here to request a free sample of Kirkland diapers from Costco.  No membership number is required!  There are other samples available too, check it out!

Everybody Loves a Freebie!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

$1 off Kikkoman and MIR for Grilling Tools!

Right now there is a $1 off coupon for any Kikkoman product on their website!  Also when you buy 3 sauces, there is a rebate available to receive a set of grilling utensils.  You only need your receipt(s) for submission.

If you live in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Marc's stores have these priced at $1.29, so with coupon it is only $0.29!  This is an amazing deal!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Walgreens - Friends and Family Sale

Now through July 30th, you can save $10 off a $50 online purchase at Walgreens with code FAMILY10 at checkout!

5 Months Until Christmas - Have You Started Saving?

Yes, you have only 5 months to Christmas!  Have you started saving yet?  When you are on a monthly budget, you track where every penny goes!  So how do you prepare for larger events, like Christmas or a vacation when it simply does not fit your budget?

You plan ahead and you save little by little!

Last Christmas was amazing for our family.  It was paid for before the holiday shopping even began!  There were no post-January bills for us to deal with after the holiday season.  How did we do it?  We saved for 6 months ahead of the holiday! 

This year we knew how how much we needed to save and we started saving in February!  Yes, February, this way we know we will have all of our Christmas shopping money ready to use by November!  How do we save?  We use SmartyPig!  We set our goal up in February and every month we have an amount debited from our checking account and it goes directly to our Christmas Fund at SmartyPig!  You can watch your piggy bank grow at SmartyPig!

The amount deducted is part of our monthly budget, so we can afford it every month!  This plan has worked for us for the past two years.  Plan ahead and have the money ready to spend!

At SmartyPig, you can open a free account and earn 1.10% on your balance.  This is a lot better rate than you will find at most banks!  You can also earn rewards when you redeem your balance on gift cards!  How easy is that?  What's holding you back from saving today?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 25, 2011

All I can say is HOT HOT HOT!  I sure hope we can take another week of all grilling, because it has just been too hot to cook in the house!  It getting to the point where all we want to do is go out and eat!  Luckily I scored a few good Groupons this past week, just in case, the Menu Plan goes by the wayside!  So this is what we are planning, here's to sticking to the plan!  I also picked quite a few zucchinis from the garden, if you didn't guess by my menu!

Monday - Chicken Caesar Wraps and Zucchini Bread
Tuesday - Hamburgers and Twice Baked-Grilled Potatoes
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Thursday - Summer Layered Chicken Salad
Friday - Eat Out
Saturday - Family Wedding
Sunday - Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

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

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Garden Update & Zucchini Bread!

So my garden is doing great thus far!  This week we picked 5 zucchinis and one cucumber.  The cucumber was a bit on the small side, but the boys really wanted to pick it and have it for lunch.  Which they did, they ate it up!

So with the zucchini's this week I made these Baked Zucchini Sticks and today I made 2 loaves of my Zucchini Bread!  My house smells amazing and I cannot wait to cut into the bread!

I have lots of green tomatoes, some jalapenos, and loads of small cucumbers.  I anticipate being able to pick some more zucchinis and cucumbers this week.  Perhaps in two weeks my tomatoes and jalapenos will be ready and I can made homemade salsa, my absolute favorite thing to make with garden fresh veggies!


$1 Off Goldfish Bread

Okay, this is SO super CUTE!  There is a $1 off coupon on the Pepperidge Farm Facebook page for Goldfish Sandwich Bread!  My son will love this on his first day of school, what a cool suprise in his lunch box it will be!

Friday, July 22, 2011

FREE* FRESCHETTA® By The Slice Pizza Event - August 4th

Event Details:

Date - August 4th, 2011

What - FREE* FRESCHETTA® By The Slice pizza event

Where - From the comfort of your own home

FRESCHETTA® will be giving away thousands of slices of our delicious By The Slice pizza in a special live online event. The FRESCHETTA® By The Slice pizza will be given away in 5,000 increments every half hour. There will also be fun, interactive contests where you can win additional coupons. 

On Thursday July 28th, 2011 the website will be available for people to sign up for a reminder email and view a preview of the events to come with host Mike Rylander. On August 4th the reminder email will be sent to those that signed up, and the event will be live at 11 AM on this day for all to sign up! This event is a great way to try out FRESCHETTA® By The Slice and get to do so for FREE! On the day of the event there will also be fun, interactive contests where additional coupons will be awarded.  

Ebates - Have You Tried it Yet?

If you have yet to try Ebates, then you are missing out!  If you are shopping online, why not first go to Ebates and then earn cash back on your purchases?  Plus new members receive a $5 bonus with their first purchase! I always stop at Ebates first before any online shopping!  It makes shopping a little easier when a cash back bonus appears!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

$1.50/2 Breyers Blasts! Coupon

Oh sweet ice cream, how do I love you!  Now I love you even more because I just scored this $1.50 off 2 coupon for Breyers Blasts!

Save 10% at Totsy

Yeah - Totsy just hit 100,000 fans on their Facebook page!  In celebration they are offering 10% off Totsy now through July 28, 2011.  Use promo code FB100K.

Totsy is

Where the savvy mom shops

Totsy offers moms on-the-go and moms-to-be access to brand-specific sales, up to 90% off retail, just for them and the kids, ages 0-8.

Top brands for mom, baby, and child

Prenatal care products, baby gear, travel accessories, bedding and bath, children's clothing, toys, DVDs, and educational materials are just a sampling of a selection that promises only the best in quality and designer brands.

By invitation only

Membership is by invitation or request only. But the sooner you join, the better. Each sale lasts only 48 to 72 hours.

100% eco-friendly

Totsy is the first company in private sales to take on sustainable and socially responsible initiatives in all areas of business.

One baby, one tree

Totsy plants one tree in honor of your child when you make your first purchase. And, every time you shop with us - we’ll keep it watered for you! Who says shopping can't save the world?

Parents Magazine for $4 - Only 1 Day Left!

Only 1 Day Left!

Purex is partnering with Parents Magazine to offer a one year subscription for only $4. That is only 33 cents an issue! To get this exclusive offer, visit the Purex site and enter the Purex Promo Code PX1130! This offer is valid through midnight, 7/22/11!

You can also order this as a gift! I love to give new moms-to-be this great magazine at their baby shower!

JCP Portraits - Spend $50 Get $50

From July 25 - 29, JCP Portraits is running a summer bonus days promotion.  When you spend $50, you will receive a $25 voucher for a future visit and another $25 voucher for a friend.  JCP Portraits are very affordable and they offer $3.99 portrait sheets and 30% off collections.  Slots are filling up quickly so reserve your spot now to get in on this promotion!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

$10 Master Italian Pizza Certificate for $5 (Local Groupon)

Today's local Groupon for Cleveland is a $10 certificate for Master Italian Pizza in Strongsville for $5.  Valid for dine in only, expires November 23, 2011!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Egg in a Basket

My family is all about eggs lately!  We have been buying 36 at a time at Costco!  I love eggs and my 5 year old loves his eggs!  So we tried a new recipe today, that I am calling Egg in a Basket.  So before we had children, my husband and I spent a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast.  We had this amazing breakfast which (6 years later) I decided to re-create this morning!  All you need is an egg (I would recommend medium eggs or they will overflow), piece of bread (I used italian), butter, salt, pepper, some cooking spray, and a muffin pan!

Simply spray your muffin pan with cooking spray.  Take your bread and cut off the crust.  Butter both sides of the bread and then fit into the muffin pan to make a "basket".  Crack the egg inside the "basket".  Top with salt and pepper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350F.  I cooked mine for 15 minutes since I like my yolks completely done (yeah I'm weird like that)!  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 18, 2011

Okay, so last week got a little crazy, and lets say we had NO menu plan!  I had a sales meeting for work so I ended up going out to dinner with my team two nights in a a row.  While, it was nice for me, my husband had to fend for himself and the kiddos!  Then we took a quick, impromptu trip to Pittsburgh with the kids and my parents.  We had a great time riding the Duck Boat, the Incline, and visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium!

This week I am back on the J-O-B!  Here is the plan, lots of grilling, it is gonna be a HOT week!

Monday - Chicken BLT Taco Salad
Tuesday - Steaks and Tasty Green Beans!
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken and Baked Zucchini Sticks (the zucchini is ready in my garden)!
Thursday - Bacon and Blue Cheese Sliders
Friday - Basil Pesto Pizza
Saturday - Pool Party!
Sunday - Eat Out!

This post is linked at MPM which is being hosted by Finding Joy in My Kitchen this week!

Chunky Bling Watches and More

I just found a great new website, Chunky Bling Watches and More

Chunky is The New Look for 2010

The reports are in—chunky jewelry is the new look for 2010! Celebrities all over Hollywood are sporting chunky bead bracelets, necklaces, and rings. You too can make a bold statement this season. But there are a few things you’ll need to know when donning chunky jewelry.

How To Wear Chunky Jewelry

The trick to wearing chunky jewelry is summed up in the following phrase: “You should wear your jewelry; your jewelry should never wear you.” In other words, you don’t want your accessories to overpower your outfit. For example, if you’re going to wear a bold, chunky bracelet, you’ll want to stay away from busy prints. Keeping your clothing simple will add to the WOW factor of your jewelry. Also, try to avoid accessory overkill. Instead, you can keep things balanced by choosing one or two pieces of chunky jewelry that will compliment your outfit, or choose a single item that will be your main focus. Oh, one final piece of advice. Be prepared to turn a lot of heads!

Shopping For Chunky Jewelry

At ChunkyBling, it is easy to find the perfect set of chunky accessories for any occasion or outfit. We carry a wide selection of chunky watches, chunky bracelets, chunky rings, and chunky charm necklaces. To get started, just click on one of the categories from the menu. There is helpful navigation makes it easy to filter by color, size, and style. They also offer many combination sets which allow you purchase some of our most popular chunky jewelry sets at discount prices!

Free Huggies Sample!

Who doesn't like free diaper samples!! Head on over to Target Sample Spot and get a FREE sample of Huggies Snug & Dry!  Quick - these will go fast!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Make Some Extra $$ in July - Week 2 of 4

My July challenge:

Listing 5 items to sell on EBAY every week for the next four weeks!

If you missed by first post check it out here.  For my first week, I am able to sell 4 of the 5 items I posted on EBAY.  I re-listed the 5th item as well as listing 5 more items.  Here they are:

Boys NWT Shirt Size 24 Months

Believe it or not I found all the items still with tags on them while cleaning some closets out!  Wonder what I will find for next week!

Crunchy Potatoes

This is one of our favorite potato recipes and it is great for the summer because it cooks in the microwave!

5 whole potatoes peeled and cubed
1 cup cornflake crumbs
2 tsp dry parsley
1 tsp garlic salt
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried onion

Melt butter in microwave.  Pour small amount of butter on the bottom of round baking dish.  Combine all dry ingredients in a large, shallow bowl and mix well.  Cover each potato in butter, then coat with dry ingredient mixture.  Place coated potatoes in a baking dish and cover.  I like to sprinkle the remaining coating mixture over the top of the potatoes.  Microwave for 10 to 12 minutes.  Keep covered and let stand 15 minutes before eating!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

$30 of Toys from Hasbro Toy Stop for $15

I just scored this HOT Groupon!  Receive a $30 certificate to for only $15!  Limit one per person, one per order, valid on in stock items only, never expires, and can be used towards shipping!

If you never used Groupon, go here to sign up first, then find this Groupon here!

Coffee Mate Coupon

I love these coupons!  Click here to get a $0.50 off Coffee Mate Coupon.  These often go on sale at Giant Eagle for $1.50 which means creamer for $0.50!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Parents Magazine for $4

Only 1 Day Left!
Purex is partnering with Parents Magazine to offer a one year subscription for only $4.  That is only 33 cents an issue!  To get this exclusive offer, visit the Purex site and enter the Purex Promo Code PX1130!  This offer is valid through midnight, 7/22/11!

You can also order this as a gift!  I love to give new moms-to-be this great magazine at their baby shower!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Southwest Airlines - Countdown to Savings Sale

Planning a family vacation, need a girls getaway or a quick trip to re-connect with your spouse?  Well you're in luck, Southwest Airlines is having this Countown to Saving Sale with on-way tickets starting at $59!  Check out what deals you can score here!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What We Are Reading Lately...

We always read books before bed,  however my children get stuck in these patterns when they want to read the same book every night for a week or month at a time.  It gets redundant, but I go with the flow and just read what they want!  Lately my 5 year old has been enjoying, Countdown to Kindergarten!
He will be going to kindergarten in less than 2 months and he loves this book!  I have to admit, I think it is hilarious!  Even though we have been reading it for about 10 days straight now, I really enjoy it every time!  It cracks me up! 

Through the grapevine, an about-to-be kindergartner learns that there are lots of rules at school. Rules #3 and #2 prevent students from bringing stuffed animals or their cats to class. Rule #1 is a bit more serious. "You have to know how to tie your shoes. By yourself. You're not allowed to ask for help. Ever." Even a child who can count backward from 10 or feed her cat by herself can feel inadequate. As the 10 days before school wind down, she worries that she will be labeled "Velcro Girl" and finds endless ways to cover the gap in her skills through the destruction of her shoes and/or laces.

Now my 2 year has wanted to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? every night!  He can even "read" some of the pages himself!

The gentle rhyming and gorgeous, tissue-paper collage illustrations in this classic picture book make it a dog-eared favorite on many children's bookshelves. On each page, we meet a new animal who nudges us onward to discover which creature will show up next: "Blue Horse, Blue Horse, What do you see? I see a green frog looking at me." This pattern is repeated over and over, until the pre-reader can chime in with the reader, easily predicting the next rhyme. One thing readers might not predict, however, is just what kinds of funny characters will make an appearance at the denouement!

So what books are favorite in your house lately?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Free Splenda Sample

Go here to request yours!

What We Did On Our July 4th Staycation

We had a wonderful, long July 4th weekend.  The weather was beautiful, it was HOT but only rained after we went to bed two nights in a row.  We did some fun things as a family and kept the budget low!

First we took in a day at our local Zoo.  The boys love seeing all the animals.  We packed a pinic lunch of sandwiches, fruit, and chips.  It made the day pleasant and enjoyable!

On another day, we were able to visit a community pool that my parents belong too.  It was hot. 85-90 degrees, but it didn't seem to bother us.  We had a blast playing in the water and going down the water slide!  My oldest who just made it to 48" went down the waterslide for about 4 hours straight!  He even managed to have his Grandma go down with him a few times!  Admission was free since we were guests of my Mom.  We packed snacks and drinks to enjoy during the rest periods.  We then enjoyed dinner with my parents!

We enjoyed swiming so much, we were able to take in one more day at a different community pool that my husband's parents are members!  We then enjoyed some pulled pork sandwiches back at their house!

The final day was 4th of July!  We had a picnic with my family and then of course, Fireworks!  This was the first time my youngest experienced fireworks and he loved it!  We also did some sparklers which was interesting with 2 young children, but well worth it!

I hope everyone had a fun-filled 4th!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 4, 2011

I hope everyone is having a great 4th of July holiday weekend.  We had a great long weekend, which I will be sharing the details coming up this week!  Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Monday - 4th of July Picnic
Tuesday - Grilled Red Snapper (fresh from the Gulf of Mexico thanks to my in-laws) and Potato Salad
Wednesday- Grilled marinated chicken breasts and sweet potato fries
Thursday - BBQ Pork Chops and salad
Friday - Bacon and Blue Cheese Slider Burgers
Saturday - My company picnic
Sunday - Celebrating my Mom's 67th Birthday!

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

Make Some Extra $$ in July - Week of 1 of 4

So today, I officially started my "Make Some Extra $$ in July" challenge.  I did this last summer and lately I have been slacking, so for the next 4 weeks I am challenging myself!  My challenge includes:

Listing 5 items to sell on EBAY every week for the next four weeks!

Through this challenge, I will be able to do some de-cluttering in my house of items I no longer use, wear, or need!  Its amazing what you find, when I did this last year I found items I never even opened!  I also had a few items that sold for a lot more money than I ever imagined!  The other part of this challenge is that I will make a little extra money to help pay for a small vacation upcoming in August!  So here is what I listed on EBAY today:

Yep, I found all of those items in my closet!  I listed everything for 7 days, so I will provide an update on what sold and for how much!

Disney 2011 On A Budget - Day 4 Disney's Animal Kingdom

In my opinion, we saved the best for last!  Disney's Animal Kingdom was my favorite park of the trip.  It was nice to go there towards the end of the trip, since everyone was getting tired!  However, Disney's Animal Kingdom is a nice change of pace, it is more laid back and nicely shaded!  It was also the 2nd best way to meet and greet characters (Chef Mickey's was the best in my opinion)!

Our first stop was Camp Minnie-Mickey Greeting Trails!  We were able to meet Chip and Dale, Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and Mickey!  We only spent about an hour here and were able to meet all these characters and give hugs and get pictures!

After meeting the characters, we headed back to Kilimanjaro Safaris to get our Fast Passes!  We had about 2 hours so we rode the Wildlife Express Train to Rafikis Planet Watch.  While we are at Rafikis Planet Watch we were able to visit Conservation Station and Affection Station and pet some animals.  After we were done we rode the Wildlife Express Train back to Harambe, Africa.

When we arrived back in Africa, we entered the Fast Pass line for Kilimanjaro Safaris and boarded our vehicle and enjoyed an amazing ride!  It was a bit bumpy, but the kids (and adults) enjoyed seeing the antelope, crocodiles, elephants, zebras and more!  I loved this ride!

After our ride, it was time for lunch!  WOW - we got a lot in before lunch!  Since we were still in Africa, we ate at Tamu Tamu Refreshments.  I had this amazing turkey sandwich there!  Next we headed over to Dinoland U.S.A. 

We got to ride Tricera Top Spin and dig in The Boneyard!  Unfortunately, everyone was getting tired and hot!  We decided to end our day a little early after we were able to catch Finding Nemo - The Musical.  My five year old loved this show!  After the show on our way out of the park we got to watch Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade.

So here is a special tip, remember where you park!  We got on the tram and none of us could remember where we parked!  So we got off the tram, where I thought we parked, and spent about 20 minutes on hot asphalt looking for our van!  We set the alarm off several times and finally, we heard the sound!  Yeah - we were rescued into the A/C of our van!  The thermostat read 100 degrees!

In my opinion, traveling with a 2 year old and a 5 year old, 3 day tickets were enough for us.  Also we did not get the park hopper option, but honestly we would have never used it!

Check out the other parks we visited from our trip here:
Magic Kingdom
Hollywood Studios

Sunday, July 3, 2011

*HOT* Groupon Deal to WalMart Portrait Studios

This is a HOT Groupon deal, for $10 you get for Five Color Portrait Sheets, Photo Shoot, and Picture Enhancement ($99 Value) from WalMart Picture Me Portrait Studios.  Limit 1 per person, 1 per visit, expires 12/31/11, valid at any location!

Bruegger's Bundle of Support - July 1-4, 2011

From July 1 - 4, 2011, Bruegger's will donate $1 from every Big Bagel Bundle purchase to Home for our Troops to support our Nation's heroes.  So if you need a quick breakfast this weekend, consider stopping at Bruegger's!