Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Discounts: 15-20% Off

I have some new coupon codes for!  Kohl's extra discounts usually apply to pretty much anything you want to purchase, including clearance and sale prices.  From Thursday, December 15, 2011 through Saturday, December 24, 2011, they are offering an extra 20% off of purchases of $100 or more, or an extra 15% off of any purchase.  To receive the extra 20% off of $100 or more, enter code SANTA20 at checkout.  To receive the extra 15% off of any purchase, enter code SNOW15 at checkout.

I also have a code for an extra 15% off, valid Thursday, December 29, 2011- Monday, January 2, 2012.  To receive this discount, enter code NEWYEAR15 at checkout.

More $10 off of $50 at

I have two new coupon codes for $10 off of $50 at  This includes pretty much everything, even clearance items!  The first code is valid from 12/15/2011 - 12/18/2011.  Enter code DASHIN501 at checkout.  The second code is valid from 12/19/2011-12/24/2011.  To receive this discount, enter code DASHIN502 at checkout.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Extra 20% Off At is offering an extra 20% off of an entire order, plus free shipping on orders over $75, through Monday, December 12th.  To receive the discount, enter code AV111345 at checkout.

Extra 20% Off At Kohl's is once again offering an extra 20% off of everything.  This deal is good from Wednesday, December 7th, through Sunday December 11th.  To receive the discount, enter code CHEER20 at checkout.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Extra 20% off at JCPenney + Free Shipping On Orders Over $69

JCPenney is having a sale today, December 4th, and tomorrow, December 5th online. is offering an extra 20% off of almost everything, excluding Sephora products.  They are offering an extra 10% off of baby gear, electronics, floor care, personal care & fitness, furniture & matresses, and small appliances.  If you spend over $69, shipping is also free with this offer.  To receive these discounts, enter coupon code 4THEFAM at checkout.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

$50 off of $100, $100 off of $200 at is having a good sale, today only.  They are offering $50 off of a $100 purchase, or $100 off of a $200 purchase.  This sale includes clearance deals.  If your order is over $150, they also are including free shipping.  To get the deal, enter code MERRYCA at checkout.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Extra 20% off at Kohl's

From Wednesday. November 30th to Monday, December 5th Kohl's is offering an extra 20% off discount for your entire purchase.  This discount applies to everything, including discount, clearance, and sale items.  To receive the extra savings, enter code HOLLY20 at checkout.

Monday, November 28, 2011

$10 Off of $50 Purchase at Shopko

From Thursday, December 1st through Friday, December 9, is offering a $10 discount off of a $50 purchase.  This discount applies to total purchase, including sale, discount, and clearance items.  To receive the discount, enter coupon code GIFTS50 at checkout.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Giveaway Winner

I drew names at random for the Thanksgiving Giveaway, and the winner is jfresh20!  I will be contacting you so you can collect your doily.  Congratulations!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Giveaway - Sage Green Handmade Doily

Sign up for my Thanksgiving giveaway!  I have many things to be thankful for, so I wanted to have a giveaway in honor of the Thanksgiving season.  There are several ways you can enter, and you have more than one chance to win.  To enter:

     1.  Leave a comment saying what you are thankful for.
     2.  Become a follower of my blog:
          -leave an extra comment saying you are following my blog.
     3.  Share my giveaway by posting it on Facebook:
          -leave an extra comment saying you shared on FB.

The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on Saturday, November 19th.  If you don't have an email address linked in your commenting username, make sure to leave it in your comment so I know how to contact you if you win.  Good luck!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

To Coupon Or Not To Coupon - That Is The Question

We've all heard stories about people who clip coupons and save tons of money off of their grocery bill.  I am always amazed at how they manage to do it - it has never worked out that well for me!  Saving lots of money on your grocery bill, whether you coupon or not, does take some planning.  My planning often involves reading the weekly grocery ads and planning my shopping trips accordingly, as well as planning connections with local food producers when they are selling their products.  My planning has also recently included ordering and picking up produce and bread products from the Bountiful Baskets food co-op. 

While I do use the occassional coupon, depending on couponing to regularly save money on my groceries has never been a successful strategy for me.  Much of my grocery shopping lists consist of whole, fresh, foods - I do alot of my cooking from scratch.  I have never had much success finding coupons for these types of food.  They may be out there, but so far they have eluded me!  For things like meat, milk, and honey I have been able to find local producers that offer a higher quality product for similar, and sometimes cheaper prices, than the grocery store.  One of the things I like about buying locally is that I am also supporting my local economy and food producers, as well as receiving a high quality food product in return.  I live in a state where agriculture is a large industry, so my access to these food producers may be different and more affordable than if I lived somewhere else.  I have also wondered if couponing success differs upon where you live.

How do you save money on your grocery bill?  Do you coupon successfully to save large amounts on your grocery bill?  Share your stories!  I'd love to hear your ideas!

P.S. Be sure the check out my handcrafted doily Thanksgiving giveaway!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Time For The Annual Safeway Turkey Sale

Ad picture from
Every year, Safeway sells Thanksgiving turkeys for pretty much unbeatable prices.  You can always buy just one turkey for your Thanksgiving meal, or you can take advantage of the sale to have very affordable poultry for the rest of the year.  If you have the storage, this is a great opportunity to stock your freezer.  If you don't have the storage, you can always cook your extra turkeys right away, then take the meat off of the carcass and freeze the cooked meat in storage bags or containers.  You'll still have the extra meat, but it won't take up as much space.  In the past, we have used all of the extra turkey for things like sandwiches, turkey noodle soup and turkey noodle casserole.  You can use almost any recipe that calls for chicken and insert turkey in its place. 

For the sale this year, the terms and conditions have changed a little bit.  It used to be that a minimum purchase of $10 was what would qualify you for the good deal.  This year, the minimum purchase is $25.  The prices on the turkeys have also gone up a little bit, but broken down to price per pound, it is still a really good price for meat- it averages out to be from $.50 to $.87 per pound, depending on which turkey you buy.  That is an incredible deal!  The turkey prices are $6.99 for an 8-12 pound Safeway turkey, $7.99 for a 12.01-16 pound Safeway turkey, $9.99 for 16.01-20 pound Safeway turkey, and $11.99 for a 20.01-24 pound Safeway turkey (these are the prices according to my local Safeway ad - you may want to check your local ad at to be sure of the prices in your area).  Each turkey is limit one per household per day, but you can buy one of each kind at the same time.  This sale is good through November 24th.

As far as cooking the turkey goes, we have found that an electric roaster is the best way to go.  It saves energy costs because it is a smaller appliance, and it also cooks quite a bit faster.  The awesome turkey recipe I use is posted here.  My turkeys have turned out excellent every time I have used it.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Free Pancakes For Kids At IHOP Today

I just got wind of this deal, but since there are still plenty of hours left today to get in on it, I wanted to pass it on.  Today, Friday October 28th, IHOP restaurants are giving away free kids pancakes until 10 P.M.  You can go to the IHOP website for more details.  The offer is good for children 12 and under, and no other purchase is necessary.  It sounds like a fun treat for kids!

Picture from

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chocolate Cake In A Cup - Oh Yes, You Can!

Oh yes, you can make chocolate cake in a coffee cup in the microwave!  The kids were wanting something chocolately and sweet, but I was not in much of a baking mood this afternoon.  I have heard rumors that you could actually make individual chocolate cakes in the microwave, so it was off to Google I went, searching for the tasty treat.  I did happen to find one, so we tried it out today.  In place of the plain flour, I used whole wheat flour instead.  We made ours with the optional chocolate chips, because my motto is more chocolate is always better!  This was a really easy to make, and the kids said it was really yummy.  If you want some chocolate cake, but don't want to make a whole one, or don't want the temptation of a whole one sitting around (hey, it's great portion control!), this is the recipe for you.  I adapted the recipe from here, and each mug is about two servings of cake.

Microwave Chocolate Cake in A Coffee Cup

1 large coffee cup
4 tbsp whole wheat flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp chocolate chips

In coffee cup, add whole wheat flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder.  Stir until well blended.  Add egg and mix together well, then stir in the milk and oil. Stir until mixture is the consistency of cake batter.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Place coffee cup in the microwave and cook on high setting for approximately 3 minutes.  Cake may rise over the top of the cup (kind of like a muffin top).  Remove cup from microwave, let cool, then dig in!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy Hour At Sonic

Every now and then, it is nice to get a treat.  With a larger family, going out to get a treat can be expensive.  We have discovered that Sonic Drive-In restaurants have a "happy hour" every day from 2PM-4PM.  During those hours, all drinks and slushies are half off.  We were out and about yesterday afternoon, so we popped through the drive-through and bought slushies on a whim.  I bought 3 small and 1 medium slushes for a little over $3.00.  What a bargain!  I appreciate the fact that amongst their slushie offerings, they have an option for a slush made with real fruit (we usually get that kind).  Just thought I would pass it along, it's a nice option to have when there are thirsty kids around!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oatmeal Banana Bread Bars

We always seem to have a few more bananas than we can eat before they go bad.  I came up with a new recipe to use those extra bananas. It has a slightly different texture than the same old banana bread we usually make - bread like, but also like a bar.

Oatmeal Banana Bread Bars

1 cup softened butter
3 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat together butter, banana, and eggs.  Mix in the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips.  Fold chocolate chips into the batter.  Bake in a greased 9 x 13 pan for 30 minutes.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spicy Roasted Pepper Hummus

I really wanted to try my hand at making some hummus, and since my Bountiful Basket came with a few of the ingredients I needed, I decided to give it a whirl.  I have now successfully made two batches, and I wanted to blog about it so I remember how I made it - it is yummy!  The first batch I made with roasted red peppers, and the second batch I used roasted orange and yellow peppers.  Both varieties were delicious.  Many recipes call for tahini - I had no clue what this was so I had to google it.  It is a sesame paste.  Some recipes used peanut butter instead, so that's what I used in mine because I always have it in stock at home.
We have been using the hummus as a dip for pretzels, and I also spread some on a tortilla and rolled it up for a snack.  Many people also use it as a veggie dip.  It is an incredibly nutritious dip to make, and it is a nice source of protein and fiber. 

Spicy Roasted Pepper Hummus

2 bell peppers, de-seeded and cut in strips
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling peppers
6 cloves of garlic
2 - 15 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained
1 lemon - juiced
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp dried parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place strips of bell pepper on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 10 minutes (will be brown around edges).  Remove and let cool.  In a blender or food processor, chop garlic cloves.  Add garbonzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, peanut butter, 1/4 cup of the water, crushed red pepper, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and parsley.  Blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of blender/food processor.  Add roasted pepper strips a few at a time, as well as the remaining water, until mixture is blended well.  Transfer mixture to a bowl or storage container.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ranch Zucchini & Tomato Crockpot Recipe

Every year, my neighbor seems to grow an abundance of zucchini.  Not just any zucchini - these are ginormous zucchinis!  She often sends some of these zucchinis my way.  In years past, we have made tons of breads, and I am always on the lookout for new ways to use them.  My garden this year happens to be putting out quite the crop of tomatoes (well, for us anyhow!).  With the abundance of tomatoes and zucchini around here, I wondered if I could come up with a yummy recipe that incorporates both.  It turned out wonderfully delicious!  I was able to get two different batches of this recipe made out of one of my neighbor's gifted zucchinis (seriously, they are huge!), so I figured one large zucchini, or even several smaller ones, would be just about enough to make this dish.  I hope you like it as much as we do!

Ranch Zucchini & Tomato Crockpot Dish

24 oz Sour Cream
1 oz package of Ranch Dressing/Seasoning Mix (such as Hidden Valley)
8 oz Shredded Cheese
1 lb Hamburger, browned
1 Large Zucchini, peeled, de-seeded, and sliced
5-6 Large Tomatoes, sliced

Mix sour cream and ranch dressing/seasoning together.  In bottom of crockpot, spread a little bit of the ranch sour cream, enough to cover.  Layer zucchini, tomato, hamburger, ranch sour cream, and cheese - lasagna style.  Keep layering ingredients, ending with the ranch sour cream and cheese on top.  Cook on high crockpot setting for around 5-6 hours, or until zucchini is tender.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mixed Berry Crisp Recipe

We recently went wild raspberry picking out in the country.  Last year, we found plenty to pick and made some wild raspberry jam.  This year, we did not find enough raspberries to make jam, but we found enough to make a little bit of something.  I decided I would use the raspberries to make a berry crisp.  I added the wild raspberries in with some frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) and made a mixed berry crisp.  This dessert goes well served with ice cream or topped with whipped cream.  Yummy!

Mixed Berry Crisp

4 1/2 cups berries of your choice
1/4 cup honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix berries and honey together, set aside.  In another bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Mix well, then add melted butter.  Continue to mix until crumbly.  Place half of the mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan, pressing with a spoon to make a crust.  Top the crust with the berry mixture, and spoon the rest of the oat/flour mixture on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Enter A Giveaway, Help Save An Orphan

Many have heard of the Reece's Rainbow orphan ministry.  Their focus is on helping international orphans with special needs find good, loving homes.  Many of these children would face almost certain death in mental institutions after they reach four years of age.  When these children are adopted by loving families, their lives are literally saved.  One of my friends adopted several children through Reece's Rainbow.  I have seen firsthand not only what it takes to adopt even one of these children (alot of love and commitment, and unfortunately alot of money too), but I have also seen the difference a loving family makes for these children. 

The blog With Love To Share is having a giveaway to raise funds for their upcoming adoption of an HIV+ orphan.  They are giving away an American Girl Doll of the winner's choice.  To enter, hop on over to their blog and make a donation of $10 for one entry, or $25 for three entries.  Even if you don't win, you will be helping to save the life of a child.  The giveaway is open through September 15th. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

50-70% Off At Borders Bookstore - Going Out Of Business Sale

As many people know, Borders Bookstore is going out of business soon.  While I am very sad the store is closing (we adore books and reading in this family), it does mean that some good deals are to be had.  We stopped by our local Borders today to check out the sale.  Everything in the stores is now 50-70% off.*  Some of the items were pretty well picked over, but there was still plenty to browse through.  We didn't spend much, but did come out with a few bargains.  My girls found some paper doll books that ended up being 80 cents each after the discount (they were bargain priced, with an additional 60% off), I found a book for myself, and we also bought a jewelry craft book.  All in all, we spend a little under $7.00 and came out with a few things to keep us busy (for now, anyways!).

*These deals can only be found in Borders stores, and it excludes items from

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kohl's Discounts - Just Sign Up For Their Emails

Do cashiers at department stores ever try to convince you to sign up for their credit cards because of the coupons and discounts you will get if you do?  This is the script I hear oftentimes when I shop at Kohl's - all the wonderful discounts imaginable will be mine if I just sign up for their credit card (they just don't mention the exhorbitant interest fees on the card that will eventually cancel the discounts out in the long run).  Of course, I always decline.  I don't want their credit card! 

Kohl's consistently offers extra discounts to those who do not hold their credit cards, you just have to sign up for their email.  I signed up in the store a few years ago, and I often receive printable coupons and online coupon codes for and extra 10-15% off of my total purchase, and this includes all sales and clearance items too.  When I shop at department stores, most of the time the only things I purchase are on the super duper clearance racks.  It ends up being an even better deal when I add my coupon.  Over the years, I have gotten some really great deals at Kohl's, and I get higher quality clothing at sometimes cheaper than Wal-Mart prices by doing it that way. 

You can sign up for the discounts at the store, or online here.  Right now when you sign up online, you get a $5 off coupon for your next in-store purchase, and a 10% off coupon towards your next online purchase. 
In my experience, the best deals are found in the store, but there are still a few good deals to be found online.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Safeway Fuel Discount - Now You Can Stack Them!

Over the last several years that I can remember, Safeway has always offered a fuel discount for every $100 of groceries purchased.  The usual discount was always 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent, but you could only use one 10 cent discount per fuel purchase.  We have recently discovered that Safeway is now allowing these discounts to accumulate and be used together.  I just saved 30 cents per gallon today when I filled up, for a total savings of $4.50 off of my tank of gas.  Woohoo!

We have a tendency to not always use all of our fuel discounts because Safeway fuel is on the other side of town, and it wasn't worth a 10 cent per gallon discount to drive all the way over there.  Now that we can let them accumulate, it will be worth the drive there when we have amassed a few discounts.  They do have an expiration date once accumulated, but Safeway separates them by yearly quarters.  Just thought I would pass on our recent gas discount discovery!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crockpot Salmon, Veggies, and Rice

We were recently gifted some lovely salmon filets.  I have been mulling over exactly how I wanted to cook them.  I did a little internet search and discovered that they can be baked in a crockpot.  The nice thing about this is that it is a crockpot dish that can be put in the crock in the afternoon, and ready by dinnertime.  It only takes a few hours to cook.  My husband, who thought he would not like salmon, really enjoyed it.  This meal is one that bakes the side item and the main course all in one dish (convenient!).  For the veggie part, I had just recently harvested from our garden, so I chopped up those veggies and utilized them for this recipe.  We had green beans, pea pods, some white eggplant, and a few carrots.  Plus I added an onion to the mix.  I think this dish would turn out well with just about any veggie combination.  As for the salmon, I had a very large salmon filet, which was enough fish to feed five people.  I am fairly certain that this recipe would also work with several smaller filets together as well.  For this recipe, I put the salmon in tin foil and placed it on top of the veggies and rice as it baked.

Crockpot Salmon, Veggies, and Rice

2 cups brown minute rice, uncooked
2-3 cups chopped fresh veggies
1 cup water
1 cup Italian dressing, plus a little extra to drizzle on fish

Place 2 cups of brown minute rice in the bottom of the crockpot.  Place chopped veggies over the top.  Pour one cup of water over veggies and rice, followed by pouring one cup of Italian dressing evenly over the top.  Place salmon filet/s on a piece of tin foil (large enough to wrap fish in).  Drizzle desired amount of Italian dressing over fish.  Wrap in foil and place on top of veggies and rice.  Bake on high for around 3 hours.  Fish is ready when it flakes easily with a fork, and veggies are tender.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Vitacost Coupon Codes

I just received some new Vitacost coupon codes for August.  Vitacost doesn't offer coupon codes for money off of a total order very often, so I definitely wanted to pass these on! 

$5 off a purchase of $100 or more + free shipping
Source Code: EMFNOW

$10 off of a purchase of $125 or more + free shipping
Source Code: EMTNOW

$15 off of a purchase of $150 or more + free shipping
 Source Code: EMFTNOW

These codes expire on 8/31/11.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Double Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Cake

Recently, a friend brought me some zucchini from her garden.  I didn't plant any zucchini this year, but every year it seems that friends and neighbors gift me some.  It is an abundant crop around here!  I am always looking for recipes and new ways to use my zucchini.  I decided that I would like to try a very chocolately zucchini cake, with oatmeal.  However, a recipe search for such a thing did not avail much.  So I did what I always do when I can't find just the right recipe - I made my own!  And besides, if my kids are going to eat chocolate cake, it may as well have vegetables and lots of fiber :-)  I topped this cake with a simple cream cheese icing.  It was yummy!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Cake

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, cocoa, baking powder. baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.  In another large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla.  Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing well.  Add milk and continue to blend until combined well.  Mix in the zucchini, and then the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 cake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crockpot Meatloaf and Rice

We haven't had meatloaf in a long time, and I have never made it in the crockpot before.  Being summer and all, I would rather use my crockpot because it doesn't heat up the house like the oven does.  It has been so hot around here lately!  I decided to try my hand at coming up with a crockpot meatloaf recipe.  I must say that I am certainly glad that I had a meal in the crockpot!  We had unexpected company this evening, and it worked out perfectly that I had a meal ready to go with plenty to share.  I formed the meat mixture in a ring around the edges of the crockpot, and filled the center with rice.  I had a main dish and a side dish all in one pot!  Here's the recipe!

Crockpot Meatloaf and Rice

2  pounds ground beef
2 cups oatmeal
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 onion, diced
2 eggs

2 cups brown minute rice
1 cup water
1 cup italian dressing

In a large bowl, combine all meatloaf ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Place meatloaf mixture in the crockpot and form into a ring around the inside, leaving an open space in the center.  In the center of the crockpot, pour two cups of brown minute rice.  Pour one cup of water over the rice.  Take one cup of Italian dressing and pour evenly over the meatloaf and rice.  Cook on high setting for 5-6 hours.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Awesome Cloth Diapers - Great Price!!!

I recently had a baby and have been using Kawaii cloth diapers for several months now.  I have to say that I am so pleased with how well they have worked for us.  I bought the one size snap closure diapers, which will fit from newborn to toddler stages.  It is a pocket style diaper with two microfiber inserts.  I like that each diaper comes with two inserts, as it allows me to adjust using one or two at a time depending on the absorbancy my baby needs.  I never thought I would ever in a million years say this, but I think I like these cloth diapers way better than any disposable I have ever used on my kids.  I have had less problems with leaks, and I am sure they are more comfortable for my baby than disposables are (they definitely look more comfortable, anyways!).  Plus, they are really cute!

As far as the cost of these diapers go, at $6.99 a piece these diapers are a bargain in the cloth diapering world.  If you plan on cloth diapering and bought 20 of them at that price, it would come to just under $140 for a stash that most likely could be used for as long as your baby needs to be diapered.  If you exclusively use cloth for your baby's entire diapering experience, that is an incredible savings over a 2-3 year time period.  According to the Real Diaper Association, the average cost of diapering a child over the span of two years in disposables is roughly $1,600. 

When I first considered cloth diapers, I was concerned about the extra work it would take to launder them.  I have a stash of around two dozen Kawaii diapers, which leaves me to wash diapers roughly every two days.  Really, it averages out to an extra 3 loads of laundry a week.  In the larger scope of things, it was not as bad as I imagined it to be.  Washing the diapers has become integrated into my routine around here.

As a side note, I should add that Kawaii diapers has not asked me to endorse their product.  I just like these diapers so much, that I thought I would share :) 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

And The Winner Is.....

I just drew names for the headband giveaway, and the winner is Keely!  I will be contacting you to get your information so I can get your prize sent to you.  Congratulations!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Chance To Enter My Giveaway!!!

In a little over 24 hours, my giveaway will be closing, and a winner will be chosen.  Get your entries in now for your chance to win the hand crocheted headband!  As of right now, the odds of winning are pretty good!  Just make sure to comment on the post found here :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

I just came up with a new snack recipe for my kids.  I try to keep snacks readily made for them, as well as snacks that are easy to take along when we go on an outing.  It is always more affordable to make snacks than it is to buy packaged snack foods.  My kids enjoy having homebaked snacks, and I like that I know what all the ingredients in them are, and where they came from.  Too many packaged snack foods have all sorts of junk in them, some of the ingredients listed on the packages are practically impossible to pronounce.  I think this recipe is a keeper, and I will be making them again!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups quick oats
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together, except chocolate chips, until well blended.  Dough will be slightly stiff and somewhat sticky.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Press mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My First Giveaway Ever!!!

I am having my first blog giveaway ever!  Woohoo!!!  I am excited to be offering a giveaway on one of my newest crocheting creations.  It is one of a kind, brand new, and hand crocheted with a varigated crochet thread in shades of blue.  This super cute headband is a wrap-around style that ties in the back, so it is adjustable to fit properly.  My lovely sister agreed to model it so I could get a good picture.  Thanks, sis! 

There are several ways you can get an entry into this giveaway.  You can get more than one entry by doing several of the following:

  1. Leave a comment on any one of my posts.
  2. Follow my blog.
  3. Post this on Facebook.
  4. Do a blog post about this giveaway.
When you have done any of the preceding, come back and leave a comment on this giveaway post and let me know all you did!  For instance, if you posted this on Facebook, leave a comment that you posted on Facebook.  Technically, that would count for two entries.  If you posted on your blog, make sure you leave a blog link in your comment :-)

I will close entries to this giveaway on Friday, July 29th at midnight (mountain time zone), and announce the winner on Saturday, July 30th.  Giveaway is limited to people residing in the USA.  Good luck!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cabbage and Bacon Crockpot Soup Recipe

I was looking to use up a few grocery items and came up with this crockpot recipe. It was yummy! My six year old (who thinks she is allergic to vegetables) exclaimed after eating it, "Even though it had vegetables, I ate it anyway, and it was good!" I served this soup with buttered toast on the side.

Cabbage and Bacon Soup

1 small head of cabbage
1 bell pepper
1 15 oz can pinto beans - drained
1 onion
4 thick cut bacon slices - cooked and chopped into small pieces
6 cups water
6 chicken bouillion cubes

Chop vegetables and place in crockpot. Add the beans, water, and bouillion cubes. Stir in the chopped bacon pieces. Optional - to add more bacon flavor, add the leftover bacon drippings as well. Cook in crockpot on high for 5-6 hours.

Fun Activity - Water Bombs!!!

My kids and I embarked upon a journey of great fun this afternoon. I came across a website that had a neat craft idea for some fun outdoor water toys. You can find the directions here. My girls and I descended upon the dollar store to gather supplies for our endeavor. I was amazed, all of the supplies were in one place, and cheap too! The supplies needed to make these consist of sponges, drawer liner, a couple of Sham-Wows (yes, these amazing absorbant cloths are now at the dollar store, LOL), and some zip ties. It was a relatively easy craft to do with my kids. They helped me cut the pieces and arrange them, and then I tightened and fastened the zip ties for them.

As we finished this little project, neighbor children had gotten word about what we were making (my children may or may not have occasionally poked their head out the door waving a finished water bomb to show their friends). By the time we finished making them, the neighborhood children had gathered in our front yard to play with our new toys. I got out a few buckets filled with water, and the fun began. You all are lucky, I barely got a picture of a few of these babies before the children started their water wars! They all kept saying how neat they were, and they were eventually transported to the neighbor's pool as the water play shifted to another yard. Yeah, I would say that this little project today was a winner :-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tracfone Promo Codes - Lots of 'Em!!!

I just got my hands on a calendar from Tracfone that has lots of promo codes for free bonus minutes, and I am passing them along!

Valid for the month of June 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 85416
200 minute card or greater- 40 bonus minutes:88591

Valid for the month of July 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater- 20 bonus minutes: 81167
200 minute card or greater- 40 bonus minutes: 86043

Valid for the month of August 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater- 20 bonus minutes: 80967
200 minute card or greater- 40 bonus minutes: 89058

Valid for the month of September 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater - 30 bonus minutes: 88773
200 minute card or greater - 50 bonus minutes: 89592

Valid for the month of October 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater - 30 bonus minutes: 80778
200 minute card or greater - 50 bonus minutes: 84800

Valid for the month of November 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 81752
200 minute card or greater - 40 bonus minutes: 89306

Valid for the month of December 2011, 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 81756
200 minute card or greater - 40 bonus minutes: 86692

Valid for the month of January 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 85727
200 minute card or greater - 40 bonus minutes: 81550

Valid for the month of February 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 83703
200 minute card or greater - 40 bonus minutes: 85476

Valid for the month of March 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 81041
200 minute card or greater - 40 bonus minutes: 88398

Valid for the month of April 2012
120 minute card or greater - 30 bonus minutes: 88827
200 minute card or greater - 50 bonus minutes: 86290

Valid for the month of May 2012
120 minute card or greater - 20 bonus minutes: 81502
200 minute card or greater - 40 bonus minutes: 80033

Valid until December 31, 2012
1 year card - 200 bonus minutes: 89784
Double minutes for life card - 50 bonus minutes: 86546
1 year + double minutes card - 100 bonus minutes: 86950

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Vitacost Coupon Code - Father's Day Special

I just got ahold of a new vitacost coupon code for an extra 10% off the entire order. Unfortunately for me, I just put an order in two days ago and missed the deal (booooo!!!! hissss!!!!). Fortunately for you all, I am sharing the code :) It's in honor of Father's Day, and is good until 6/19/11. Enter this promo code at checkout: FATHERSDAY .

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great Crochet Resource

As I pursue my crocheting adventures, I continue to come across many great web resources. I happened upon this little gem of a website, and I already know that it will be one that I frequent quite often. It contains some really neat stitch patterns (FREE!!!), as well as motifs, that will help me as I try to design my own crocheted items. I am somewhat of a dreamy crocheter most days, LOL, as I see visions of what I want to crochet, but can never quite find the right pattern, or have no idea how to sit down and figure it out. This website I found will definitely be helpful in my needlework endeavors, and once I finish my current crochet project, I fully intend to get to work using the information from this website. Now that I have given great fanfare to the website, I shall reveal it to you :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Free Patterns Website

I came across this website in a crocheting pattern book I am currently using. I went to check it out, and I have just found lots more projects to keep me busy (if I get around to it!). It has free patterns for beading, crafts, crochet, cross stitch, knitting, paper crafts, plastic canvas, quilting, and sewing. These free patterns can be found at . Happy crafting!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Extra 40% Off at Catherines - Clearance Too!!!

This weekend (Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22), Catherine's is having a great sale! They are giving 40% off of everything, including clearance! I have ordered from them a few times, gotten some great deals, and have been pleased with my purchases. The sale is in stores, and online. To order online, go to . For ordering online, enter code 48HOURCA at checkout.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade Carpet Deoderizer Recipe

As a kid, I used to LOVE using the prettily scented carpet deoderizing powders when I vacuumed. Buying things like that are not currently high on my list of priorities nowadays, but I do like a fresh scent to brighten my home every now and then. I just came up with a very simple carpet deoderizer recipe that incorporates whatever lovely scent suits my fancy. It's a piece of cake, comprised of only two ingredients: baking soda and your favorite essential oil. Today, I used sweet orange essential oil - it added a cheery scent to brighten up my living room!

Carpet Deoderizer Recipe

2 cups baking soda
25 drops essential oil of your choice (more or less depending upon your preference)

Mix baking soda and essential oil thoroughly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over carpeted surface. Let sit for a few minutes, then vacuum. Store mixture in a sealable container.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homemade Candy Bars - Heath Toffee Bar Copycat Recipe

I just tried a new recipe today that turned out fabulous! It is a toffee bar recipe that I tweaked to my own styling, and it turned out wonderfully! It tastes just like a Heath candy bar. It was really simple, and made from ingredients that I keep regularly stocked around my house. I have always wanted to try a toffee recipe, but never did, thinking it might be complicated and hard to do. It's not! It's one of the easiest things I have ever made, and it is relatively quick as well.

Toffee Bar Recipe

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter until boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and boil for seven minutes, continually stirring. Remove from heat and fold in walnuts. Place mixture in a greased square baking pan. Top with chocolate chips. When chocolate chips melt, spread evenly over toffee. Cut into squares immediately, and place pan in refrigerator until toffee has hardened.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hearty Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread - Family Size!

I have recently begun making pumpkin bread more regularly to have around for a quick breakfast and/or snack. This recipe is hearty, filling, full of fiber - and delicious - so the kids will eat it gladly, and I am happy because they are eating a good, healthy snack. This is also made using natural honey, rather than sugar. This batch is large enough to make one big 9x13 pan of pumpkin bread. Here it is!

Hearty Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

1 - 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups honey
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, and honey in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the mixture, blend thouroughly. Pour into a 9x13 greased, floured pan. Bake for 50 minutes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Add Grease Cutting Power To Your Vinegar Cleaner

I keep finding more ways to adapt my standard vinegar cleaner to my various cleaning needs. The latest way I have found to adapt it is by adding a squirt of dishsoap to help cut through the grease when I clean. The vinegar cleaner itself seems to work well for the most part, but adding the dishsoap into seems to give it a little bit more power in grease cutting. This is basically my standard vinegar cleaner, plus some dishsoap. Here is the adjusted recipe:

Grease Cutting Vinegar Cleaner

1 part vinegar
3 parts water
10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil
1 squirt of liquid dishsoap

Combine ingredients in a liquid spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Alpha Omega Publishing - 20% off in April

Alpha Omega Publishing, who publishes homeschooling curriculum, is having a 20% off sale during the month of April. Their curriculums include Monarch, Horizons, Switched On Schoolhouse, Weaver, and Lifepac. If you use these curriculums, or are thinking about using them, now is a good time to plan ahead and order now for next year. There are no coupon codes necessary, their prices are alread reduced on the site to reflect the April sale. They also have free shipping on orders of $250 or more for April. You can view their products at

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Honey Mustard Tilapia Recipe

Since the season of Lent is upon us, the fish sales abound! We stocked up on some "buy one get one free" fish this last week at the store. For dinner tonight, I made a honey mustard tilapia dish. It was quite delicious, so I thought I would share it here :) It also is quick and easy to prepare. I hope you enjoy it, I will definitely be using this creation again!

Honey Mustard Tilapia

8-9 tilapia fish filets, thawed
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup finely chopped cashews*

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. Place thawed tilapia filets evenly in the pan, they will overlap some. Sprinkle with pepper. In a saucepan, melt together the butter and the honey. Stir in the mustard until well blended. Generously brush this mixture over the fish, using the entire mixture (it will be saucy!). Then sprinkle the italian seasoning on top according to liking. Evenly sprinkle the chopped cashews over the top of the fish and honey mustard sauce. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

*You can easily chop cashews in a blender, food processor, or other chopping device (I have a Pampered Chef chopper that works very well for this). Or you could place the nuts in a plastic ziploc baggie and crush the nuts using a rolling pin.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hancock Fabrics Coupon Code

Hancock Fabrics has a coupon code for an extra 10 percent off your online purchase. It will be valid from April 13-15. The code is MTNYF. If you order fabric online, April 13-15 would be a good time to put in a new order!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Easy Mexican Bean Casserole

This is a really easy recipe for a Mexican style bean casserole that can be used as a side dish or a main dish. I usually use it as a main dish myself. You can throw it together pretty quickly for a convenient, easy dinner. This recipe will feed my family for one meal, it can easily be doubled if you want to have seconds, or leftovers, or just need a bigger main dish (just use a 9x13 pan instead). Enjoy!

Mexican Bean Casserole

4 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cans kidney beans, drained, or 2 cups pre-cooked kidney beans
2 cups shredded cheese
1 1/2 cups salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bottom of 8x8 square baking dish, spread 2 1/2 cups Corn Chex. Next, spread kidney beans evenly across the top of the cereal. Then sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top of the beans. Spread salsa over the cheese. Place the remaining 2 cups of cereal over the top, then finish topping with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 Coupon Code

I recently had a baby, and after sorting through all of the promotional materials they sent home with me from the hospital, I came across a pretty good coupon code for This code is good for $10 off, plus free two day shipping, any order order over $49. The catch is that the order must include diapers or formula. This offer expires 9/30/2011. The code is SIMJUN10.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Homeschool and Teacher Discount at Border's Bookstore

Border's, the bookstore, has a 25% discount available for both teachers and homeschoolers. To receive the discount, you will need to provide proof to them that you are a homeschooler or a teacher (they can take care of getting the discount card at the registers). They will then give you a card that you will need to present when you make a purchase. The discount is good for any materials you will use for school or homeschooling. The discount is available even on sale and clearance merchandise, so if you do your shopping right, you can get some really good deals!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Butterfinger Bars Recipe

I am currently 3 weeks postpartum, and I was looking for an easy recipe to make for snacks today. I came across a recipe for Butterfinger Bars that looked relatively simple, so I decided to try it out. My almost four year old pulled up a chair to the kitchen counter and helped me make them. These bars don't taste like the candybar, but they are quite yummy. My husband informed me that they were not going to last long around here!

Butterfinger Bars

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups quick cooking oatmeal

6 oz. chocolate chips (about half a bag)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix crust ingredients together well. Press mixture into a 9x13 inch baking pan, bake for 15 minutes. Next, melt topping ingredients together in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, stirring constantly until a smooth consistency is reached. Spread topping mixture evenly over crust. Chill in the refrigerator approximately one hour.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vitacost Free Shipping February is offering free shipping during the month of February on orders over $49. No coupon code is required, but it is only valid on orders placed online. If you need to place an order, now would be a good time! This offer expires 2/28/11.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Free Math Website - Preschool through 8th Grade

Just thought I would share a cool math website. It is free, and has interactive games and practice exercises for mathematical concepts ranging from preschool age through 8th grade. We will be utilizing this resource with our children, it looks to be promising as a supplement for strengthening their math skills! Membership is also available via this site for a fee.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Common Courtesy

I have been noticing lately that there seems to be lacking basic manners and common courtesies amongst the public. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am currently 9 months pregnant. Or maybe it's because we are just finishing up with a busy holiday season, which can bring stress on for many people. It just seems like the last few times I have ventured out into the public, I have run across rudeness in many different forms. Maybe it was the rude lady at Sam's Club today, who curtly said, "Excuse me!" and shoved past my very pregnant form, that was the last straw for me. So, since I have a blog, I decided that I was going to vent out loud about the recent rashes of rudeness I have experienced, in hopes of inspiring others to think twice about how they respond to and interact with others, and perhaps show a little bit of kindness, even when they don't feel like it.

Don't get me wrong, most people are polite and pleasant when I go out in public places. It's usually only a handful of people that have issues. It used to be common place for others to hold open a door or offer a seat to the elderly, disabled, pregnant, or the mama with her hands full. Not so much anymore. And if someone does hold a door open, how many of those being served by this kindness remember to say thank you for the good deed? Or how about the crowded parking lot scenario? Someone has been patiently waiting for a parking spot, complete with a blinker indication that they are planning on parking there, only to have another car speed up and take the spot real fast, regardless of the fact that someone else was obviously waiting to park there. That happened to me (yet again) this last week. Or how about people swearing in public places and talking about inappropriate subjects when small children are close by? BIG pet peeve, I tell you!

I know that I don't have to let these acts of rudeness get to me, and I am in charge of choosing how I handle and react to it. Often times, if someone flips me the bird in traffic, I smile and wave. I try to choose to be positive and friendly back to those who act unbecomingly. Most of the time, it is not worth it to confront people on their rudeness, and in this day and age, discernment must be used in doing so. And sometimes, reacting kindly is not what people expect, and hopefully it makes a positive impact on those who choose to act like barbarians.

I am encouraging others to please remember your manners, common courtesies, and kindness. Hey, it's a new year, it could even be a resolution! Say please and thank you to those who serve you (restaurants, stores, other businesses, etc.). The poor door clerk at Sam's Club today was visibly frustrated when she asked several customers to see their Club Card, and was repeatedly ignored. She was just trying to do her job, cut the working people who serve you a little slack! Say "excuse me" politely if you are trying to get through a crowded aisle or past someone. Hold the door open for others. The world is a tough enough place as it is. Spread a little bit of goodwill and cheer by being courteous and kind!