Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random Pictures from the Week of 3-22

Wearing Mommy's cheerleading uniform . . . the face shows the irritation with the double ear infection.

Talking (yelling) to herself in the mirror.

Just being cute!

Checking out the deals in the Target ad.

Again . . . wearing mommy's cheerleading uniform.

Whoever said kids were sedentary while watching t.v. . . .

Whoever said kids were sedentary while watching t.v. never saw Avery watch cartoons. I took these this morning in a span of, oh, about 1 minute.

Shopping Deals for the Week

Great deal going on through Saturday at Meijer stores . . . buy two Oreos or Nabisco Crackers (2/$5), get one gallon of milk free instantly. To make the deal sweeter, there are peelie coupons on the Oreo display for $1.50/1 oreo and gallon of milk. That is a grand total of $3.50 for 2 packs of Oreos and a gallon of milk. I needed a gallon of milk anyway, so this made the oreos seem like an inexpensive bonus. My mom had coupons from a Sunday insert (I don't know which one for $2.00/2 Ritz crackers or chips, so she got 2 boxes of crackers and a gallon of milk for $2.00. Best of all, there is no limit on this deal, so she (needing to stock-up on crackers for my brother's upcoming graduation party), did the deal 4 times! Had I had a good excuse to eat that many Oreos or use that many gallons of milk, I would have done it multiple times too. I had a raincheck for the toothpaste, which was 11/$10 last week and .50 cent coupons to double, which made those free. I picked -up 2 nesquick for $1.25/1, but used two .50 cent coupons that doubled (total of .50 cents). Finally, the Hillshire farms meats were marked at 2/$7.00, which is not a good deal in itself, but there is a "try it free" rebate peelie on the container. I also had .55 cent coupon for this . . . so eventually, I will make money by buying this! My total would have been (pre-tax) $5.50. Fortunately, I had a $5.00 off of $60 catalina from Meijer, which my mom and I used by combining our purchases. She wouldn't even let me pay for anything since I used my $5.00 coupon . . . what a gracious mom!

At Walgreens, I had $10 in RR that were going to expire, so I did the best I could.
  • Johnsons & Johnsons Soft products (Buy the lotion, get the body wash free) $5.99
  • Huggies wipes (2/$11.98)
  • Playtex Sport ($4.99 including Easy Saver Coupon)
  • Carefree pantyliner (clearanced at $1.19)
  • Curel Motherhood & Pregnancy lotion (clearanced at $3.59 & used $2 easy saver coupon=final price $1.59)
  • Coupons: $1.00 on Curel, 2 $5.00 on huggies care product, $1.00 on playtex sport, $1.00 Carefree product, 2 $1.00/1 Johnsons Soft body product
Grand Total= (minus $10.00 Register Rewards) $2.75 OOP

My mom and I hit CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, and Meijer for a marathon shopping trip.
At Kroger are running a deal where the Quaker Cereals (Cap'n Crunch, Life, Quaker Squares), True Delights granola bars, and other selected items are $2.50, but when you buy 4 items in the same transaction, you get $4.00 off automatically. You can print coupons for the True Delights and Life cereal HERE. My mom was able to print 25 coupons before she stopped for the granola bars and 2 each of the cereal. With these coupons it makes the bars and cereal .50 cents per box! There is a similar deal running on the Pillsbury products. They are $1.25 each, but if you buy 4, it automatically takes $1.00 off your order. has some printables for these products. I had coupons from an insert for .40/1 pizza crust (Kroger doubles), which made my four pizza crusts .20 each. My coupons for the cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls were .35/1 (doubled) which made them .30 each. I got 1 nesquick milk (they are on sale for $1.00) free with a .50/1 coupon (from a gas station), grapes for .99 cents/lb., and the best . . . Health Valley Organic cereals bars for FREE! They were marked down to .99 cents on the clearance table and has a $1/1 printable! Yeah! In total, I spent $7.98 at Kroger.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DaBib Giveaway

I was so excited to stumble upon this blog giveaway for a bib. It is not just any bib, but one with an adjustable scrunch neck and crumb catcher. It is supposed to wipe off easily . . . which would be helpful for me since most of the bibs I use are cloth. I have yet to find a brand of bibs to be loyal to . . . maybe this will be the one! Check out DaBibs website HERE.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goodwill Half-Price Day

Let me just tell you . . . I love Goodwill! I love it even more when the store does it's half-price days (you know you are cheap when you think the prices at Goodwill are too expensive). I am a stockpiler, and have always been when it comes to kids clothes. I do not like to have to go out and buy something that is needed (clothing-wise)immediately. We recently had to have some pants for Avery, one pair wouldn't do, and after Goodwill and the local consignment store had nothing in her size, I had to break down and spend $10 on jeans from Old Navy. Most of you reading this post will say that $10 is no big deal, but if you would have to do this for a couple of pairs of pants in every size as kids grow, the expense really adds-up, not to mention the trips to different stores trying to find a pair that fits. To prevent this situation, I frequent Goodwill and other consignment store sales and buy clothes up to two sizes ahead. A lot of consignment stores will put out-of-season clothes on clearance, making some sweet deals for the next year. For instance, our local consignment store, in September, had summer clothes 5/$1.00. You better believe that everything that was in good condition in sizes 24 months to 3T was gone after I was there! That beats most garage sale prices. I also ALWAYS go to goodwill half-price days (4 yearly) and keep my eyes peeled at garage sales. Last summer a woman was selling brand new Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, and Gap clothing (tags attached) for between $1-2 dollars. I bought everything she had (spent about $30). These purchases have accumulated a nice stockpile of clothing for Avery as she grows. I keep everything labeled in plastic storage bins, and can always go "shopping" in my garage when Avery needs a new size. This weekend here is my kiddie stockpile finds:
  • 1 pair Disney Princess shoes (still had tags from Target) $1.50
  • 1 pair Old Navy pajamas
  • 2 dresses (Osh-Kosh winter plaid, Wonder Kids summer plaid) $1.50 each
  • 2 Ralph Lauren long sleeved shirts
  • 1 Carters long sleeved winter scene shirt
  • 1 striped turtleneck (OkieDokie)
  • 2 short sleeved shirts (Cherokee brand)
  • 1 Sesame Street corduroy jacket
All of the shirts were $1.00, so pre-tax, I spent $13.50--great value!

Sermon Notes Sunday, March 22

Our pastor is finishing a series on prayer, which has been very significant for me. I was really moved by the message this Sunday, which concentrated on prideful prayer. How often do we come before the Lord with a prayer believing that we are deserving of petition? Humble prayer is a struggle for me. I often skip praising God for who he is and what he is doing. Furthermore, I pray as if he will bless the plans I have already made, not humbling myself, knowing that he knows the plans that are the best for me. I also assume that I am a righteous follower, trying to follow the Bible's teachings, but rarely do I begin my prayers with praise, but with requests. This sermon series has begun to shape my conversations with God in a new way.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed abouta]">[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Random Pictures from the Week of 3-15

Grandma Pam, Avery, and Sarah

Sarah and Avery

Avery loves to imitate us! Bryan was leaning up against the counter eating a banana . . . she wanted to do the same.

Hmmm. What are you doing Avery? Looking very pensive.

She must have decided she missed her snow boots and hat. She wore the boots one whole evening.

Cinnamon Crunch Granola

So, prior to my Shredded Wheat find, I was running out of cereal, a breakfast staple in our house. I was browsing recipes, trying to find a granola recipe that wasn't filled with honey (not a fan of the taste of it in granola) and fat. Finally, I settled on this recipe for Cinnamon Crunch Granola. Now, I didn't have all of the ingredients, but I had others. I also halved the recipe because it makes a mammoth batch. Here is my adapted recipe (half batch):

Cinnamon Crunch Granola
  • 4 cups instant oats
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (not roasted or salted)
  • 1/8 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup assorted nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together first 6 ingredients.

Cook together brown sugar and water over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Increase heat until the mixture boils. Reduce heat again. Cook and stir one minute.

Remove from heat and add oil and vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and stir to coat.

Pour into pan (the original recipe says to use jelly roll pan . . . I don't have one) and cook @ 275 for 60-70 min.

Cool on a cooling rack (in the pan). After 10 min break-up granola into desired texture.

Verdict: It was REALLY good. We ate it plain, but really liked it with fresh fruit, and as a topping for yogurt.

Avery's New Big Girl Bed

Avery is out of her crib! Thanks to a colleague at work, Avery has a new big girl bed. I know that I should have shed a small tear due to Avery's new milestone, but frankly I was glad to see the crib go. The crib was mammoth (It was mine as a baby), and made Avery's room feel so small. After reading several online resources about techniques to ease the transition between the crib and bed, I didn't need them! Avery was so excited to sleep in her new bed. She helped me take the crib down (well, she got in the way and kept stealing the screwdriver), and happily hopped into her bed as soon as Bryan and I brought it into the room. We were afraid that she would roll out of it, so we laid blankets on the floor where the rails ended. She slept great the FIRST night. I could not believe it! Now that she is used to the bed, every chance she gets (clothed or not . . . as you can see by the picture) she runs and flops on her bed and covers herself up with the blanket and announces "nigh-night." Love that girl!

Shredded Wheat Stockpile

So, I am glad my husband and I, and Avery for that matter, like shredded wheat! This weekend, thanks to my mom for the heads-up, snagged 14 boxes of Shredded Wheat with Strawberries for .50 cents a box. The store had so much (and it must not have been selling well @ $2.00/box) that they marked it $1.00 BOGO! Furthermore, I got salad dressing for .10 cents/bottle, and kraft mayo w/olive oil for $1.50 BOGO. Now, I know what you are saying . . . I didn't see these sales at my stores! Although some people will not do this, I reguarly go to a grocery outlet that sells just out-of-date, smashed box, it didn't sell in the store, store. Both my mom and I have been shopping at these local outlets for about 10 years. Although we have had a few things stale, the store managers have always taken them back or exchanged items willingly. It has been a great way to save money--especially on cereal. If you are in the East Central Indiana Area, the store name is B&D Grocery Outlet, and are located in Winchester and Richmond. And yes, they also sell toiletry items!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another giveaway winner!

I won another giveaway . . . this time a set of silicone pans, cake mix, and frosting. I am so excited. I never win anything, and I've won two giveaways in the last week! Here's the picture of my winnings

More Postings Soon . . .

I have been without my camera for a week now, but I will post with pictures soon. I've been getting some great deals at Walgreens and CVS this week, so I'll post with pictures soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Giveaway Winner

So . . . I entered my first giveaway . . . the Cheerios one (posted below), and I won! A new freshwater pearl bracelet.

So . . . I'm trying another giveaway. This one is for silicone baking pans, which I have never tried. Here is the link for the new giveaway!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cinna Heaven . . .

Among all things "heavenly" to me are fresh cinnamon rolls. My dealings with cinnamon rolls usually go as far as popping open a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Watching the food network semi-frequently, I see Paula Deen and other cooks make homemade cinnamon rolls, I get all inspired, but then when I look-up the recipe I always get intimidated with the--waiting for the dough to rise (twice) and all the kneading. Fortunately, I found a recipe that lets the bread maker do half of the work for you. In THIS RECIPE You put the dough ingredients in the bread maker and let it do it's magic. I even put my bread maker on a time delay so that my dough would be ready when I woke up this morning. After cautiously peeking in the bread maker to find my dough rasied and ready, I rolled it out, put in the filling--let them rise again, and they cooked in 15 min. to gooey perfection. I made the icing recpie as written, but I'm not a huge fan of cream cheese icing. Next time--and there will be a next time--I will just make a conf. sugar icing. I would have taken a picture, but I lent out my camera. Next time PHOTOS!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cheerios/Fake Ginger Giveaway

Here is a link to Fake Ginger . . . my new favorite blog's . . . first giveaway. Cheerios is giving away freshwater pearl necklaces to raise awareness about cholesterol.

Sign-up for this giveaway HERE.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Chip off the Ol' Block

So most of you know by now that I am a compulsive organizer. Weeelllllll--it seems as though Avery has picked up this very noble trait. I swear I did not move these toys! I was sitting on the couch reading this morning (no church for us today since Avery is running a fever), and Avery started yelling. I looked up to find her toy food, chicken nuggets (chin-chin), hamburger buns, tomato slices, and cookies (tookie) organized two by two on the chair. Fever or not, an organizer by heart. I love it!

Garnier, Huggies, and Orbit, oh my!

Today I did the weekly "deals" shopping alone, without Avery or Bryan. Avery was running a fever this morning, so none of us went to church. Bryan, thankfully, agreed to let me sneak out during her morning nap to do my couponing alone. It was nice not to have to feel rushed or to be juggling coupons and Avery trying to climb out of a cart. Here's my loot:

  • 12 Garnier Fruitis Shampoo/Conditioner/Stylers (on sale for 2.99)--used $2 EasySaver & $1/1 for each
  • 6 packs Orbit Gum--used 3/.99 EasySaver
  • 1 South Beach Meal Bar--clearance price .50
I divided up these transactions into 3 transactions, using the meal bar and gum for fillers (since the coupons technically made a profit of .01 on the Garnier products.

Total @ Walgreens (including tax) $5.31

  • 3- 184 ct. Huggies Gentle Care wipes--used $5.00/1 coupon for each
  • 1 adorable onesie pjs for friend's shower--$1.48 (not pictured . . . I don't want them to see it before I give it to them)
Total @ Target (including tax) $5.81

  • 4 Garnier Haircolor--on sale 2/$10 & buy $10 get $5 ECB, used $2/1 coupon on each
  • 4 Herbal Essence Shampoo/Conditioners--on sale for $2.88 & $1 ECB, used $3/2 coupon for 4
  • 1 pkg make-up brushes clearance price $2.17
  • 2 Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse Foundation--clearance price $2.37, used $2/1 coupon on each
I did three transactions, to roll my ECBs.

Total @ CVS (including tax) $1.74 & 19.98 ECB--BUT got $14.00 ECB back

Grand total out-of-pocket spending (including tax) $12.86
Total (before all coupons, clearance, EBCs, & tax) $128.61
Total Savings--$115.75 (90%) YEAH!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pigtails and the Dora tent

Having plenty of activities for Avery to do is getting tough. All of us are getting a little sick of the cold weather. I'm ready to go to the park, take a walk, play out in the grass . . . . winter is getting so old. At any rate, we have started rotating some of Avery's toys so she doesn't have the same toys available everyday (a little variety never hurt anyone). Avery's newest love is
her Dora tent, a quick pop-up portable tent with an attaching tunnel. She likes to hang out in the tent, put her "haha" (monkey) in the tent, and then ask you "haha?" She loved playing peek-a-boo with the camera hiding in the tent as well. Spring--come and rescue us from monotony!

Enjoying the Heating Vents

Avery has come to enjoy standing on our heater vents when the heat kicks on. I would describe how this effects her hair, but pictures say it all!