Friday, February 26, 2010
Happy Friday Follow! What am I thankful for this Friday? My Mom is coming home today! She has been gone a month and a half, but it feels like a year and a half (see my post on Grandma Stella for why). I am thankful that I am excited that she is coming home too...we have had our struggles with each other and went through some pretty tough life experiences together (whether I wanted to or not).
For years I listened to what others said and what I observed...Mothers and Daughters will argue, disagree, not be as close as Fathers are with Daughters...yadda yadda more not so positive views I'll spare you from! Did you know that because God can't call you up or e-mail you to set you straight he instead sends us a person? God sent not one, but two special people into my life about 10 years ago (CT & SB). SB had a wonderful relationship with her Mom...yes they had disagreements, but what I learned from her was that it IS possible to have a loving, close, supportive relationship with your Mom!
CT taught me to appreciate the mercy, love and forgiveness that God gave me. I discovered that sometimes, when you don't realize it, you are holding resentment towards someone over circumstances that happened long ago. That resentment is a wall that you hide behind, keep your love behind, a wall that doesn't allow that person to be with the real you. I learned that I need to give the same mercy, love and forgiveness to others that God gives me.
I am thankful for CT & SB. I am thankful that I can be as excited for my Mom coming home as my girlie is that her Grandma is coming home. Ultimately, I am thankful that God is in control, because He made this day possible!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Picture People will be at PETCO this weekend February 26-28:
- No session fee
- FREE 8X10 with your pet portrait session
Visit the grooming department to schedule your session.
Find more free stuff on my FREEBIES PAGE!
My mom admits that she did not inherit the bargain shopper gene that her mom and sister had. She told me a funny story the other day about a shopping trip with them to MCO. Mom said that this store was just like blocks and blocks of racks from one end of the store to the other. While my Grandmother and Aunt were thoroughly searching the racks where was my Mom? Hiding so they wouldn't see that she was not looking for deals!
Since shopping for deals was not my Mom's idea of fun or time well spent she opted for the easiest option for back to school shopping where the prices were already low enough for her. About 30 years ago (yikes!) that meant blue light specials...no name brands unless you count Traxx shoes from Kmart!
Wouldn't you know I was also going to school with a community of kids who let's just say their families had more money at their disposal than we did. Or did they use credit cards and we used cash?
Of course to compensate for my "deprived" fashion years once I was on my own I decided to treat myself to the purses, brands and clothing choices I longed for as a growing kid/teenager. I also during that time discovered credit cards and how easy it was to get the things "everyone" else had. You could say I was trying to keep up with The Jonses.
It (thankfully) didn't take long for me to learn that credit card bills can quickly exceed your monthly cash flow. Once I started to analyze and dig myself out of debt I also discovered that thinking about keeping up with The Joneses spending is not the smartest decision. It's hard though as I am a competitive person by nature. So I redefined what keeping up with The Jonses meant to me.
I looked for mentors and models of more positive money managing habits to be My Jonses. Individuals and families that were great at saving money, living within a budget, saving big at grocery stores, finding name brands for a bargain on clearance...you get the idea! This was great for my competitive side since I wanted to save more than The Jonses. I decided that if I survived wearing Traxx shoes to school then I did not need the latest pattern or design in a purse, shoes or clothing items. I started to find joy in finding a great deal on name brand items like my Grandmother and Aunt. They always looked GREAT from head to toe and didn't use a credit card or bust their budget. And you know what else? They didn't care if their purse, shoes or outfit were "so last season." They bought items that were classic and timeless, just like they were.
Redefining The Jonses to be super savers instead of super spenders has worked for me...giving me a better perspective on managing our money. I am thankful for that since I am now shaping my daughter's views on managing money. At four she already knows how to look for sales and clearance when we shop, use coupons, and I don't mind when she asks if something is cheap enough.
This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family. Check out the other helpful posts there!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I am in love with my crockpot...the yummy smells throughout the house and I save money by getting more than one meal out of my efforts! I am always looking for new recipes to try so when Connie at Smockity Frocks posted that she was hosting a link-up with crockpot recipes I was so excited! Check out her site for all of the yummy shared recipes!
Connie has a new nifty crockpot with THREE pots! That will be added to my wish list...I love to have family and friends over so one of those would come in handy for chili con queso , sweet and sour meatballs , mocha supreme (my mom's favorite!)...of course after looking at the huge list of recipes at Smockity Frocks I may need even more crock pots and decide to do everything from appetizers to dessert for my next gathering!
I also found a recipe at All Recipes that Once A Month Mom has linked too for zesty slow cooker chicken barbeque . We tried it a few weeks ago and loved it!! We could not wait for dinner after smelling it for hours!
My poor girlie has been so sick all day and I need to get back to her. Thankfully I made crock pot chili yesterday so we have that for hubby and I for dinner tonight! I don't have an exact recipe for the chili...here is what I throw in the crock pot for 6-8 hours on low:
- ground turkey (shhh don't tell my husband it's not beef!)
- large 32 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 small can EACH drained of light kidney beans, dark kidney beans, cannelini beans
- 1 envelope of chili seasoning
- some chopped onion
- top with shredded cheddar and diced onions and enjoy!
You can also use leftovers for a taco salad topped with sour cream and shredded cheese and Tostitos chips!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Happy Friday Follow! I am pretty new to the world of blogging and I am sooo hooked already! The thing I love the most is meeting some amazing women who write with passion and share fantastic ideas and helpful information. I am thankful for the moms who have shared creative, budget friendly crafts that my girlie thanks you for too! I am thankful for the ladies that have made me laugh, cry, think twice about "stuff" and save money! Thank you ladies for providing an outlet for me to turn to where I feel connected with others and can learn, grow and share.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
A great way to stock up your pantry is to take advantage of Buy One Get One Free deals at your local grocery store. Boost your savings by pairing these deals up with manufacturer coupons! Here are some BOGO FREE Deals from Publix good 2/18/10 - 2/24/10:
- Progresso Bread Crumbs Italian Style
- Wishbone Italian Dressing
- Hunt's Diced Tomatoes
- Progresso Chicken Broth
- Crisco Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Check out my RECIPES page for some yummy meals that I use these ingredients in! And don't forget to challenge yourself once a month to clean out your pantry, use what you have and reduce your grocery bill!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
My girlie and I had such a good time today making our own Olympic ice arena...and I really had fun playing with it too!
Kim at Mom Tried It hosted a link-up yesterday for Try & Tell Tuesday where moms can share great stuff. Vanessa at Silly Eagle Books added a post on making your own mini-olympic ice rink...sheer genius! Check out her post for great pics and how-to.
I knew my girlie would flip over this idea! I had her do a search on the computer for images of the Olympic rings and then she used a play food can to make her circles in the appropriate colors. One heads up, depending on your water it may not dry crystal clear, we have hard water, so bottled water may have been better for us.
I'll admit I am not the best at executing crafty ideas but my girlie doesn't care about perfection she just loves us doing stuff together! That was good in this case because my rink was not exactly flat in the freezer so we had a hill on the rink...which we quickly decided was a cool sled hill! We used Barbie's sister Kelly and a few other doll house dolls...she even used a fishing pole with a fish on it from her doll house to do some ice fishing!
I have always heard that you can save money on your electric bill by adjusting your thermostat even a couple of degrees. I've read articles that even said to set your temperature to 60 degrees at night and 65 degrees in the daytime...my hubby and I laughed and thought that's a bit extreme! Then my daughter a few months ago was on pbskids.org playing a learning game with Arthur on green living...wouldn't you know the question of which is greener in the winter turning up the heat or cuddling up in a blanket was asked! We decided to give it a go, after all we COULD save money!
I am super excited to report that Arthur was right! Normally in the middle of summer in Central Florida and during the coldest winter months (we had ice snow don't ya know here a month ago!) I am afraid to open the electric bill! Our KWH usage was about 345 KWH under what it was in the same month the year before for each of the past two months. So what, right? Well, speaking in dollars and cents our bills in the winter and summer (did I mention I love the spring?) are around $275 -$350 a month, but the past two months have been around $190 per month!
So have we been living in an igloo? No silly! We do wear cozy, warm pants and shirts during the day and let the sun shine in...warms our family room nicely! At night we throw an extra blanket on. We lowered the temperature four degrees, it's been two and a half months: no one is sick and we saved money while helping the environment!
Kim at Mom Tried It has a great post today on saving electric with some fun light switches that encourage the kids to do their part too!
This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family. Check out the other great ideas that are linked up at We Are That Family too!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
There is an art studio near us in an outdoor mall...you know where you can make and/or paint a piece of pottery. I have walked by the window a bizzilion times and admired the beautiful pieces saying to myself I will take my girlie there when she is "old enough"...when will that be exactly? She fancies herself as a pretty crafty girl who can do it herself thank you very much! She'll see them show how to do a craft on Sprout and immediately set out to make what they just did. I'll admit I can be a bit too involved if this craft involves costly supplies, but most of the ones from Sprout I let her have at it on her own. BUT, the art studio is a bit more costly so I have been waiting for the "right age."
Today at Walmart my hubby found a big tub of Crayola Air Dry Clay on clearance and suggested we let her have some fun with that first. I found some craft ideas online that helped give us some ideas too. I found a good use for the thousand tiger paw shells we picked on Sanibel Island last year, rounded up a bunch of buttons, toothpicks and a plastic bottle.
My girlie having just made her first snowman last week decided to make a clay snowman! Then we tried to recreate a ring holder dish like her daddy made when he was a little guy. And finally she wanted to make a vase. The Crayola site suggested using a bottle to shape it, which my girlie only agreed to after her attempts at doing it herself were not fairing well. We pushed some buttons in the vase to decorate it...my favorite is a button I didn't remember having which went to a suit I wore on our honeymoon! We are going to let daddy figure out how to cut away the excess bottle and tomorrow we'll have some fun painting them.
This post is part of Mom Tried It's Try & Tell Tuesday...check out the other great ideas posted there!
Monday, February 15, 2010
I have been hooked on Bath & Body Works Wallflowers for years! I love the ones with the night-light! I will only buy them when they are on sale...today is the last day in stores or online until 11:59 EST to Buy One Get One FREE!
Antibacterial Pocket Bac are on sale 5 for $5! I love these...they fit in my pocket and are great when we go to the park or the store and I want to do a quick disinfect.
Signature Collection is also on sale buy 3 get 3 FREE!
You can also get free shipping on orders of at least $50...use promo code FREESHIP50.
If you use these items why not buy them on sale, right?
Our Sunday lunch stop after church is usually Subway...lately my girlie is on a Zaxby's kick...BUT we are so going to Subway to grab a Fresh Fit For Kids Meal! They are running a promotion when you buy a kids meal you get a FREE Reusable Lunch Bag in Smithsonian designs. They are super cute and include Sea Turtles, Dinosaurs, The Hope Diamond, Butterflies, Gorilla and Hot Lava.
Check out my FREEBIES page for more goodies!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
This post is dedicated to my Grandma Stella, a wonderful lady and expert bargain hunter.
I just returned last night from a trip I had planned, my plan was to see my Grandma and spend time talking with her. She had been very sick, but for much of her 95 years she has been hard for me to keep up with!
I have so many good memories that I will cherish in my heart always...picking "huckleberries" with her...we ate more than ended up in the buckets; sneaking her chocolates with my cousins...the ones she used for baking treats; teaching me to crochet...and seeing how proud she was of me when I made something; my crocheted Barbie doll clothes she made me...I just passed those to my daughter a few months ago; watching her at yard sales and flea markets negotiate the best deal; shopping with her in stores...she loved to find a great sale; baking and cooking with her...no exact measurements of course; seeing her smile and how much she enjoyed the beautiful flowers in Epcot and the dolls in It's A Small World; going to the fruit and vegetable "stand"...her record last year was eight bags full; simply talking to her, hearing the way she said my name. That is what I miss the most, talking to her...listening to her stories, no matter how many times I heard them before.
The past few years she spent the month of February or March with us. I tried to pack as much in that month that I could with her every year, and I am thankful for that. God's plans are not always the same as our plans, but he has mercy to bless us with opportunities in His timing and as part of His plan if we just listen and trust in Him. My Grandmother passed just before I arrived at her home for my visit. But I trust God, always, and I know His timing is perfect. My Grandmother is with Jesus now and is surrounded by beauty and joyful praising that far surpasses my Grandma's favorite things she enjoyed here...in Him I find peace and comfort.
I am thankful Grandma Stella was my Grandmother. She taught me so many things...to love and forgive, to have a thankful heart, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to love and honor the Lord, to find the best deal, to enjoy cooking and baking, to laugh...I love you Grandma and I miss you dearly!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Shop Night Owl Deals Friday, February 5 from 3 pm to 11 pm (midnight online) and Early Bird Deals Saturday, Feruary 6 from 7 am to 1 pm (12 am - 4 pm online)...
Take an extra 15% off everything! Use this coupon in stores or promo code SAVE15FEB online...
Earn $10 Kohls Cash for every $50 spent...
FREE Standard Shipping online use promo code FREE75 when you spend $75 or more!
Get even more when you shop their Gold Star Clearance...my favorite with savings up to 80%!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Go to Facebook.com/Target between now & February 14th to send a customizable video card in the name of football, love and charity!
Super LOVE Sender
Help Target support education by spreading $1 million dollars to selected charities!