Monday, August 30, 2010


I like to toy around with making cakes! This is a VERY new and fun hobby of mine. I have been asked a few times to make cakes for friends birthdays, open houses, ect!!! I just thought I'd show a couple of the cakes I've done. I never thought to take pictures of any of my cakes before my kids! :) So here are 2 fun birthday ones!

The first one was a lightning Mcqueen cake! Jared adored this, but I was sad to see it get eaten! The second was a princess cake for my baby girl! Who, of course, is a princess!




* 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
* Salt and pepper
* 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 6 pieces
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
* 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
* 3 cups pancake mix (gluten-free, if desired), prepared according to package directions
* Cooking spray
* 6 leaves iceberg lettuce
* 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced


1.In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard. Season with salt; refrigerate.
2.Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Brush the skirt steak with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill, turning once, for about 8 minutes for medium-rare; let sit. Thinly slice against the grain.
3.Meanwhile, preheat a waffle iron to medium-high. In a large bowl, stir the bacon and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard into the prepared pancake batter.
4.Grease the waffle iron with cooking spray and, working in batches, pour in enough batter to barely fill each square; close and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions until golden. Spread each waffle with some of the lemon mayonnaise. Top with a lettuce leaf, tomato slices, steak slices and another waffle bread slice, mayo side down.

This one I have not actually tried yet!!! This is on my list next of things to try!!! How fun does the bacon waffle bread sound! :) SO Excited to try this!
If you try this be sure to comment on how you and your family liked it! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Splurging Everyone Once in a While!!!

Okay, so this post is for you mom's who don't take the time out for yourself, but do everything for the kiddo's!!!

For those of you who knew me pre-kids, you know I definitely enjoyed my expensive shampoo', conditioners, highlighting my hair, getting my nails done, getting pedicure's frequently, and basically spending money on crazy things.

Since having kids, I have given up my nails, pedicures, expensive shampoo's, and I rarely get my hair highlighted anymore. For that matter haircuts are few and far between. Can't that money be better spent on the kiddo's???

Well, I have a story for you! I was out grocery shopping last night and going though to check out some shampoo and conditioner with my awesome coupons! I ran across the fact that there is Biologe at Walmart!!!!! I could not help myself, I just did it!! I spend $35 on shampoo and conditioner just for myself!!!!

Of course, I felt guilty the WHOLE way home! Jeff never said a work when he saw it. Last night while washing my hair I was in complete bliss!!! I cannot stop smelling my hair and playing with it!!

The point to my story??? Sometimes splurging on little things such as shampoo is worth it for you! You don't have to be frugal all the time. You just choose the things you want to splurge on. You don't need to splurge on everything at once and completely throw your budget out the window, but I thought it was time to get my old shampoo back! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

SWAG BUCKS!!! Earn FREE prizes!

You know how I love a good deal. Free deals are even better. Have you heard about SwagBucks?

If you’re new to SwagBucks, it’s a search engine that awards you points randomly and in varying denominations. SwagBucks can then be redeemed for a variety of prizes, including great gift cards, as I already described.

A few months ago I heard about this online search engine that awarded you points randomly when you searched the web. I was a little skeptical at first. It sounded too good to be true that you could really accrue enough points to redeem them for much of anything.

Well, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Not only have I won multiple free Amazon gift cards, but we’ve also redeemed points for gift cards which we traded in for Christmas presents, and iTunes gift cards! You can also guarantee that if we had a Starbucks around here I would be cashin' in some of those babies too!

When you search using SwagBucks, you are randomly awarded points. Sometimes you have to type in a code, so pay attention. Sometimes, you just win the bucks without having to do anything. I set Swagbucks as the homepage to our computer. I just automatically uses this search engine for online searches. You can also download the SwagBucks toolbar which makes for easier searching. However, I didn't do that.

But there are even more ways to earn SwagBucks besides internet searches:

* Do your online shopping through the SwagBucks portal and you will earn 2 SwagBucks for every dollar you spend. They even provide online coupons to redeem to get your purchase for a lower price. There are lots of stores to choose from like Dell, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City.
* SwagBucks posts “special offers” that award you points for participating or even just browsing. I don’t have a lot of experience with this aspect of it, so please read the fine print. One example: New subscribers to Netflix can earn 850 SwagBucks when they sign up with SwagBucks. I just did this one, and signed up for the free trial, in the next week I will go on and cancel, that way it's free! If you do it before 3 days your swagbucks can be taken away!!!
* Trade in old cell phones, MP3 players, video games, and consoles for points.
* Win points when you vote in SwagBucks’ daily polls. It's only 1 a day, but hey at least your earning points!
* Simply tell your friends and family about SwagBucks and receive referall points when they sign up.

Now, the last thing I will say is that when you first get started it may seem frustrating to be earning so little points! However, I am on there every day doing random searches and have my bucks built up to over 2,500!!! I have also cashed some in for some restaurant gift cards, and amazon gift cards!!!
I have over $30 dollars of those saved up for Christmas presents, and the restaurant gift cards are awesome for my in laws who live far away in big places!!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cell Fire!

So what exactly is Cellfire?

Cellfire offers ecoupons that can be downloaded directly to your store loyalty card. The ecoupons are deducted automatically from your grocery total at checkout when you buy a qualifying item and swipe your loyalty card. This will be of particular interest to my readers that shop at Kroger, as they are one of the participating stores in this program. Hopefully they will be rolling it out to many more stores in the future!

What other stores utilize the Cellfire program?

The only store in our area that accept these are Safeway. You just go on and load them up onto your card. However, they MUST swipe your card for the discounts to come off, you can't just give them your phone number!

How do I use Cellfire?

Using Cellfire is easy! Just register your store loyalty card on the Cellfire site. You don't need to have a cell phone to participate in the program. Simply use your home phone number if this is the case. Then you simply save the coupons that interest you to your card. I generally just go ahead and save them all unless I absolutely know I will not use a particular coupon.

This is something that I was hesitant at first with. Why would I want to go online and give my number out?! However, this has saved me a TON of money! This is the reason I usually end up making money on a product! You are able to stack these with your regular coupons. So if you have an awesome sale, a coupon, and a coupon on cellfire you are a sure bet!!!
Next week I will talk about eshortcuts!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Who doesn't love a good diaper deal!?! A lot of people I know are getting into doing cloth diapering, but for those of you who are to grossed out by poop to do so, here are some deals from the thrifty couple!

Each week they lay out the best deals! This week the best deal is at Rite-Aide which we don't have in our town, but there are plenty more amazing deals! So be sure to check them out HERE!

Monday, August 23, 2010


This week I'm featuring a recipe from Laura!!! She is part of our meal swap and made this soup that was so fabulous I have already made 3 more batches and have them in the freezer for this winter!!!
Thanks Laura!


* 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 5 cups beef broth
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 4 large tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
* 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
* 1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
* 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Amount Per Serving Calories: 324 | Total Fat: 20.2g | Cholesterol: 50mg

Sunday, August 22, 2010


"Our mission is to celebrate, encourage and reward women through offering quality products and an outstanding opportunity to become successful business owners. We have seen this mission played out across the years in the individual lives of so many women who now have their own “Thirty-One Story”.

Our products are exclusive to Thirty-One and provide style and convenience at an amazingly affordable price. From our key product line, to our “direction” line for teens, or our uniquely crafted “31kid” line for children and moms, you will find so many options to fit every personality type and every situation. We continue to develop new products built on the idea that our products must be stylish, functional, affordable and easy to give as gifts to encourage someone special."


Thirty-One Hostesses get the royal treatment with out of this world rewards just for being a Thirty-One Hostess. Just when it couldn't get any better, we decided to offer even more each month to reward these ladies. Our Monthly Hostess Specials offer great deals on products at your party or even later through Gift Certificates or special promotions.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Save 15% off all purchases from Snapfish!

Juno Baby, the Emmy Award-winning line of original, orchestral music for children is offering Snap fish customers 15% off all purchases.

Enter coupon code PICTURE at checkout to receive your discount. Just go HERE to sign up if you don't already have an account. Plus to make this deal even sweeter, if you are new to Snap fish you will receive 20 free photos!

For every Juno Baby product sold, the company donates a special music education DVD to a child in need through its One for All Program! Check out more at


I have always been totally against signing up for free samples. There has to be a catch right? Wrong! I have recently started signing up for these free samples to find out if there is a catch, or if this is really "free."

Yes, you do have to give out your address. Although, we have not bought shampoo for over 2 months! I sign up for free samples and I even e-mailed a few companies and asked for samples and coupons! They are very willing to do this. The coupons are always a much higher value then you can find in the paper or online!

Above is a picture of what I received in the mail yesterday. I get very excited for mail and when I don't have samples I get a bit sad. :) I look forward to getting the mail now, and get upset when I don't get to get it!

As you can see the dog food from Rachael Ray is a very large sample. There are even times when you will get a coupon for a free product! Can't go wrong there.


1. Now I'm not crazy I realize that my inbox would be overflowing with newsletters from all these different companies and let's face it junk mail. So my number one little bit of advice is to create a new e-mail account and use that for your samples. I did this and it works fabulous. I can always go there and check for free coupons or any other information I can use!

2. Watch different blogs for free samples. There are always free samples available!

3. If you go to the "All You" magazine's website you will be able to have at least 1 free sample everyday!!! They have been doing free samples daily for the last 3 months! This ranges anywhere from tampons to dog food, to human food! It is fabulous!

4. My last tip, be ready for a little junk mail. There are some companies who will send you flier's or newsletters. To me this is a very small price to pay for free stuff!

Do you sign up for free samples?? Be sure to hit the comment button below and share with us!

Do you not sign up for free samples?? Tell us why! Did you have a bad experience or do you choose to just not do it?

Friday, August 20, 2010


Alright guys. In my quest to eat healthier and save money I have decided to start making my own pizza's, bread, and basically anything that I can make from scratch!

My most recent attempt was a homemade pizza. Now this one was more of a trial run. I recently received a bread machine (Thanks Mom!) and have been experimenting with different doughs and breads.

Last night we made whole wheat dough, then we made yummy pizza! We used a different type of sauce. Instead of pizza sauce we used a combination of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Italian seasoning, and garlic! We then topped it with everyone's favorites including, red onions, green bell peppers, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, and cheese!!!!

We put the toppings on, then covered it with cheese. This did a fabulous job hiding all the extra "goodies" we put on that the kids normally would not eat! :)

Then the kids decided our pizza needed a face! :) Turned out nicely using peppers for the mouth, onions for the eyes, and of course mushrooms for the ears! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

win free groceries for a year!

Ronzoni has a fun little sweepstakes called "It Pays To Eat Pasta”. If you enter, you will have the chance to win a mini-grocery shopping spree or even a year’s supply of groceries! The sweepstakes runs through October 31 and you can enter once per day. "It Pays To Eat Pasta”. If you enter, you will have the chance to win a mini-grocery shopping spree or even a year’s supply of groceries! The sweepstakes runs through October 31 and you can enter once per day.

They have also released some great coupons:

$1/2 Ronzoni Smart Taste
$1/2 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest
.75/1 Ronzoni Garden Delight
.50/1 Quick Cook Pasta

How I made $5.92 at Safeway last week!

Above is the amazing amount of food I got at Safeway this week. Between coupons and sales I made .42 cents. However, I was also awarded a 2.00 catalina and a 3.50 catalina making my trip a $5.92 money maker!!

I do want to add, that I get all my amazing deals and scenerio's to get everything from This lady is from Colorado, and I have learned so much from her blog!!!! She is the reason I was able to save 101% on this trip! :)

Below is a picture of my receipt!


HOT Old Navy 30% Off Everything Today Only

Here's another HOT clothing deal that you can only take advantage of today. Get 30% off all Old Navy Purchases when you use the code ONFALL at checkout! Plus if you shop through Ebates you can get an additional 2% cashback.

Here's to get your additional 2% cashback:

* Register with Ebates or sign in.
* Search for Old Navy, and click on the link so you receive credit for shopping through Ebates.
* You'll receive a credit within 30 days for your 2% Ebates cashback. Plus if you're a new Ebates member, you'll receive a $5 sign-up bonus!
* Use code ONFALL at checkout to take an additional off any purchase.

This code is only valid through 11:59 p.m. EST tonight (8/19), so don't wait!

I was pretty excited about this, because Jeff has been wanting some nice school pants off of here. He wanted to order these a few days ago, but of course I said wait a few weeks and if no sales come then we can. It was have cost 90.00, plus shipping = 7.00 plus tax so basically 100 dollars.
Today they were on sale for 25 each, plus the 30% off and free shipping since we spent over 75 originally. After joining ebates and getting 2% cash back I will have only spent about 47 dollars!!! LOVE deals!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Eating Healthier!

So, I'm on a new mission to not only eat healthier, but have my kids eat healthier! The biggest thing I want to start doing is making my own bread! I know what is going in it, and it is healthier for my family. For me this will be a challenge. I'm not much of a "spend time in the kitchen" sort of person. So, for Christmas I am asking for a bread machine from my hubby, UNLESS we save enough to pay cash for it before then!
Some other things I want to start doing once a month is making oatmeal packets! I found an awesome recipe HERE, so I am going to work on writing different variations that are healthy and yummy! I will post the one's I settle on when I finish these. I want to become more creative with breakfasts and get away from eating the sugary boxed cereals we've been having!
If you have any other good idea's for eating healthier and keeping it frugal please post them! :) Thanks!

Friday, August 6, 2010

YAY!!!! Love cereal sales! :)

So we have ran out of cereal!!!! Shocker right! Well, I've been watching the Safeway ads and just buying cheap cereal to get by! However, this week at Safeway I scored on some awesome Kelloggs cereal!
In total I got:
16 Boxes of Cereal
4 Boxes of poptarts (12 pack)
5 packages of Cheese

I got all this for $15.00!!!!!!! I was so excited! We are now stocked for a good month, so hopefully the next few weeks are packed with offers! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Monday Menu Plan

Monday: August 1
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Sandwich's
Supper: Fajitas

Tuesday: August 2
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Chicken Wraps
Supper: Freezer Meal (Meatballs)

Wednesday: August 3
Breakfast: Oatmeal/blueberries
Lunch: Sandwiches
Supper: Chicken Alfredo

Thursday: August 4
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Mac and cheese for kiddo's and Chicken wraps for adults :)
Supper: Leftovers

Friday: August 5
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Sandwiches
Supper: Tatortot Casserole

Saturday: August 6
Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Taco's
Supper: Popcorn/Apples/Cheese *One of Jeff's favorite:)

Sunday: August 7
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Leftovers
Supper: Freezer Meal (Laura's Soup!)

We'll see how this week works out! I chose very easy lunches, because this week I am a full time working mom!!! That's right, I'll be working all week, so I had to choose easy lunches for the husband to make! :) We followed last weeks plan very well, we did deviate today for lunch, but other then that we did very well! :)