Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My first giveawy coming soon!

YAY I am so happy to announce my FIRST ever giveway coming soon!!!

Chili's contacted me and I am able to give away a $20 gift card.. PERFECT stocking stuffer!

Stay tuned..  I'll be doing a review for them soon and holding the giveaway.

Happy Tuesday all..


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Fieldtrip

Importance of Early Childhood education

Recently I was contacted by Emily Patterson, she asked me to review this article and post it on my blog if I agree.  Although I agree with us mothers raising our own children, I believe that pre-school age children benefit from a pre-school type setting.  They are expected to know so much going into Kindergarten these days and I also believe it helps them be able to socialize and follow basic rules of school.  Thank you Emily for this article.

Early Childhood Education – Certified Early Childhood Education Fills the Gaps

If you have the ability to stay at home with your children, you truly are among very fortunate. With thirty years of economic policies that have decimated the middle class, the majority of American households today require two incomes, meaning that young children must usually be relegated to child care facilities or preschools.

Those who are fortunate enough to stay at home to raise their children naturally wish to take full advantage of this opportunity by attempting to give their children a head start on learning; reading to them, engaging in educational play activities, and socializing them so they're ready for schooling. Unfortunately, very few parents can do it all.

This is where young children can greatly benefit from attendance a certified preschool, operated by trained, certified early childhood educators. The experience of learning in a school setting during the early years can be a valuable supplement to a child's experience at a time when the brain is being shaped and developed.


While the parent-child relationship and daily interactions are of course help to develop a child, scientific methodology has an important place as well. This is where trained, certified early childhood educators can "fill the gaps" when it comes to a young child's development. For example, were you as a parent aware that there are five equally important areas of a young child's development? These are summed up by the acronym, "SPICE" – Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Emotional.

Social development relates to the way a child interacts with others and functions in a group setting.  While it is clearly important for those coming from a home where they are an only child, it is still important for those with siblings. The importance of socialization in a structured environment becomes apparent during this early age.

Physical development refers to building motor skills, from the gross movements (such as walking and running) to the fine (including holding a writing utensil).

Intellectual development is achieved through structured play, and of course means development of language and math skills as well as the child's innate sense of curiosity and wonder; Intellectual development is central to success in school later on.

Creativity is the foundation of self-expression and problem solving. This development addresses artistic talents in visual arts, music, storytelling and even theatrics.

Emotional development is at the center of a child getting a sense of self, including self confidence and the discipline to deal with one's own emotional responses.  Of course leading as well to the functioning in society later in life.

The Professional Advantage

It is likely that most parents are aware of these developmental domains on an instinctive level. However, certified preschool educators are trained in the scientific theory and methodology that can make the difference between a child succeeding – and succeeding brilliantly.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas
Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Austin child care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose educational child care schools.  Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

My goal is no leftovers Mon-Wed!

Monday: Pasta Carbonara (Hubby asked me to make this for his potluck tomorrow so I'm going to make it for dinner as well)

Tuesday: Sandwiches, soup (I am going on a field trip with K all day so dinner is easy peasy tonight)

Wednesday: Clam Chowder


Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Turkey pot pie ( may make this Saturday and have leftovers Sunday)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

Thanksgiving is a time of thankfulness, and family and FOOD... :)  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year.  Today I was thinking about memories I have had as a kid.  I have a couple favorite memories:

1. it was always my job to cut and take the seeds out of the grapes (for this apple salad my mom always made AKA Waldorf salad).

2. Once year we some how got a projector (yeah remember those) and got Mary Poppins on film and watched that.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving Memories?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

My recipe is Featured

I am honored to announce that I received my very first blog feature today!  Head over to Chic Style Modern to see it, it is my new favorite recipe, Orange Potatoes.

Free Family Fun--become a tourist

The weekend is here, if you are like me you are beginning to wonder what you are going to do to entertain the kiddos this weekend, but you don't want to spend money since the holiday's are coming up and you need to buy gifts, extra food, even plane tickets or gas for travel if you are one of the lucky ones that gets to visit family in another state or country this holiday season.

I suggest you do what we are doing this weekend.  Become a tourist in your own town.  Go to your town (or the nearest town to you if you are a country bumpkin :) ) tourist website and explore.  Take a walking tour of old homes, free museums no matter how small, go downtown and walk along and look at all of the shops, visit a military museum in honor of Veteran's day this week.  There are many things to do that you may not have done or haven't done in a long time.

We, however, are lucky enough to live in a state that is rich in history and history is one of my favorite subjects :)

Enjoy your weekend... and if you do decide to become a tourist in your own town let me know how it goes :)  I'll post pics next week.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Harris Teeter super double and Bloom BOGO shopping trips

I had a couple pretty successful shopping trips:

Harris Teeter:
You can't see all of my veggies, they were 10/$10 I got 10 and one was free (I had a $.50 coupon)
The Juniper Berries (we have been searching for them for weeks) were $6.49 OUCH!
The coffee ended up being $3.75 after my $1 coupon (doubled to $2)
Coffee Mate-FREE
4 glade holiday candles-FREE
 2 Kotex liners-FREE
4 cream of mushroom soup 4/$3 (had a $1.50/3 coupon)-FREE
Goldfish-$.89 ($1.99 before $.55 coupon doubled to $1.10)
2 Carbona Carpet cleaner-before coupon $8.50 for both, I have 2 $1.50 coupons for $6.00 in coupons=$2.50 for 2 or $1.25 each!!!

Total OOP: $27.58

Total coupon savings: $41.97!!!!
total VIC savings: $18.72


Bloom had BOGO on some things I needed!
Swanson Chicken broth can-4/$2.16 or $.54 each
Arm&Hammer laundry detergent for HE machine (50 oz)-4/$10.96 (2/5.48) or $2.74 each
Borden cheese singles-2/$4 plus FREE dozen large eggs!
Grapes $.99 pd
Pinapple chunks-$.69 ea

Total OOP: $21.73
total savings: $20.42

How did you do today?

Thanks to The Coupon Challenge for the match ups!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

frugal and toxic free

Recently I have been looking for ways to save more money.  Not that we spend a lot now, I just would like to save more money. If I can make something that does just as good of a job as something you buy in the store then when I buy it, I feel like I am wasting money.

Another upside to making your own cleaning products, they are chemical free and non-toxic to your family and the environment.

I have decided to make my own Laundry detergent, Dishwashing soap and rinse aid and I am trying out a spray air freshener.  Not that we need an air freshener, but from time to time, say when we cook fish or something like that, there is an odor.

I have been using water/vinegar solution for years to clean mirrors and windows.

Do you make your own cleaning products?
What are your favorites?

What else do you do to live frugally and environmentally savvy?


Monday, November 1, 2010

7 nights of dinner done! Freezer cooking pics and recipes

Whew I just finished making my freezer meals.  It took me almost 2 hours, including kitchen clean up.

Here is what I made:
Chicken and Chive Dumplings
This made 3 nights worth of meals for my family.  I stored it in smaller batches.

Recipe Here

I omitted the celery and carrots, my family does not like cooked celery and carrots.  I'll make a veggie to go along side or a salad when we have (we may have tonight)

Meal 2:
Spanish Chicken and Rice

I only made 1/2 the recipe, this will feed my family 2 nights at least.

Recipe Here

I used a little extra liquid (chicken stock) so it won't dry out when I re-heat it.  I'll make a veggie or salad to go with this or maybe some home made bread.

Meal 3:
Shepherds Pie

I made one batch of this as well.  It will feed my family 2 nights.  You can put whatever veggies in this you want.  I chose broccoli because it's very hard to get my 10 year old to eat broccoli when it's mixed in stuff it's easier to get her to eat it..

5 idaho potatoes
2 tbsp of butter/ margarine
1/2-1 cup of warm milk
1 pd ground meat (I used turkey)
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp ground ginger, paprika, chili powder, or cumin (you get the picture a combo of them or just one or two, taco seasoning may be good as well)
1/2 onion
frozen veggies of your choice
salt and pepper
olive oil

Prepare mashed potatoes the way you normally do using the potatoes, butter, milk, salt and pepper.
brown the meat, in a skillet with some Olive Oil, when its brown add the flower and seasoning and salt and pepper mix together, cook about 30 seconds.  Add water, cook until thickened.
Transfer meat into a dish
In the same pan you cooked the meat, add more olive oil and cook onions until caramalized, add the frozen veggies.. cook until the veggies begin to cook.  Pour over meat.
Last add your mashed potatoes on  top and smooth out, cover with foil and freeze.

To heat, let thaw for about 30 min to an hour, pre heat oven to 350 and bake uncovered until the potatoes start to brown about 40 min if completely thawed longer if not.

My family has not yet tried any of these freezer meals.  I will let you know how we like them after we do.

If you have a favorite freezer meal please share.  I am always looking for new meal ideas.  I love freezer meals because it's pretty much all ready for you and clean up is easy and no preparation!  Also it stretches the dollar a bit more.

Have a great Week...


Been busy

WOW has it really been over a month since I've last blogged?!


Things have been so busy around here.

Where do I begin?

Well my hubby had a close friend pass away that was a crazy couple of weeks.
We have been getting ready for Halloween, school pictures, hostesing a party for a friend, getting new furniture, I've been running a lot, up until last week when I took it easy because of my knee, which still is bothering me :(

WELL... Halloween is over I hope everyone had a happy and safe day :)

Here are a few pics from our neck of the woods...

Why do you do this to me?
can I have 1 more? 
 No, I said ONLY 2 it's bedtime!