Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grocery Time Again

** Update I did it! I spent $102***

Last week it was grocery intervention time. I am sorry to say I did not make it to Costco this week. My week has been crazy and it didn't happen.

Tomorrow I am back to Kroger. They have a big sale. I've matched my coupons and made my list. I wanted to share these great sites:

My goal is $110. Let's see how good I do this week.

I have to share something funny. The last 2 weeks I've purchased Halloween candy ahead of time. Problem is we have consumed 4 bags in 2 weeks. I just can't stay away from mini twix, m&m's, milkyway.

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Early Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

Starting my Christmas shopping early and planning very carefully.
This Christmas season we've really got a tight budget to stick to.

The problem is friends and family. My husband has a large family so that means lots of gifts. That is what adds up fast.

I love personalized gifts. I've already knocked 4 people off my list with spending less than $20. Vista Print has free items where you only pay shipping. I got some custom hats, bags, stationary, calendars and pens.

This is great for parents, in-law or cousins.
We got these cards printed last year for free!

The key to saving with Vista Print is using the slow shipping option. If you order in advance shipping time doesn't matter. The slow option is 21 days. That gets your items here way before Christmas.

They've got some special click thru offers so check it out and see how litte you can spend! Save 25-50% off on custom printed products at VistaPrint. Order today!

P.S. Family members if you are reading... it's the thought that counts not how much you spend, right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Menu Monday & Photos!

First let's start with my Menu then I will share with you the best tortillas on the planet.... really!!

Monday: Meal on the Go- at the request of 3 children we will now have grilled cheese sandwiches and tator tors with surprise dessert until further notice. Here is the photo of their meal on the go.

I have to smile, this eating in the car stuff just has them thrilled. They are so cute holding their little containers and so excited to have a fun meal. Tuesday: Chicken Tenders and Pasta Salad
Wednesday: Fried Fish and French Fries (We didn't get to it last week I got a craving for Homemade Nacho's.)
Thursday: Spaghetti and Meatballs (We also missed this meal last week, I got a craving for Taco's after the Nacho's)
Friday: Little Cesar's $5 Pizza

Last week I had some serious cravings. No I am not pregnant.... yet.
I also got a craving for some chocolate cupcakes..... yum!

I recruited some little helpers.

OK, now here is the moment you've waited for. The world's best tortilla's!!!! I buy these at Wallyworld (Wal-mart).
They come uncooked.
Just put them in a pan and cook. They are so delicious. They taste just like the best mexican restaurants, best part is you can make them at home!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Grocery Trip... a small success

I did it I followed my list and spent $107.70 at Wal-mart for my weekly grocery trip. This is a huge improvement from my $175 from last year at this time. Remember I do have a family of 5 to feed.

I want to thank you all for the wonderful tips on my last post. I am going to really look closely at what I buy and take a trip to Costco to price out some items.

Keep the tips coming!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grocery Intervention

I am keeping it real again..... yes I need a grocery intervention.

I do not claim to be the best frugal grocery shopper, I do my best. Sometimes coupons.... sometimes great deals. It seems more often than not I spend about $150. Well things have to change...

Remember I told you my husband started his own business. So as a new business owner we have a lot of expenses and I have to keep the budget down at home for a while.

This week I am going to Wally-World. Seriously we have the nicest one and it's way better than Kroger. I plan to spend $110. Yes, I know I could do better. Anyone want to come over to my house and do my list and coupon match? It's hard with 3 kids and a hectic schedule.... yes excuses.

  • I make my meal list on the calender. I grocery shop on Friday mornings and meal plan Friday - Thursday.
  • I don't necessarily buy what is on sale I buy what I think sounds good for meals. (In order to stay away from the eating out temptation I have to make foods we crave)
  • Pull out the grocery store ad's and circle items on my list. Almost always find Diet Coke on sale somewhere.
  • My mom gives me all the coupons in her Sunday paper so I go through those for my regular items.
  • I go to and look for online coupons.
  • I check she's got great store match ups and links to coupons.
  • Head to the store armed with snacks for Madeline. I try to get in and out withing 45 minutes otherwise I spend more money.

I've got friends who do the grocery game. I would love to try but I can make 100 excuses... you don't want to hear them.

I would love to hear any of your tricks and tips. I used to love grocery days now it's like laundry I dread it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Little Bit About Me

I read this on Heather's blog and thought I would join along. I also enjoy reading about other bloggers.

So here I go:
1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?
Chips and Salsa or chocolate rasinettes.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
My husband and kids. After that .... diet coke.

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
Beach with a mountain view... thinking Costa Rica at the Four Seasons Resort with my own chef and maid.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
Laundry hands down. I redid the laundry room and still have piles waiting.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
Natalie Portman... not sure why.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
Staying at home with the fam with some pizza and a movie.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
I am embarrassed to say I sleep in my make-up most of the time. I am too tired to take it off. Guess that is why I have fine lines and wrinkles.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it
I would love to be a meteorologist... or a storm chaser.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Humm, that is hard. Maybe complaining?

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
His good looks and he was so smart making A's in our college classes.

12. What is something you love to smell?
Cake smelling candles.... I imagine I am eating a big fat piece of wedding cake.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
I am bad about returning phone calls. I don't answer my phone in the evenings and unplug it on Sunday nights.

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Want to buy something for the house. My new thing is a wooden swing set for the kids.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
Both. I get laughing very hard at Will he does some crazy things or when my husband tickles me. It annoys me but makes me laugh.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Target my one stop shop!

17. What's one things you'd do more often if you had more time?
Go on dates with my husband. I enjoy our quiet dinners without the kids.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
Easy, frugal. I used to be a big spender. I dream of being a big spender at Nordstroms showing off my expensive jeans, cute top and fabulous designer shoes. Then I wake up in my wal-mart shirt.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time? (from a movie or a book, can't be real)
Oh no.... Sharon from Young and the Restless.

20. Would you want to be famous?
No, I enjoy the simple life. I think with money, fame and power you loose the end sight... the riches of heaven.

I would love to read more about you! Your turn!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spray Paint Magic

Look at this beauty...

My friend Misti was selling it at her garage sale. I took it off her hands for a transformation.

Come along the journey from 80's southwest to antiqued and up to date. First I applied a primer over the whole thing. This is a good time to paint the frame too.
I painted it with a my favorite American Traditions cream color.
Next step I taped off the glass which is now a chalkboard surface from the frame.
Yes I had a little spot to touch up.
To finish it up I took some stain and rubbed the edges for an antiqued took. Misti has her kitchen cabinets glazed like the frame.

Viola... now she's got a great chalkboard! From Trash to Treasure... I've always wanted to say that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Monday

My life is beginning to settle down .... so our the meals in our home. I make about 3 meals during the week. Dance days we are doing fast to go meals. Last week I was bad and did drive thru meals.

Monday: Meals to Go - Sandwiches and Chips on the way to dance

Tuesday: Meals to G0- Another day on the go to dance.

Wednesday: Fried Fish and Tator Tots

Thursday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with a side of garlic bread

Friday: School Carnival eating out, probably pizza and nachos!

So what do we eat on the weekends?

Saturday night we usually go out to eat or grill out.

Sundays we have family night. This is my biggest meal of the week. I like to try new recipes on Sundays. We sit at the dining room table and get out the fine china. We even use china if we have burgers. It's a great family tradition!

Some of our favorite Sunday meals:
Chicken Parmagaina
Grilled Steak or Chicken

Do you have a special meal your family enjoys?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Garage Sale Finds

I am so excited about my new blog look! Thank you to my sweet IRL friend Alicia!!

I was back at garage sales this weekend. I found this ah-mazing frame for $3. Here it is at home with one of my favorite photos.
Here is a closer look. Can you see the $35 original price?
This is my $13 shopping trip.

I found this transformer costume for Will for $5 and this wonderful iron wall thingy.

Can't wait to reveal next week my transformation.

Saturday I headed out again. I got this stuff for $1.35. 2 toys for the kids and a 10 cent frame. It will meet my ORB spray paint later today.
Oh how I love garage sale finds!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going Spray Paint Crazy

Maybe I'm a little high off the fumes but I love to spray paint!

It's been a while since I did a spray paint post. To be honest I've been so swamped I haven't done any home projects.

I can't wait to show my latest project. I did my own version of trash to treasure with an item a friend was selling at a garage sale. I am giving it back to her transformed into something useful.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stir Crazy at Home!

I have got some awesome friends! As a co-room rep for Will's kindergarten class we have the responsibility of coming up with gift baskets for the big fall festival.

Today my friend Jenny dropped off some incredible bows and tutus! Seriously if you want a great custom bow check her out Bella Bowz. She's done several giveaways on my blog. Thanks Jenny!!

My blogger turned in real life friend Dina, hooked me up with a Golightly's Tea Room gift certificate. Thank you Dina! If you live in the DFW area this is one cool shop.

Here is a photo of the gift basket I made for the live auction. I had over $140 worth of goodies donated!!!
With the kids at home sick I've had lots of time to reflect and be well... bored. Talk about being stir crazy that is me all the way!

Madeline brought me her swim suit and said she wanted to "swim" too bad it's 61 degrees outside.

Will has been fever free all day, yeah!! I will keep him home from school today just to let his little body heal. He seriously deserves a big treat for being such a good boy and staying in his room to limit the exposure. He is the best little boy, love him so much!

Funny this is the mask they made at school on Thursday. Kinda expressed what we've been doing this weekend.

One more thing... I've found an ah-mazing home decor blog. Lot's of new ideas and projects coming soon... you've got to check out this blog. This girl lives in the DFW area she's got to come to the next blog party I would love to hear her ideas. Did you know she spray painted her Formica counter tops??

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

It hit us!!

*Update Monday* Will is still running a low grade fever. Antibiotics will not help it unless his secondary illness all the coughing turns into an infection. Just watching very closely. So far no one else is sick. Plan to keep him home until he is 100%. Don't want him to pick up something else when his little body is so run down. He is enjoying his room lock down. He's got movies non stop and lots of juice and Popsicles.

I tried so desperately to keep my kids well. Just a few weeks in to flu season.... and it has struck our family. We even got the regular flu shot!

My little guy is the first to catch what we think is the flu. We've talk to the Dr and I've researched a ton online (big surprise). I am pretty certain he has the piggy flu or whatever you care to call it H1N1 or swine flu.

His symptoms: Fever going on day 3. The highest was 103 then lowest around 99.9. He goes up and down depending on when he needs more fever reducer. He also has a cough and stuffy nose.

The Dr's are now saying to NOT go to the ER or Dr's office to get tested unless you are in a high risk group (which he is not) or if you have severe symptoms (which he also doesn't have).

We plan to stay in house arrest this week. We've got Will quarantined to his room with the TV and DVD player. Yes, we have a humidifier in his room.

I am concerned Little Miss might get it. She has asthma so that would put her in the high risk group. Keeping the Dr posted but we didn't want to rush and put her on Tamiflu. Really it is only taking a day off the flu and I don't like to over medicate my children.

Please say a little prayer for my family.

Needless to say my posting this week will be sporadic if anything at all.

Texas has their own flu site check it out

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Is it Friday already?

A fun giveaway for a dreary Friday here in Texas.... My friend Noelle is hosting a giveaway for a free Jessie James CD. Noelle knows this very talented young lady. This girl is a rising star, wow can she sing! We saw her sing at the Jonas Brothers concert this summer. You've probably heard her big hit "Wanted". Go visit Noelle at GlamRBaby to enter a chance to win.
This week has absolutely flown by! Let me share some of my happenings...

The kids are out of school today and Monday. Kate is going to the state fair on Monday with my cousin. Love the FREE tickets from the school district. Saves me $15.

I painted this table and chair set for Miss Hayden's 2nd Birthday. I can't wait to see photos of her playing at her new table. My garage sale outing was a success considering only a few homes were participating because of the rain and cold weather. We took turns getting out of the car so the kids would stay warm. Mission accomplished I found 3 footy sleeper (love these) and a velour jogging suit for Madeline. All for $5!

Tomorrow I hit the grocery store. I've really planned it out I've got my coupons and list ready to go. Hope to save a ton! I will share....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Office Supplies vs. Clothing Sale

Yesterday I was finally sitting down to catch up on my blogs..... then I got a phone call from the office. They were out of toner so I tried to order toner online... that was a headache. The system kept giving me errors.

So I hit Office Depot, wow I didn't realize how expensive all the office supplies were. So $200 later I was out the door delivering supplies.

Seriously it depressed me spending that much on supplies for the office.

Especially after I got an email and saw my favorite store White House/ Black Market is having a huge sale!

I hate missing a great sale. Especially when I passed these amazing white jeans up this summer (they were $88) Now they are on sale for $29!!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Practice what you preach....

We've had some major changes in our life. My husband has started his own business. So with that said we are on a tight budget while we get things up and running.

I've been practicing grocery shopping for the last month. Comparing Wal-mart and Kroger. Kroger was the big winner. I spent $60 less on average at Kroger than Wal-mart. I also stuck to my list better.

So the rehearsing is over ... my meals are becoming less expensive, eating out is limited, new clothing for me is well... OUT for a while.

My favorite neighborhood garage sale is this weekend... shout out Misti! I will be armed and dangerous with my whopping $20. I plan to get some new winter clothes for little miss. I am on the hunt for a nice stylish jean jacket for me. Figure this fall and winter I will be the queen of layering.

The home improvement projects are on hold but it's all worth it. I am so proud of my husband! I would eat canned beans if I had to. Hey maybe I will loose some weight!

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Monday

My little guy is a big eater! Check out his pizza scraps. Seriously he can eat for 2!
Monday: Meals on the Go! We've got a tennis game then ballet.... busy times running around in the mini van.

Tuesday: Grilled Pannni's and Pasta Salad

Wednesday: Finally we might eat the Sadlers Brisket I bought weeks ago.... or you might see it on the menu next week.

Thursday: Hopefully I make the brisket so we have leftovers

Friday: Pizza night, loving $5 Little Cesar's Take Out!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Flu Season

This is the last time you will see us here for a while:
It seems everywhere I look I hear "Swine Flu" or just "Flu". I am a nut when it comes to germs. Really I am!

My mother in law is a nurse at Cook Children's. They've hit record numbers so early on in the flu season. Here are some tips to stay well.

  • Start eating yogurt with active cultures. The regular yoplait with the red lid is just as good as the Dan active. Most yogurts have active cultures.

  • Take multi vitamins every day. Store brands are fine.

  • Cut out some caffeinated drinks and drink more water. Flush your system and keep it hydrated.

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands. Use anti-bacteria sanitizer if you can't wash your hands.

  • Stay away from play places with lots of kids.

  • Most important get your regular flu shot.

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