Thursday, April 30, 2009



So, they've reset some coupons at, already, and there are some GREAT cereal coupons!! We love cereal around here, but my goal is to NEVER pay over a dollar for a box of cereal. I know......sounds crazy, but, I usually always meet my goal!! Cereal is SO EXPENSIVE!! Here is what they're offering at, and if you match it up with the Safeway and/or Albertsons deals this week, you can get some cheeeeeeeap boxes of cereal!!

$1.00/1 Frosted Flakes
$1.00/1 Apple Jacks
$1.00/1 Mini-Wheats
$1.00/1 Raisin Bran
$1.00/1 Fruit Loops
$1.00/1 Rice Krispies
$1.00/1 Special K

REMEMBER, you can ALWAYS use a store coupon IN CONJUNCTION with a manufacturer's coupon!! ALWAYS!!

Here's the Albies Deal:
On the front cover they have a store coupon to get Corn flakes, Raisin Bran and/or Froot Loops for $1.49/each (Limit 2). Use this coupon in conjunction with 1 Raisin Bran Coupon and 1 Froot Loops coupon and you can get each box of cereal for 49 CENTS!!!! OR, you can print two of each coupon and get two of the same kinds for 49 CENTS!!

Safeway Deal:
Not quite as good, but stil great! Raisin Bran is on sale for $1.99. Use your $1.00 coupon to get yours for 99 CENTS!

You can print up to 2 of each coupon on (Sometimes, it'll let you print a few more!!)

Happy Cereal Shopping! :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

'Eating from the Pantry' Challenge--Update

We're halfway through the week and we're still making it!! I haven't stepped foot in a Grocery store and won't until next week! This is very new for me, because, like I said, I am a grocery-shop-once-a-week kind of gal. Plus, going to the grocery store has always been a fun outing for me and the kids, so it was a 2-for-1! We're getting low on a few staple items, ie, sour cream, cottage cheese (the kids love it!), cheese, and veggies, but other than that, we're doing fine! Since I have our meal plan for dinners, I know I have those ingredients, it's lunches that I've had to be creative with! We've had a lot of PB&J Sandwiches, baked potatoes, fruit and noodles. I did veer slightly from my meal plan last night, but ONLY because I was given some amazing Leeks from our neighbors garden. Have you cooked with Leeks before?? I haven't, but I found an amazing recipe for Potato/Leek Soup, so I thought I'd make it yesterday, instead of the Pounded Chicken Breasts, Oven Fries, and Corn. (We'll have that tonight!) It was really delicious soup, and SO EASY! If you're interested, here's the link to the recipe:

Not shopping this week has saved us $100 from our budget. For our family of 4, we have set our Grocery budget at $400/month, and/or $100/week. To some, that might be high and to others, that might be low! But, that includes EVERYTHING, ie: toiletries, dog/cat food, groceries, diapers, etc, etc. So, $400/month has been something to get used to, but we are DOING IT! In fact, not shopping this week, as I said, saved us $100 and I was already under budget, (only by a dollar, but, hey, under is under!!), so I have only spent $299 on groceries for the month of April!! WOOHOO! Which makes me realized that spending under $400/month is SO DOABLE. As soon as I get this down to a "T", I am hoping that we can gradually lower and lower our budget to get down to $50/week and/or $200/month!!! I'm POSITIVE it is doable!! It just may take some time!!

If you don't already have a budget set for groceries, I say, why not try it?? You have nothing to lose. It's probably one of the easiest ways to save money to use it in other ways!!!!

I am hoping to go over coupon-clipping next week and how I save HUNDREDS by doing that!

The coupons on will be reset on May 1st!



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

(Money-Saving) TIP TUESDAY

So, I am no expert in the money-saving department, but I love learning how to save money and coming up with ideas of my own. I thought I'd start a Money-Saving 'TIP TUESDAY'. Every Tuesday I'll post a money-saving tip that has been important and useful to me and my family.  Whether big or small, every little bit helps!!  PLEASE feel free to leave your comments and your money-saving tips, and I'll be sure to post them on Tuesdays to follow!


Write a list before you go shopping - and stick to it. One should never go into a store without a strong idea of what one will be buying while in there. Make a careful plan of what you’ll buy before you go, then stick strictly to that list when you go to the store. Don’t put anything in the cart that’s not on the list, no matter how tempting, and you’ll come out of the store saving a bundle.   ----This tip came to us from

Smoothie Moustaches

I decided it would be fun to make smoothies this morning to have with breakfast. I had some leftover blueberries and raspberries thawed in the fridge from yesterday's jam-making, so we decided to do it! The kids loved to help! This is what we put in it:

Half a Banana
Homemade Applesauce
Ice Cubes
A touch of Milk
Wheat Germ
Protein Powder

They were mesmerized once I turned it on!!p1010287

And the most HILARIOUS thing, is that they decided to make 'Smoothie Moustaches' all by themselves! As we sat down for breakfast, they were trying as hard as they could to get as much smoothie on their upper lip as possible!! Here's what that looked like:p1010292p1010297
And, Luke just kept saying, "Mmmmmm, Mommy, DEEEEEEELICIOUS!!" And, I do believe he just may resemble the joker in this picture??!!p1010291

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Rhubarb kind of Day!

We have an AMAZING amount of Rhubarb in the yard!! So much, so, that I am out there at least 3 times a day picking it. I either chop it up and freeze it, or I've been making sauces, desserts, breads, etc. Today I decided to try to new recipes. One for Rhubarb Muffins HERE, p1010280
and one for Rhubarb Berry jam HERE p1010281
I made a couple changes to the jam: I didn't have any blueberry pie filling, so I just used frozen blueberries and frozen raspberries. I added about a half a cup more sugar, and I only had peach gelatin on hand, so I used that instead. SCRUMPTIOUS!!!! I am about to make another batch RIGHT NOW!!!

Meal Plan for the Week

I checked out the cupboards, freezers, pantry, etc, and this is what I came up with for my Meal Plan this week:

Monday: Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes and Fried Zuchinni
Tuesday: Pounded Chicken Breasts, Oven Fries and Corn
Wednesday: Italian Chicken over Spaghetti, Green Salad, French Bread
Thursday: Homemade Chilli, homemade Corn Muffins (I already have them made and in the freezer)
Friday: Enchiladas, Tater tots and Fruit Salad

This morning for breakfast we had: Homemade yogurt, Homemade Raspberry Muffins (that I had in the freezer), and bananas! I'm not sure if our fruit will last all week for Fruit Salad on Friday!! I'll have to ration it! :-) I'm off to get lunch ready for Ava before school. Leftovers it is!! :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eating-from-the-Pantry Challenge!


I got this great idea from a blog I read at

I am a "grocery-shop-once-a-week-gal." My husband and I came up with a budget (which I'll get into in another post) and I get together all my coupons and I usually go sometime in the middle of the week to do my once weekly grocery shopping. Well, Mark and I decided it would be fun to challenge ourselves and NOT go shopping at all this week and EAT WHAT WE HAVE. What a concept, huh???

If you look in your refrigerator, in your pantry, in your cupboards and in your freezer, I'm SURE there is enough food to get you thru a week??? (I guess that's all dependent upon the last time you went shopping, of course!!) But, if you're like me, and you stockpile, then you HAVE ENOUGH! What a great way to save some money this week, huh??

Another great thing that has literally saved me, is, MEAL-PLANNING. On Sundays, I check out and see what I have on hand, and what meals I can possibly make. I then see what is on sale at the grocery stores from the Tuesday Ad, (and what items I have coupons for!) and make my grocery list up that way. But, since I won't be doing any grocery shopping this week, I just have to go with what I have! Tomorrow I'll be posting my Meal Plan for the week, if you're interested, and I'll let you know how the "Eating-from-the-Pantry" Challenge is going for us throughout the week!

Soooooooo.....who's with me? I'd love to hear your comments!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Mama, Mama!!! Pee-Pee Potty!"

Those were the words I heard my barely 2 year-old son, Luke, shouting to me from the other room. At first thought, I was sure he was in the family room and had somehow "gone" all over the floor. I was bracing for what I might see. As I made my way from the kitchen to the family room and looked around, I realized I didn't see him.....just Ava playing with her kitchen. "Lukie!!", I yelled, "Where are you??" I hear, "Mama, right here." I turn back around and go into the bathroom and this is what I see:

Oh, how cute is that?! I have no idea how he got up on the toilet all by himself, or how he was able to pull his pants down. (We're still working on that!!) But, he did!!! Here's a sweet little boy, who just turned two, who is so eager to go potty!! Now, don't get too pee-pee came out......but just the fact that he knew he had to go, he told me, and got on the potty by himself. What a big boy!!

I'm eager to see how long this will's hoping and praying!!! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Who Loves Yogurt??

If you do, have you ever considered making your own???

A few years ago, I acquired my mom's "vintage" Salton Yogurt Maker, and I say it with all sincerity, that this maker has been a blessing! I started making my own yogurt when our first child was born and she was able to eat solids and/or dairy. She LOVED it and I felt so good feeding it to her, because I knew I had made it myself and it was 100% natural and great. Now, I have to say, just eating the plain yogurt, without flavoring and/or a touch of sugar can be a bit lip-puckering, but for the little babes, they loved it! Now that they're older, and they are a little pickier, I usually add some fruit, jam, syrup or a touch of brown sugar. But it so great to know EXACTLY what is in the food I am giving my children!

Making the actual yogurt is easy. (I'm sure there are plenty of other types of yogurt makers out there, so you can do the research as to which one you might like. I've also found yogurt makers at thrift stores, too!) Each maker will probably be slightly different as to how it is made, but here's how I do it:

I take 4 cups of Milk (any kind will do) and heat it on the stove until it boils. I cool it for about a half an hour. After it cools is when you add the Yogurt Starter. You can get starter at most grocery stores and/or Nutrtiton Stores.


What's so cool, though, is once you've made yogurt, you never have to buy yogurt starter again! If you save a heaping tablespoon of your previously made yogurt, that can be your starter for the next batch! Pretty cool, huh? So, once you add the starter, you stir it until it's very well combined. Then you add that mixture to your glass jars and put the covers on tightly. Ten hours later, you will have yummy, heathly, home-made yogurt! In my experience, I have found that this yogurt keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

The cost of electricity for this endeavor will only set you back about 1 cent!!

Store bought yogurt is yummy, and from time-to-time we still buy it, but it can be costly, and have added "stuff" in it. Having a daughter with a neurological speech delay, we have tried our very best to take out all the artificial "stuff", and this is just one way we can accommodate that! Plus, our wallets like it, too!!

Have you made your own yogurt? I'd love to hear about your yogurt-making endeavors......

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gevalia Coffee Offer

Ok, so I've done this offer and I can vouch that it REALLY is true!!! For a limited time, Gevalia is still offering the deal of the Century: Choose 3 boxes of their GOURMENT coffee for $1 each! That's only THREE DOLLARS for 3 boxes of coffee!! PLUS, you get a free stainless steel coffee mug (that is quite nice, I might add!), and FREE SHIPPING! So, what comes out of your pocket??? A mere $3.oo!!

Now, listen, you do get automatically put on their re-order list, but as soon as you get your order of coffee, call 1-800-GEVALIA and tell them you want to cancel. I did it, and it is PAINLESS!


Enjoy your coffee!!

Day-of-the-Week Bins.....they LOVE them! (so far.......)

Since I finished all the bins yesterday, I thought I might as well start using them today, instead of waiting until next week.  Today's bin was filled with sorting cups/bears, Thomas the Tank Engine number cards, and two boxes of neat sensory "flash"-type cards.  They LOVED it!  I've had these toys and cards put away for awhile, so it was like Christmas to them!  I realized, just in one day doing this, that this isn't going to be their "quiet time", that's for sure!!!  :-)  With two of them, there are some sharing "issues", but overall, it went very smoothly.  I also realized what a great opportunity this is for me to sit there with them and play and teach them.  I was going to use this time to maybe get a few chores done, while I supervise them, but as I sat with them during this time today, they were so engaged and so eager to learn, count, and play with Mommy!!  It was a really neat time together for all of us!![gallery columns="2"]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just Say rice.

I thought I would be smart and creative and turn the kids' water table into a sensory table----using rice.  We bought the huge bag of rice at Costco, we strategically placed the table in an area of all wood floors for "easy" clean-up, and went to town finding tools, scoops and accessories to aid in the fun!  Contrary to what the schedule shows below, they definitely have "free time" to play, and they ALWAYS go for the rice table!!  At first, all was well.....sure, rice got onto the floor.....and other places, but they were having so much fun with it, that I just conceded to the fact that I would just have to sweep it up in the evenings and dump it back in.  Easy as that, right???



Rice is EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME!!!!  I find myself sweeping it up 10-15 times a day!!  Oh, the madness!!  I am also finding it in the most unusual places!!!  In my closet, in my shoes, in my bed, down the kids' their diapers!!!  I don't think I can go on with a "ricey" house, anymore.  It's time to let go and dump it.

So, the moral of the story is:  If you're ever planning on having a sensory table inside.....well.........put it outside!!!!!  :-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day-of-the-Week Bins/Daily Routine

[gallery columns="2"]

I have been inspired!!  I have a pretty strict schedule that we follow at home everyday, and I decided I needed to add even more structure by incorporating Day-of-the-Week Bins!!  These bins will be used in the morning from 10:00-10:30, for Ava and Lukie's "Quiet Time."  I have pictured a few of the bins, and I will probably change them out from time to time, to give them variety, but basically, each bin is different, and gives them a different activity everyday.  For instance, there is a bin full of paper, pens, stickers and scissors; another with beans and sorting tools; and another with BUGS and all the parts to the bugs so they can use their imaginations!!  It is also a learning tool to help them learn the days of the week and to pick out the appropriate bin.  I'm going to incorporate this into their schedules next week and I'll let you know how it goes!  Ava was helping me put them together today and was sooooooooo excited about them!!!

If you're curious, here's how our daily schedule goes.  We, by no means, follow it to a "T" everyday.....I wish we could!!!  And, everyday brings something new, whether it be an errand to run, Speech Therapy for Ava, appointments, etc, but this is just our basic daily routine.  So, don't think this is followed to the's not!!!  It's just great to have a schedule to follow so the kids know what is coming up and I know what is coming up.  There is no guess work.  Kids thrive on a schedule/routine, and my kids certainly love knowing what's coming up next!!

6:30-7:00ish--Wake Up

7:00-8:30--Watch Sesame Street/Curious George


9:00-9:30--Ava and Luke do the chores on their "Chore Chart"  and I Clean-up from Breakfast

9:30-10:00--Baths/Get Dressed

10:00-10:30--Day-of-the-Week Bins

10:30-11:00--Watch "Word World" and have a snack.

11:00--Ava eats Lunch

11:25--Ava catches the bus

11:30-12:00--Mommy and Lukie Play

12:00-12:30--Mommy and Lukie Lunch

12:30-1:00--Mommy and Lukie Storytime

1:00--Luke down for a nap

2:25-2:45--Ava home from School/Snack

2:45-3:45--Ava "Rest" and downtime in her room

4:00--Everyone is up and it's together time!  Ie:

--Play outside, Paint on the easel, Playdough, Baking, projects, computer time,etc.

4:45--Daddy is home!!  Time to get dinner started while Daddy plays with the kids.

The evenings are pretty much the same.....we eat around 5:30 0r 6:00 and after dinner they finish any sort of chore on their chart that was not done in the morning.  Then, we usually have "family time" together, doing, whatever!!  About 6:30 we head upstairs for Jammies and room clean-up,  and at 7:00 it's snack time!  They are allowed a half hour of watching their favorite PBS Sprout shows:  Caillou and Kipper, while having a snack.  At 7:30 we all march upstairs to brush our teeth, have a story, say our prayers and then it's hugs and kisses goodnight!!!

Weekend to Remember--Wrap Up

What an awesome weekend it was with my hubby!!  We were both a bit under the weather, but were dedicated to getting the most we possibly could out of our 'Weekend To Remember.'  And, we did.  I would urge any married couple to attend one of these Family Life will benefit you both greatly!!!!!!  Mark and I really came closer together, it was such a bonding and emotional time together.  Probably more emotional on my part, due to all those pregnancy hormones, but it was really wonderful, so informative, and SO WORTH IT!!  Again, I urge you all to check it out!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Off for a 'Weekend to Remember' with my Hubby!

[caption id="attachment_14" align="aligncenter" width="740" caption="Family Life Presents: Weekend to Remember"]Family Life Presents:  Weekend to Remember[/caption]

If you're interested, go to

A Newbie, yes I am.

New to the blogging world, that is.

I spend so much time following others' blogs, that I got inspired to start my own!

I would not say I'm the best writer in the world, but I love to 'put my thoughts down on paper', so to speak, and this forum really allows me to do that.

I am also very much inspired to have this blog be about.......well, what my tagline says:


To start off, I am a wife, of almost 7 years, to my gorgeous and wonderful husband, Mark.   I am also a SAHM to two, (almost 3!!) children!  Ava, who is 3, Luke, who just turned 2, and baby girl who is due on August 9th, 2009.   My family is living and surviving, make that, THRIVING, on one income in a two income world.   The meaning of 'thriving', I'm sure, differs for us all, but God has been so good and so faithful to us.  He has enabled me to resign from a Management position in the "corporate world" a few years ago, to be home with my two young children.  In the past few years I have grown so much, in so many ways......I am here on this blogging journey to connect with others, learn from others, grow with others, and to share what I know, what I've learned and how I'm growing:   Motherhood and staying home with your children, meal planning, organizing, cooking, baking, coupon-clipping, frugal living, raising a child with a disability, etc.

I STRIVE to live life as FULLY as possible.

I LOVE living as FRUGALLY as I can.

And with FAITH, all things are possible.

It's great to be here.