Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What I Wore Wednesday:

I don't think I've ever done one of these posts but I bought a cute outfir the other day and I just wanted to share.

It caught my eye when I was shopping with my sister-in-law and her daughters but I didn't have time to try it on the way I wanted so I went back and got it later.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Chocolate Cherry Cookies!

I bought a pound of cherries at Aldi for around $2. I ate a few in my ice cream and failed at making a cherry milkshake, but there were still a lot left so I decided to make cookies!

I found a great recipe at Cooking Debauchery, based on a recipe from Alton Brown who I think is fabulous.


2 sticks  butter

2 1/4cups flur

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

6 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups milk and/or semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup sour cherries


1. Pit and slice the cherries. Pour vanilla over them and let stand for 1 hour.

2. In a small saucepan melt the butter over low heat.  Cook on lw until the butter turns a golden caramel color  Set aside to cool for a few minutes. (I missed the cooling step and think I almost caramelized my sugar!)

3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

4. Put the sugar in a bowl and add the butter. . Mix on medium until the sugar is thoroughly coated and beginning to melt. With the mixer still running add the egg, egg yolk and milk. Once thoroughly combined begin adding the flour mixture in several parts.

5. Stir in chips and cherries. Transfer dough to fridge for a least one hour.

6. Preheat oven to 375. Cook 6 on a tray for approx 12 minutes at a time.

These turned out yummy, but a little more cake-like in texture than I like my cookies to be. That didn't stop me from eating a handful of them. But I did make some to share!

I wonder what lucky person will receive this later in the week:

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Weekend Plans:

Friday: clean and organize fridge and freezer, organize downstairs drawers, clean out car, watch big bang theory, and shop at wer seal and old navy. kick myself all night long for not buying the discounted rewards card. eat a smore.

Saturday: pick up Angel Food, possibly stop by new organic food store, pick up husband and go car shopping, hunt for car title that has mysteriously dissappeared from our safe keeping spot, argue with husband about whose fault it is, hopefully find it, make budget for next month, less $25 last nights shopping spree

Sunday, wake up early and exercise, lunch with inlaws- in cute new outfit, picture post to come, work on blog posts for July's "meltdown", read The Fiery Cross (Outlander). clip coupons.

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Good Deal Day!

Today I spent a grand total of 1.96 on grocery items at 3 stores (no extra gas because I was on the way home from already scheduled errands (ie: a trip to the mall)).

I came home with:

2 colgate toothbrushes (giant eagle)
2 scotch tapes (cvs)
2 bbq sauces (shop n save)

Thats an average of: 33 cents an item!

What is your latest shopping success?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Busy, Busy!

You can tell that my life has gotten busier, now that the snow is melted, because although I have made it my goal to post every day I always mess up on the weekend!

Friday I was just busy with work and doing things around the house.

Yesterday we went car shopping to try and replace my outlander and went to Mike's grandfather's/aunt and uncle's house. We chilled on the porch drinking sweet tea out of mason jars! It was great. We found a few cars we wouldn't mind buying but nothing that we really wanted.

Today I had to work at the grocery store and ended up staying over an hour. I came home, called my father and wished him a happy father's day, ate a boston butt my husband cooked, did laundry, clipped a tiny amount of coupons out of the paper and laughed over the comics. I love the one that poked fun at Oprah, and the Family Circus was really cute too.

Before heading home I scored a good deal at Giant Eagle

Hamburger Helper is usually $2 each.
This week the sale is $1 each. If you buy 5 you get a coupon for $3 off any brand of beef, chicken or tuna.

I bought six and used two coupons for a total of $3 off.
6-3=$3 +$3 Meat coupon= essentially free!!

PS: Do you have any good dessert recipes that don't use the oven?

OH! And please don't forget to vote!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Get Beautiful, Give Back! Vote please!

I could really use your votes! I entered a makeover contest for a chance to win a trip and $$$ to a charity of my choice. You can vote 5x a day per email address. Please vote for me! Voting opens at NOON TODAY!

I know my pictures are not the best ones up. We had to retake them last minute because the first ones turned out too dark. The first ones I looked better in though.

But I also had to write a paragraph on what I would do to give back if money, time and talent were not an issue. I wrote that I would do anything and everything I could to help children in need. In need of anything, love, food, shelter, education, time, clothes. That being said, if I win I will choose a child related charity for the money to go to.

So if you like me, like children or  like feeling beautiful, please vote for me. You can go through the link below or up above where it says please vote for me. Vote as many times as you can and share it with every one you know.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Do you Pin?

Have you heard of pinterest?

It's a great site that lets you make virtual bulletin board stlye collections of your favorite things on the net.

I've divided my boards into a few categories.

My most populous boards are:

For the Home
Etsy  Wishlist

But I'm slowly building the other boards up.

You should check it out. Its a lot of fun, and slightly addicting.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Not again!

So on the way home from my successful coupoing trip yesterday my car overheated and had to be towed

It was close to 5:30 pm and I was ten minutes from my house when my service engine soon light came on. I thought that since I'd never had any problems and had no reason to suspect an immediate problem, thought I could make it the rest of the way home and could then get my husband to look under the hood.

Well, about three minutes later, I was passing my place of work and the gas pedal started making a metallic clicking noise whenever I pushed it. I decided to pull over into the parking lot.

To get to the parking lot, I had to make a left turn at an intersection. I am making the left turn and can no longer push the gas pedal. I see what looks like smoke. I pray "Please let me make it to the parking lot". It seems as if my car will stop dead in the intersection. The next thing I know I am in the parking lot. I think that God put my car there. I don't remember coasting in.

I called my husband and he called a mechanic shop that tows 24/7. The guy said  to put antifreeze in my car, start it and drive to the shop. We put antifreeze in and it poured out the bottom of my car. Eventually the tow truck came and we made it home a little after 8pm over 2.5 hours from when I pulled over.

Basically, a gasket blew and we can pay $1200 to "try to fix it" with no guarantee or $2400 for the motor to be replaced with a used motor that has more miles on it than my car or sell my car to a junk yard or we can wait.

We're going with "wait". A lot of my husband's friends and family that are mechanics have stepped up and are looking around for a better deal on a used motor for us.

Monday, 13 June 2011

It's Official! I'm addicted to CVS!

Shopping at CVS was so seamless and they were so friendly and eager to point out good deals that I now want to go back every week.

Transaction 1:

John Frieda Styling products Retail Value: 13.44
Sale Price= $2/10
-$5/1 q
=$3.18 OOP + $3 ECB

Transaction 2:

Hydro Razor Retail Value: 9.49
Shick Shave Gel 3.79
Sale Price: $8
-$4/1 Q
- $3ECB
- 3.79 Free shave gel the CASHIER GAVE ME
=1.06 OOP +$4 ECB

Transaction 3:
2 Hershey Drops Retail Value: $8.48
Sale Price: 2 for 4.30
Wrigleys Retail: 1.37
Trail Mix Retail: .74
-$2/2 Q
-$4 ECB
=.41 OOP

Then I went to Rite Aid where I didn't do as well as I wanted:

Transaction 1:

2 Degree Retail: $9.58
Sale: 8.88
-  4.44 B1G1 Q
- .75/1 Q
= 3.92 OOP +$3  wellness bucks

Transaction 2:

Bayer Retail: 3.99
-$2/1 q
-1.99 rebate
= FREE + 1.99 wellness bucks

Transaction 3:

2 Shick BladesRetail: 23.98
Sale: 2 for 11.99
-$1/1 Q
-$2/1 Q
-$3 wellness bucks
-1.99 wellness bucks
= OOP 4.24

Total Spent: 12.81
Total Saved: 63.25
Savings Rate of 79.75%

Total Haul:

2 John Friedas
1 Bayer
2 Degree deodorants
1 Shick Razor
2 cases of relacement blads
1 gum
1 trail mix
2 hersey drops

12 items=1.06 per item!

Whay drugstores do you prefer? Have any tips? Did you score any good deals at CVS this week?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Strike One


I've offically lost on my goal to post every day in June! That just means I've got to make up for it in July! I'm not letting myself off the hook for June though- I'm still going to try to post everyday. Hopefully this week I can get some posts built up so I don't have to worry about missing.

Anyway, here's why I didn't post yeterday:

I was having fun!!!

We had a couple over for dinner and game night and we had such a blast playing scategories, taboo and loaded questions (my 3 favorite games!). The couple have been friend with Mike for many years and  I'd  met them via Skype when we were in Korea but this was my first time hanging out with them in person. It was fabulous! We laughed the whole night through and I felt like I had known them forever.  I hope we have many more nights of laugheter ahead of us

  I made a pot roast in the crock pot with asian spices and root veggies. I southerned it up a it and made a broccoli casserole. Although, I'm not sure how "southern" a recipe is if you get the recipe from a Californian while you're in Glasgow Scotland!

Yesterday I wanted to blog about a job offer I recieved Friday via voicemail through a staffing agency I've been trying to work with. They left the message at noon while I was cashiering. I called back at 3:30 when my shift ended and the offer had been filled! Why did they even bother leaving a message?!

So tomorrow I am applying at Aldi because they are advertising a starting rate of eleven bucks! Sounds good to me! I'm also dropping my resume in the mail for an activities assitant job that I think would be really fun to have.

Tomorrow I'm attemptinh my first ever CVS and Rite Aid couponing trips. My fingers and toes are all crossed that I'll make out okay. I've gotten deal match ups from a few different blogs, have cut my coupons and sorted them into envelopes labeled with the store names. I've also included coupon policies and an instuction sheet that breaks down my shopping list into transaction listed in the order they should be completed. Learning couponing is exciting and fun, but also a bit exhausting, confusing and nerve racking at the same time. But it is something I am dedicated to learning so I'm going to push through and see if I can figure out how drugstore couponing works.

Friday, 10 June 2011


I haven't done this in awhile but today I'm particiapting in Five Question Friday over at My Little Life

1. How close to your childhood dreams is your life now?

Close but not there. I wanted to be famous, be a well read author,  be married, be a college graduate and have kids. So far I'm a married college grad. I also wanted to live somewhere sunny and that is not currently home.

2. What is one must have item for the summer?

A lawn chair! I can layout in a tanktop and bitty shorts but I need something comfy to lay out in!

3. Do you have your kids stay up on school stuff during summer vacation? (Or, if you don't have kiddos, did your parents make you keep up on school stuff during summer?)

I love to read so I would always do the summer reading programs and we would occasionally do workbooks to keep us uptodate.

4. Do you can or freeze fresh produce?

Nope but I really want to learn. I'm the type of person  that needs a hands on lesson thought

5. Do you get ready for the day first thing in the morning?

Eh. On the weekday yes and then I check my email while my hair drys- weekend I lounge around gor a bit first, unless I have somewhere to be

Thursday, 9 June 2011

I Have More Street Smarts Than You Care to Admit

Certain people in my life (namely my father, sister and husband) are always getting on me because I like to read and the fact that I'm a little short changed when it common sense, and in fact they tend to form a relationship between the two which I think is dumb of them but anyway. I am not known for my street smarts, but I may have proven a few people wrong yesterday.

Here's the dealio:

A man got into my line and his total came to $2.12 and he  handed me a $100 bill. I checked it and started to count out his change.

He stopped me and took back the $100 bill and put it in his pocket and said he had the $2.12 instead****.

Then he says to me that he doesn't have the $2 but gave me the 12 cents and asked me for $98 change instead. So I  count out the $98 and set it on top of my register (At this point I knew what was going on and waas making sure to be extra cautious). I asked him for the $100 bill.

He told me he gave it to me. I said no you didn't. He told me to look in the bottom of my drawer, that he watched me out it there. I put my hand over the changed and quickly flipped through the bills.  I told him I put it there when he first handed it to me and then he put it in his pocket and never gave it back to me.

He handed me $2 and left.

**** Indicates when I first realized what was happening. Bells went off in my head beacause I read an article about how conartists try to swindle hot dog vendors out of extra cash by confusing them about what bills were given to them by trading the money back and forth a lot during the transaction

1 Mrs. BOOK SMARTS 0 Mr. Street Smart Loser

Take that!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Coupon High!

Today  I racked up on cleaning supplies at Giant Eagle.

Here's how it went down:

1st Transaction

Charmin Sales Price: 2 for $13
- .25 ecoupon
-$1 mfg coupon
= 11.75 + (-3 OYNO)

2nd Transaction

Cascade Action Packs Sale Price: 2 for $8
Mr Clean Sale Price: 2 for $5
-.25 cascade ecoupon
-.75 -.75  mr. clean coupon doubled
-.75 -.75 mr. clean coupon doubled
-.50 -.50 cascade coupon doubled
-.50-.50 cascade coupon doubled
-$3 OYNO Coupon
=5.23 + (-5 OYNO)

Third Transaction

20 GE Yogurts Sale Price: 20 for $10
2 Yopliat Yogurts reg price: .70 each
- 10% worker discount on GE yougurt
-$5 OYNO Coupon

Grand Total Spent: 21.93
Grand Total Saved: 16.09

I saved 42%!Thats not too bad considering my goal is 60%

I'm telling you this stuff is addicting. But one of the biggest things I've learned right now is pay attention- and save up. Don't use your coupons the Monday after you clip them and pay attention to store sales, clearances and randomly placed coupons.

One more tip: Don't leave your car keys by the Cascade.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Have to make the changes

Writing a blog everyday for the month of June is just one little step I'm taking to become the person I want to be. I want to be a well published/well read author and I want to be someone who makes a difference.

I just haven't decided/realized how I plan/need to make that difference. I come up with ideas, thoughts and plans but haven't put many of them in action. These ideas come in the form of perssonal improvements I want to make just to make myself a better person to thinngs I want to do for my community. I'm starting to realizing that I need to step up and make some changes happen and not wait for the oppertunity to present itself.

So I'm off to do some sould searching to identify where my interests match up with needs and then go from there!

Monday, 6 June 2011


Mike and I watch the Extreme Couponing show. It excites me and encourages me to try to match deals with my coupons and not just using the coupons alone.

My husband doesn't see the point in couponing unless you do it on an extreme scale. He doesn't get that if I save $10 a month that equals $100 a year and $500 in five years- just by cutting up the Sunday paper! He doesn't seem to see any value in that saved money because we're not directly applying that money to say our student loans or hotel reservations. I see it though. I know that I would love to have an extra $100 at the end of the year that I can use towards a goal- or even just an extra $100 to spend on higher priced items like fruit. And I definitely save more than $10 a month

 Then he says "you're not saving money that way". Which is true in a sense but I am putting the saved money towards the fruit which we would otherwise go without- basically we're getting more for our money. I don't know what about that concept is hard to grasp. MEN!

Anyway, I scored a good deal at Giant Eagle today. They were havign a BOGO sale on razors and I had two coupons. One for three dollars off and one for two dollars off.

Original Price: 2 for 13.96
Sale Price: 2 for 6.98
After coupons: 2 for 1.98!

Thats around 85% savings! Which is really good considering a lot of my research has lead me to believe that couponing on the scale I currently do should save me an average of 60%. I think thats a good goal to shoot for.

I'm hoping to return to Giant Eagle tomorrow or Wednesday and score some good deals (OYNO coupons) on Charmin and Cascade and maybe yogurt! I'm going to also look into getting decent deals on much needed batteries (my voice recorder is dead!) and maybe free toothpaste.

What deals have you scored lately? What couponing  tips do you have to share?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Angel Food Ministries

Have you heard of Angel Food? I hadn't until I moved here. Its basically a bulk buying program that helps families get their groceries cheaper.

Mike and I decided to give it a try for next month. We ordered two different menus for a total of $103.  That means I won't do much grocery shopping except to pick up small things like fruit, butter, cheese etc that maybe needed to make a few foods into a dish.

That's where ya'll come in. I'm going to list the foods we'll be receiving and I would appreciate recipes using the listed foods as the primary ingredients

  • (1) All Natural Whole Chicken
  • (1.5 lb) Whiting or Flounder Fillets
  • (2lb) Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • (1.5 lbs) Boneless center cut pork chops
  • (1.5lbs)  Turkey Burgers
  • (2lb) Clam chowder (yumo!)
  • (2lb) Sloppy joe mix (yucko)
  • (2lb) Lasagna
  • (1.5lb) Smoked sausage
  • (1lb) ground beef
  • (1lb) ground chicken (might make chicken cakes with these!)
  • (1lb) carrots
  • (1lb) green breans
  • (1lb) triple veggie blend
  • (1lb) sugar snap peas
  • (24oz) natural cut french fires
  • (28 oz) baked beans
  • (1lb) white rice
  • (1lb) pasta
  • (26 oz) pasta sauce with mushrooms
  • Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • (5ct) Oatmeal
  • (32 oz) milk
  • (1 doz) eggs
  • 7.5 oz cookie dough
  • 2.5 lbs Angus rib eye steaks
  • 2lbs Angus burgers
  • 1.5 lb bone in pork chops
  • 2lb salmon fillets
  • 1lb sugar snap peas
  • 4 ct corn on the cob
  • 20 oz twice baked potatoes (Mike is ecstatic I am not)
See any tasty combinations?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A Short Shoutout...

to my soul sisters!

Two of my bestest buds now have blogs all their own:

K10 @ Yada Yada Yada

And the chica I call Lyric, over at Life is a Many Splendored Thing

And of course I can't forget the blog I share with my friend Luisa- Hotglue Baking Challenges. We're getting ready to have a "meltdown" over there and share 14 no bake recipes to help you get your sweets while still beating the summer heat. Feel free to leave us comments suggesting recipes for us to try- here or over there-.

And don't forget to stop over and show my two buds some love and encouragement!

Friday, 3 June 2011

New Manifesto

  1. Chocolate is a choice!
  2. Sweets are a treat!
  3. Exercise makes you feel good!
  4.  Maintainence is part of organization.
  5. Cleanliness is.....well clean.
  6. Speak up when you have something to say.
  7. Writing brings you joy, do it daily. Maybe it will turn into a lifelong career.
  8. Edit everything.
  9. Sending mail is the best way to receive mail.
  10. Make an effort at least once a day to brighten your husband's day. (And any one else's)
  11. Pray.
I know there was a  big gasp after the first one, I made one myself as I wrote it, but its true.

These are principles, and ideas that I want to work on incorporating in my life. Yes, I love chocolate but I shouldn't feel like I need it. I should spend more time putting pen to paper then lazin' around on FB. I need to voice my opinions to others and to myself, and in doing so I hope to discover new passions.

I need to work on sticking with my cleaning and organization routines. I enjoy putting them together but don't fare so well on following through with them. Everyday. But I'm determined to teach myself that skill.

I want to write more, love more, exericse more,  enjoy life more and I think that the 11 items above, in addition to a few more I  am still mulling around in my noggin' will helo me do that. One of them is that I want to present myself like I sell Mary Kay. What would I wear, how would I do my hair, make up etc?

What are "rules" or "principles" that you are trying to teach yourself? What goals do you have?

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Notes From Small Town Grocery Store

I'm not as witty as Bill Bryson, but I have slightly stolen a title from one of my favorite books of his.

I work as a cashier at the only grocery store in town. Yep. Double sad face.

I hear lots of interesting things as a cashier. Here are some examples:

1. Me:  May I have you (insert name of store loyalty card here)?
Old guy customer: No. I'm not using mine anymore because they're illegal.
Me: I hadn't heard
Old guy customer: Yeppers, my buddy told me.

2. Me: Would you like your gum left out of the bag?
Middle-aged lady customer: *takes her gum out of her mouth and sticks it on her finger and waves it at me* This? You want this?
Me: No Ma'am. I mean the gum you're buying now, do you want me to put it in a bag?
Middle-aged lady customer: Oh,

3. Me (just returned to the register from sweeping): Hi, How are you?
Strange man customer: You're such a good little sweeper. Do you sweep like that at home?
Me: Nope, I make my husband do it.
Strange man customer: You're married?
(I guess he really did think I was 4)

4. Me: Plastic bags okay?
Another strange man customer: Paper please.
Me: *packs order in one paper bag*
Strange man customer: *pats my hand* Atta girl!  (Hey, I packed your bag, where are my Beggin strips?)

5. Me: And your total is $19.25
Confused lady customer: No.
Me: Excuse me?
Confused lady customer: I said no.
Me: Is there something wrong?
Confused lady customer: No
Me: Okay, that'll be $19.25
Confused lady customer: *pays bill and leaves*

6. Strung out lady customer: Can I buy my cigarettes here?
Me: Yeah but you have to buy them at the customer service desk
Strung out lady customer: If I get you money can you go over there and get them for me?
Me: No, they need your ID.
Strung out lady customer: I can give you that too.
Me: I'll ring up your order and if you want you can go get them while I'm working on it
Strung out lady customer: Ugh. You just can't get good service anymore.

7: Me *cannont ring up anymore groceries because both sides of the belt are full and there is no where to put anything. The customer has not put any bags in her cart. I pick up a 24 pack of Pepsi.* Can you take this?
Annoying Lazy Lady Customer: No.
ME: Can I put this in your cart?
ALLC: No. Can't you hold it?
Me: *Puts pepsi in ALLC'S cart while thinking : "Yes, I can balance a 24 pack on my head while ringing up and bagging your order*
ALLC: dramatic sigh