Friday, October 14, 2011

Look Who I Just Found In The Pool...

A BABY TURTLE!  I've seen bugs, frogs, a rat, and a snake in the pool before, but this is my first turtle.  Isn't he so cute?!  He kept swimming around trying to avoid the Polaris.  I got him out with the pool net and returned him to the lake.  Hope he does better this time around!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Publix Savings 10/06/11

Hey Everyone!  This week I did ok at Publix (not really great).  Here are the stats:

Publix Savings

Spent: $92.93  Saved: $50.19  ///  35% Savings

When combined with the savings I had last week (Spent less than the $87.50 allotted for each week), I am still good with the budget.  This week I didn't use very many coupons and a lot of the sales I took advantage of were not BOGO (50% off).  I stocked up on some beef, since we have chicken already at home.  One thing I can never turn away from is those Stoffer's Family Size Meals.  They go on sale for $3.99 (usually $6.29) every once in awhile, so I like to get them then because they are great for when you have guests or just don't feel like cooking a meal (pop them in the oven and they are done!).



This was also my first week ever getting a rain check.  I got to the store later than I wanted to (spent too much time at Walmart) and some of the sale items I wanted were out of stock (especially one that would have given me overage).  So I thought today was the day to try out Publix Rain Checks.  You just go to customer service with the ad and tell them what things you want and how many.  They write you up a rain check that is valid 30 days after the issue date.  So, if you have coupons that aren't expiring soon you can just wait until the product is back in-stock and get it then.  Hopefully everything I wanted will be in stock next week!

Instead of writing everything out that I got, I took the lazy route and made a video.  All my coupon match-ups for the week were found HERE at Southern Savers.  Have a fun time saving this week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Max On Life by Max Lucado


As a writer and ministry worker, Max Lucado has received many questions throughout his life.  Max On Life is a collection of one hundred and fifty of these questions and his answers.  The questions are divided into different grouping such as Hope, Hurt, Him/Her, ect.  There is a little something for everyone in this book.

I love that Max bases all his answers on scripture.  My favorite thing about the book is that if I have a problem with something in my life I can look up a question that's related to what I'm going through and find a scripture to reference.  Obviously, since he answers so many questions the answers are short (about a page each).  I feel like this is a good reference book (a start), but doesn't go in detail or at length on any subject.  Whole books can be written on just one of these questions or topics.

While I did like the scripture and his writing is easy to read, it took me awhile to get through this book.  Questions that I had were very interesting to me, but many I could not relate to or I already knew what he was going to say.  I would give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Taco Stew from The Crock Pot Girls


What's better than a crock pot meal?  Easy prep and delicious food--- yes please!  I was looking at the Crock Pot Girls on facebook and saw they had posted a YouTube video for their Taco Stew.  All I had to do was brown the ground beef and then throw all the ingredients in the pot.  I added some onion chopped into small pieces because I had some leftover from another recipe.  That was the only thing I changed.  I had to cook it on high for 4 hours since I started late.  The only thing left to do once it is done is scoop some into a bowl and add cheese, sour cream, and Fritos.  Mmmm.  Eric even said it kinda tasted like his moms chili.

Here's the Youtube video--they have all the ingredients listed at the end of it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Publix Savings 9/30/2011


Over the last couple of months I have become a couponer.  Nothing crazy like you see on Extreme Couponing.  We get two papers delivered to our house every week.  I cut out all the coupons and organize them in my coupon binder.  Then I use SouthernSavers.com to match up the coupons I have to the weekly deals (I usually just do my grocery shopping at Publix once a week.).  It's all about matching sales (especially BOGO) with coupons to get great savings.

At Publix in coastal Georgia it is a little easier to save than in Florida.  All coupons .50 and below double at Publix (and Kroger).  So if you have a coupon for .25 then it will double to .50 and a .50 coupon would double to $1.  Also, our BOGO sales are 50% off, meaning you don't have to actually buy one to get one free (you can just buy one for 50% off).

I'm pretty sure at all Publix's you can combine a Manufacturer's Coupon with either one Publix OR one competitor's coupon (each Publix has a different list of grocery stores within a certain proximity that they consider a competitor--see your local Publix for its competitor list).  If your coupon's go over the amount that the product is listed at then you get overage.  You can use this overage to apply to another item in your cart. 

Eric and I are trying to stick to a budget, so couponing is a great way to help us meet our goals.  We have allotted $350 per month for groceries (about $87.50 a week), but would like to try to spend under this amount.


Here is how I did this week: Publix Savings 


Spent: $81.92  Saved: $102.05  ///  55.5% Savings


On Sale:

5 Sara Lee Frozen Cakes (50% off + 3 $1 off Sara Lee Sweet Goods product RP 8/07 + 2 $1 off Sara Lee cream pie printable coupons)
6 Green Giant Frozen Vegetables (BOGO + 2 $.60/3 Green Giant frozen boxed vegetables SS 9/11)
1 Publix Sour Cream
1 Publix Shredded Cheese
1 Ranch Style Beans
2 Del Monte Canned Tomatoes
1 Publix Canned Whole Corn
2 Publix Half Gallon Ice Cream
1 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Packet
1 Boar's Head Deli Sandwich Meat
1 Fiber One 80 Calorie Cereal ($2 off General Mills Fiber one cereal Publix coupon (Yellow Advantage Flyer) + $1 off General Mills Fiber One 80 cal cereal Printable.  Free + .50 overage)
1 Oatmeal Crisp Cereal ($2 off General Mills Total, Oatmeal Crisp, Wheaties, Basic 4, Raisin Nut Bran or Clusters Publix Coupon (Yellow Advantage Flyer))
1 Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue 12-pack Double Rolls ($.75 off/1 Cottenelle Toilet Paper, 12 pack or (2) 4 packs SS 8/14 or 9/11)
9 Nabisco SnackWell's Bars (BOGO + 9 $.75/1 Snackwell's bars SS 6/26 or 7/31)
2 Vanity Fair Plates 14 count ($1/2 Vanity Fair dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, or hot cups Publix coupon (One Stop One Store booklet) + 2 $.55/1 plates RP 8/14)
3 Betty Crocker Hamburger, Chicken, or Tune Helpers (BOGO + $.75/3 Betty Crocker Hamburger, Chicken, or Tuna Helpers SS 8/7)
2 Nabisco SnackWell's Cookies/Brownie Bites (BOGO + $.75/1 SnackWells, any variety SS 6/26)
2 Planter's Nutrition Bars (BOGO + $.75/1 Planter's Nutrition Bars)
4 Pace Chuncky Salsa (BOGO + $.75/2 Pace Jars SS 8/28)

Not On Sale:
1 Olay Moisturizer ($1 off coupon)
1 Bag Fritos
1 Arrid Deodorant 
1 Publix Eggs
1 Ranch Seasoning Packet
1 Sprayway Glass Cleaner ($1 off Publix Coupon + $.50/1 Manufacturer's Coupon)
1 Can of Publix Pinto Beans
1 Clean and Clear Face wash ($1 off Clean and Clear Product Manufacturer's Coupon)
1 Perdue Ground Chicken (1lb.)
1 Gallon Public Milk
2 Baking Potatoes
1 Onion
5 Bananas
1 Betty Crocker Cookie Mix ($1 off Betty Crocker Muffin or Cookie Mix Publix Coupon (Yellow Advantage Flyer) + $.40/1 Betty Crocker Cookie Mix SS 8/07)


I also used a $10 Publix Giftcard I received in the mail via rebate for spending a certain amount during a ConAgra promotion.

Thanks to the Savannah Savvy Shopper for her coupon classes!
(Also RP stands for the Red Plum insert in the newspaper and SS stands for the SmartSource insert in the newspaper.  You can find most of the Publix coupon booklets in the spinning holder right when you walk in or ask Customer Service (sometimes they hide them there so people won't take more than one).) 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wow!  So much has happened this past month.  Back in August, for our anniversary, Eric got us tickets to visit New York City in September.  I loved the city...but more on that later!  First I wanted to post some pictures from some other things that happened this month.

September 3-5: Mrs. Karen, Selena, and the nieces come to visit!


We always love it when family comes to town!  We all hung out at the house relaxing most of the time.  The kids got to enjoy the hot weather by swimming in the pool and eating frozen fruit bars.  We also went out to Uncle Bubba's Oyster House and Wormsloe Historic Site.    






September 9-10: Steven's Birthday!

I am so glad we made it down to Florida for my (not so little any more) brother's birthday.  We sang and had lemon filled Publix cake on Friday night and then went out for lunch at Clark's Fish Camp the next day.

   
Steven and I shared the swamp platter.  Nothing better than frog legs and gator tail!

Eric decided on the 3 pound prime rib.  What a huge piece of meat!

With all of our recent travels, we have seen some amazing sunsets!  God's creation is truly inspiring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Nice Surprise

Today I received this at my house (all pretty and nicely packaged)...


My prizes from My So Called Homeschool Life's 16 Month Planner Package Giveaway!!!  It always makes my day to get a package in the mail!  Everyone should go check out her blog.  She has fun blog posts and a couple of giveaways going on right now.  Thanks so much Ruthie!!!  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Always Remembered


On 9/11/2001, I was at the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned.  I was sitting in the dentist's chair watching television when someone said to turn the channel to the news.  I watched the aftermath of the first plane crash, then saw the second one hit.

I can not believe it has been 10 years since this attack on the United States.  My heart goes out to the friends and families of those who were killed.  I am so thankful for those people who put their lives on the line to protect and save lives.  We will always remember.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett this past week and would highly recommend it.  The novel is about three very different woman from Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960's who come together to work on a project that will cross social barriers of the time.  They decide to risk their safety because they are fed up with the way "things are". 

My friend Lindsey suggested I read the book and I flew through it pretty quickly.  It made me really think about how glad I am that some people are brave enough to stand up for what they know is right (even if the consequences of them doing so are brutal.).  I can't wait to go see the movie ( I always like to read the books first because they are usually better than the movies.  My one exception so far - The Time Traveler's Wife. (that book was very depressing)).  Anyone seen the movie yet???  I heard it's been at the top of the box office the last couple of weeks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baby Shower Fun and More...

I am so glad everything turned out well this past weekend.  I stayed busy planning Brittney's Baby Shower with Selena, while battling our upstairs A/C unit which decided to stop working on us for another week (we just had it fixed two weeks before).  Praise the Lord it got fixed yesterday morning!  Sleeping on deflated air mattresses and a couch meant for one is not the best way to get a good night's sleep.

Thursday we went out to the beach, so Eric could enjoy surfing the waves created by hurricane Irene.  I was so nervous he was going to bonk his head on a rock and I would never see him again.  Surfing is fun to watch, but way to risky for me.  I just don't like to take risks (at least those kind).  I didn't worry as much once he got some friends out there with him.  I'm really glad he got to go though.  He's been wanting to get back out there for awhile.

My Surfer


Saturday was the big day-- Brittney's Baby Shower!!!

I was so mad I forgot my camera, but I did take a few (poor image) shots with my phone.  The party was great!  Lots of people came to celebrate the coming of baby Cody (and brought many wonderful presents along with them!).  Good food + Good Company + Presents = A Fantastic Time!  Lol.

Selena and I were so proud of our diaper cake we made.  I'm definitely not a crafty person, so we were surprised it came out so cute.  It was pretty easy to make too.  I rolled all the diapers and rubber banded them.  Then we divided the diapers into 1:2:3 portions and rubber banded them together in the shape of cake layers.  We bought a palm tree decoration from Party City which we stuck through the top "cake" layer" and connected all the layers with a wood dowel.  Then we hot glued ribbon around each of the three layers.  I printed animals on the computer and Selena laminated them and cut them out.  Then the animals were hot glued to the ribbon and the other decorations were placed on the cake (the stuffed monkey on the tree and the travel size baby items).  WahhLahh-- A Gift/Decoration Combo that is sure to impress!   

Diaper Cake
 
Present Table

The Guests

The Cake

Brittney and Baby Cody!
 
I am SO excited for the arrival of baby Cody!  He is going to look so handsome in all his little outfits.  :)  Thanks to everyone who helped out and came!  I love you all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room


I finally got to visit the much talked about Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room when my good friend Namrata came to town.  Want some true southern cooking?  This is your place.  Every weekday masses line up in front of the old boardinghouse to get a taste of the delicious food they can smell from the street.


As 11:30am approached, Namrata and I headed down the beautiful tree-lined path to take our place in line for lunch.  We waited about 1.5-2 hours.  The dining room is open Monday-Friday, 11am to 2pm.  The sun was hot and the line seemed endlessly long, but every person leaving the dining room encouraged us by saying it was worth the wait.  And who better to judge than those who have already waited? :)

Once we got inside, we were seated at a table with 7 other people (I think each table holds 10).  You sit and dine with strangers, which actually is kind of fun (unless you have awkward people at your table, lol.).  They bring out tons of sides and meat to eat, along with sweet tea to wash it all down.  I couldn't get enough of the bread- it was warm, buttery, and oh so good.  You just pass the bowls around the table, sharing everything with your neighbor.  I tried to get a little of everything on my plate, but it was just too much food!  You definitely want to come hungry!



After the main meal, they bring out dessert.  There was barely room for my banana pudding, but I stuffed it in there some how.  Overall, I thought the place really lived up to what I had heard about it.  I thoroughly enjoyed my southern cooking, though I'm not sure my stomach was happy that I put so much of it down my throat!

         
If you are in the Savannah area on a weekday, this is definitely some grub you are going to want to indulge in!  Just don't forget to get there early and bring cash because they do not accept charge cards!

On a completely different note, Namrata went fishing with me and caught her first fish!  And this was probably the first fish I think I've ever had to take off the hook by myself, so I was very proud of the both of us!  :) 


Also, yesterday was my one year anniversary with my hubby!  I am so lucky to have met someone who can put up with me!  He is kind, patient, loving, and so many other things.  I am excited for everything we will experience together in the future (including our anniversary celebration vaca in New York coming up soon!).

 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fishing at Sunset

I'd like to thank God for all the blessings and troubles I have in my life.  I know that I am stronger and closer to Him because of them. 

Eric and I have had many visitors over the past couple of weeks and it has been great spending quality time with friends and family.  Thank you for visiting us!  I love exploring our new city with ya'll.


Then there are the lazy days when no one is here (Not that we don't tend to be lazy when people are here too, lol.).  Eric comes home from work and we can take the boat out for a fishing trip at sunset.  I've gotta say, sometimes I love fishing and sometimes I find it quite boring.  This past outing I really enjoyed it (catching a couple fish probably helped).  The lake looked amazing as the sunset over the water.  I caught 2 brim and a small bass.
 
 
Look at God's splendid creation!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hawaiian Tropic® Shimmering Summer Skin Soiree

I haven't been updating as much as last month because we have been in the middle of moving (and didn't have internet at our new place for a while).  We finally got through the process of purchasing a house and are now happy, first time home buyers!  It just so happened that my Hawaiian Tropic party ended up being scheduled the same weekend we could start moving into our house (we were supposed to close 2 weeks earlier).  Though it was a bit much to think about, everything went great (except for the weather) and our friends and family were able to hang out, try the new Hawaiian Tropic products, and visit our new house!

I applied and was accepted to do a Hosted Party for Hawaiian Tropic® brand Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen and After Sun Lotion through Crowdtap.com.  I received:
  • For the Host:
  • ­-Stylish metallic gold beach tote
  • ­-Hawaiian Tropic® brand Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen and After Sun Lotion
  • ­-Schick Quattro® for Women® razor
  • ­-Loofah
  • For Guests (10 each):
  • ­-Eco-friendly tote bag filled with Hawaiian Tropic® Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen and After Sun Lotion sample packettes and product coupons
  • ­-Schick Quattro® for Women® razor coupon

The party started with pizza, cupcakes, chips, fruit, and drinks.  Each guest received the bag above with samples, coupons, Girl Scout cookies, Bath and Body Works lotion and body wash.

A few of us headed to Kroger to meet the Deen Brothers who are currently promoting their new book, The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up.  We got our books autographed and got to tell them about our Hawaiian Tropic party! :)
Once back at the apartment we sampled the Hawaiian Tropic® Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen and After Sun Lotion.  I for one was pleasantly surprised by these products.  I really thought these "shimmer" lotions would be better suited for pre-teens because they love sparkle.  I thought it would be a little much for some one older, but I have to say I love it!  The sparkles are small and really do highlight your skin tone!  The sun catches the sparkle just right.
Everyone really liked the smell of both products.  The sunscreen is great because it has UVB/SPF with UVA to help protect skin.  The after sun lotion is great because it not only smells good, but also leaves your skin moisturized after a shower so you can keep your tan longer.  The only thing we did not like about the product was that it was a little hard to get it out of the bottle.  Nothing bad to say about the product itself though!

After sampling the products, we decided to try them out at the beach even though the weather was not looking good.  Let me tell you...it was NOT good beach weather!  lol.  It was pretty funny watching all of us out there getting pelted with ran and sand while the wind blew crazily.
video
    
If you would like the opportunity to express your opinions to brands, sample products, and give to charity--Then Click Here to join Crowdtap!

Disclamer:  I received products listed above to review and share with friends through Crowdtap.  I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bro's Prom 2011

My little brother is all grown up.  He's graduated and starting college soon.  Don't you just love these pictures?

Prom 2011
   

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kraft Foods: Almond Chicken Dijon Recipe

Ever since my friend, Kristina, and I discovered the Kraft Recipes website we have been fans.  What I love about Kraft Recipes is that they are easy, don't usually involve a whole lot of ingredients, and delicious!  They have videos, showing you step by step instructions for many of the recipes, and a "Healthy Living" section filled with recipes that are more figure friendly.

One such "Healthy Living" recipe that my husband and I love is their Almond Chicken Dijon.  This is SO easy to throw together and stick in the oven.  If you are a fan of dijon mustard, mayo, chicken, and almonds then this recipe is for you!  Basically all you do is spray cooking oil on a 13x9 baking dish, wash chicken, put equal parts dijon/mayo (mixed together) on the chicken, sprinkle with slivered almonds, and transfer to the oven!  The chicken comes out moist and full of flavor!  The crunchy almonds on top just add that extra something.  :)

For the Kraft Foods Almond Chicken Dijon Recipe - CLICK HERE!

I used sliced almonds and it still came out great.  This is before I stuck it in the oven.

After.  Just add some side dishes and you are ready to eat a yummy meal!  (I think my plate needs a little more green though, lol.)
 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is always a great celebration!  What are we celebrating?  That after Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, he rose again three days later!  Our God is alive!  Church, joyous occasion, food, family...what could be better?