Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sign up with Kelloggs for Coupons and Special Promotions

One of the first things you should do as a couponer, whether beginner or pro, is make sure you sign up with your favorite brands websites, and get their daily or weekly newsletters!
I signed up with several brands, and I did use a different email address, rather then my personal email.
But these companies will really take care of you! Especially if you are an avid reader of their newsletters, and you take advantage of the coupons and deals and promos they offer to their community members.
On top of receiving links to printable coupons, you will probably be receiving coupons in the mail, and samples of new products!
I will be starting a series of the best brand websites around. This week I am spotlighting Kelloggs.
Of course you have heard of them, and you certainly had something they make inside your home, this is an awesome company and they are a huge hit with the lil ones!
I signed up with the Kelloggs website a couple years ago, and I receive a good amount of coupons and very cool recipes in my weekly newsletter! I am quite happy with the amount of savings I receive from them, and I do enjoy the website where you can access all of the rebates, mail in promotions, track your orders and rebates and much more!
If you do purchase any Kelloggs products, you should sign up here to start receiving offers!
I will also have this posted under my "Couponing 101" tab, (which I am working on, lol, it just has been very time consuming), I add a little each day, and then I hope to have the ebook finished some time early next year.
In the meantime, until that is all complete, you are more then welcome to ask any questions here or through any of my social media pages!
Also, don't forget to always check at the bottom of the page, for the latest printable coupons!!

Useful Tips (Thanks to Parents Magazine)

I had a stack of magazines I have been trying to get through, and I spent a couple hours last night, paging through a lot of them and copying recipes, and interesting websites.
I got to the October issue of Parents magazine, and they have some real cute Halloween recipes that I plan on making with my kids!
I found an article titled, "It Worked For Me!", and this is one of the best articles I have read in a long time!
I love tips and pointers and this issue has a lot! From all the years they have been a magazine, they share some of the best tricks they received from moms!
I am posting my favorite tips here!
Put a marshmellow in the bottom of an ice cream cone, to avoid leaks! (wow! That is an awesome and very creative idea!)
Fill a beanbag chair cover with all those annoying stuffed animals lying around your house! (LOL! I need this asap!)
Save the cardboard from wrapping paper, and paper towels, to keep your children's artwork nice and neat!
Tie dye your babies onsies and little clothes, when they have spit up stains that won't come out in the wash!
This mom had a super fun idea on how to toilet train her 2 year old; Place several drops of food coloring in the toilet before he goes to the bathroom. He/she will learn their colors, and have fun watching the color changes!
Do your kids hate to eat the ends of the loaves of bread? Mine do lol!
This cool tip from a mom says that she uses them to make grilled cheese, with the crust side in the inside of the sandwich. Your kids will never know!

If you don't have Parents magazine, or you want to read more then 1200 tips from moms like us, (or dads and grandparents), you can click here to read more!

Monday, September 26, 2011

What are These Flowers Part 2

I would like to also know what these gorgeous red flowers are, and if anybody knows what this white thing next to them are, I really would be happy!!
I love these to, and I want to plant them all over the place next year as well!
The white plant is growing like crazy and I do have a lot of them around the front of the house. I just do not know anything about what they are!!
I guess I should have saved those little cards and seed packs this year. But I thrw them all away without looking at them because I really wanted to be surprised!
I am in love with that deep, vibrant, red color though lol!

What are These Flowers Called????

I did our garden and flowers different this past spring, and didn't even know what half of what is growing, or grew, even is!
I thought it would be fun to try and have new things and try new fruits and vegetables, and I just had tons of seeds, some of things I have never heard of!
Well, these real pretty flowers that I thought were dead all year, have recently started to bloom! I think they are absolutely gorgeous and I have never seen these flowers before, and I need to find out what exactly they are so I can get some more for next year!
They started blooming from a plant that was long gone, at least that's what I thought. All of a sudden, these orange and yellow flowers started popping up all over the place! This picture is from last week, and there are lots more since then.
If you can help me with this garden dilemma, I would appreciate this very much!!
Please let me know what they are called so I can plant more of them next year!
Whatever these are, they are almost my favorite flower, lol. But I have always loved sunflowers, so I don't think I can ever change that! My sunflowers, by the way, are doing wonderful this year too!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Genevive's Favorite Dinner to Help With in the Kitchen

This is another of our favorite meals, it has been so long since we started making this, I think it may have come from a Kraft magazine.
This is also a very easy and quick dinner to prepare, and is great for when you have little ones who like to help in the kitchen.
Genevive is 4, and she loves to cook and is actually a big helper with cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry!
Her favorite part is to help add the ingredients and stir. This specific recipe, needs 8 large eggs, beaten. So, Genevive always likes to do the eggs part!
She takes a Pyrex measuring cup and a fork, and mom breaks all the eggs for her, lol, and she stabs at the yolks and mushes them up with her fork. This also gives me time to cut the ham and gather the rest of the ingredients!
The ingredients needed are as follows;
2 Hatfield Ham Steaks (chopped) (we prefer maple flavor, but you can use 2 cups worth of your favorite ham)
8 large eggs, beaten
1 cup of Breakstone's sour cream
1 bag of Kraft shredded cheddar cheese
1 box of Stove Top Stuffing (right from the pkg! No need to make ahead!)
1 bag of frozen broccoli (strain frozen veggies in a strainer and run cool water on them! This helps a lot with keeping extra water out of your dishes!)

Preheat oven to 375
Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (We found that Pyrex glass round bakeware works best for us!)
After the eggs are beaten, add the sour cream and stir (a good job for your little one!)
Add the broccoli and stove top and stir until mixed.
Add ham cubes, and some of the shredded cheddar and stir!
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes
Make sure the eggs are fully cooked!
Top with remaining cheddar cheese and cook 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I am sure there are a lot of variations you could use in this recipe!
We love this dish a lot and this is another that I can not expect to have leftovers from.
It's also a fairly cheap dish to make, and allows for more time to spend time with the kids, or cut out some coupons, since it only takes a few minutes to prepare!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.
Please leave comments or suggestions or share your variations you try!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mommy's Little Monster

Does this little guy scare you? He does me! This is Deegan James, our 4th and final child. (lol, no, this was decided BEFORE we knew that Deegan would inherit all 3 of the other children's "naughty" traits, and bring quite a few of his own tricks with him!
He is so loveable, and huggable, he loves kisses, and hugs and squeezes, and he is sweet and holds mommy's hand, and kisses my cheeks, and smiles with those giant, cutie pie dimples...... AW! He is a doll!
But do you remember Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver? Lol! Yup, I see this personality in my other son, Aaron, and Deegan now as well. I can just imagine the "Well hello Mrs (fill in some lucky little girl's mom's name here hehe), You are looking beautiful, and what a pretty dress you're wearing today!", then, "Hey, (lucky girl's name again), let's go throw all the books off your mom's bookshelf, and rip the door off the hinges!" Well, ok, maybe not to that degree, and i will pretend I do not hear what it is my sons may be saying to a lucky girl someday, but this is what Deegan did last week. Yes, you read that right. This cute little 1 year old, actually ripped the bedroom door off it's hinges!
He did a lot of things last week, after he let me see his true colors, I wasn't really given a lot of time to  comprehend this, when my house was literally torn in pieces, by my little monster!
He is definately one very, busy boy, and i am just to old to keep up with him I guess. Within a matter of minutes, this young man will rip your bookshelves apart! He will dump toy crates, toy boxes, toy bins, all over each room of your house! He can also rip open Lucky Charms boxes, poke holes in the bags, (while you are cleaning up the pasta he "spilled' out of the pasta containers), and he can climb tables and push chairs to counter tops so he can easily grab your overfilled coupon binder and throw them on the floor, making them all fall out of their perfectly placed little pockets, all arranged for a fast and simple errand day!!!! AAAHH!!!!
This little guy is just so cute when he's doing it though, but I'm starting to think he is about ready for time outs!
Deegan was born with cleft lip and club foot and a few other very small issues. I was told he would have much more wrong with him, and we are now going through some issues with Chiari Malformation and Hydrocephalus, (both are very minor, and not anything to really worry about), So, I have to admit, I have been very easy on him. I believe he knows this to, and I think he thinks he will always get away with a lot more then most. Not anymore!
Anyway, the door coming off it's hinges was the last straw with me, I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. I have heard the saying from people as they tell others about what happened that day at their homes with their crazy children, lol, and I have often heard people say, "He ripped the door right off the hinges!" so, I am sure there are plenty that will not believe me, however, I thought of that before I fixed the door, and I do have a picture of the door hinge being unscrewed.
Deegan was in the room playing towards the door, and I didn't think much of it, then I saw the door had a pretty good size space between it and the wall. I thought that was a little odd, so I went to check it out. Well, I saw the large screw that was pulled from the hinge, and I decided i will go away for a minute or 2 before i lose my mind. I walked away to clear my head, heard some loud "door noises", and came back to find Deegan wiggling the door and looking at the top at the 2nd screw that was ready to fall out of the hinge!
I ran over as best I could, and grabbed him, and just when I did, the door was on the floor! I had to quickly set him down, pick the door up and try to reach it as best I could without a chair or anything, to place the screw back through.
He just sat with a giant grin on his face, as I stood there in shock, just looking at him and trying to figure out, "what do I say or do here?" I just picked him up and hugged him, and took him to the kitchen, and gave him a banana. (always a monkey's favorite treat!)
Do you have any super nutty stories to share about your own little monsters? I have tons, and I know most of you do too!! Please feel free to comment and leave any links to your posts, blog, facebook, where you have your own horror stories!!

September Coupon Insert Giveaway!!

I am offering a few coupon insert giveaways through my Facebook page, and my blogs. My other blog is www.busymommylist.com
You can enter by; following one or both blogs, referring someone to follow my blog, liking my Facebook page, and referring your friends to my Facebook page!
The top Facebook referrer, will receive 8 full, uncut, coupon inserts!
The 2nd place Facebook referrer, will receive 4 inserts!
We will also have a random drawing through www.random.org, for more inserts. (this one will go by fan number)
The next way to earn entries is to comment here or on www.busymommylist.com on my post with the same title as this one.
In the meantime, there are a lot of real awesome deals for printable coupons!!
You can find them here
Please tell your friends to leave your name as the person who referred them in the comment section on the blog posts, and post on my Facebook wall with your name, so I know who sent them!
The inserts include; P&G September editions
Smart Source and Red Plum inserts from Sunday, September 18th, and Smart Source and the Red Plum inserts, I believe are from last week. (I apologize, I lost track of the dates on these!)
Please feel free to share this Coupon Insert Giveaway with your friends!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Managing time at Home

I often have a very long "to do list", I do lists of to do lists that I need to write, and daily, and weekly, and even monthly project to do lists!
I will even narrow it all down to several different categories, online work, bills, mail, phone calls, errands, paperwork, housework, projects, ( This normally includes uncluttering projects, lol).
The online work to do list, is getting to be the longest, and takes up one whole side of the notebook paper. This includes, blogs, surveys, points sites, answering emails, facebook, twitter, paying bills, reviews, personal facebook, Old Navy and Amazon orders, Groupon orders, research, and lots more that I can't seem to think of off the top of my head. I wish so much that I had a laptop, or Notebook, or anything that would help me tackle this list and complete the entire thing! I believe this would enable me to spend a lot less time in 'the computer room" and I will definately feel more at ease, getting this all worked on and finished each day.
So I think I have to make a game plan! I have to somehow put some money aside each week, until I have enough to cover a pretty good, but very reasonably priced, lap top. I am very interested in any comments, suggestions, reviews, thoughts, anything about your experience with any laptops, so I know what price range and time frame I am looking at.
The rest of my 'to do lists" are just a matter of trying to find a babysitter for a few hours a week, so that I can get some housework and house projects done. With Aaron in 2nd grade, and Genevive in preschool 3 days per week, I think I figured out the errands for the time being. (At least the local errands)
Genevive only attends preschool 3 days a week, and for 2 and a half hours at a time, so between that time, Deegan and I can run to Boyers Markets, Walmart, CVS, the post office, the bank, the farmers market, and maybe Weis. These are all within 25 miles, and I can get 1 or sometimes a few done in a day. I am very greatful for the way the smaller children behave in the stores. Deegan is 1, so he should be ok for the rest of the school year. After that, I will have to revise my errand list.
I am looking for any cute printables, or to do list tablets, notebooks, that are handmade, or that someone sells!
Please leave any links for any of these types of products, I would love to have cute papers with plenty of room, that i can check off on the side as the day goes and I can be happy to watch the lines get crossed off or the little boxes checked!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Crazy Morning! Help Me!!

I woke up this morning, I believe it was 4am, (as usual), with overbearing pain in my legs, again, as almost every morning. So, I made a pot of coffee and figured i would try and figure out more of my blogging adventure.
It's hard to move at first in the morning, thanks to charly horses, restless leg syndrome, and whatever else decides to pop up in the middle of the night. It has been raining and raining here, and our forecast shows nothing but 6 more days of rain. So, I'm not looking forward to this since the RSD and arthritis seem to get much worse in this type of weather.
Coffee and some of my hundreds of prescriptions, do seem to help a little bit, and more recently I found, so does a very hot shower!
I thought ok, I have a few hours to get my blog work done, finish my grocery list, get the coupons and binder in order, and start my weekly and daily to do list.
That is what I thought until 3 little kids decided to change all of these plans!
15 minutes after waking up, Deegan, (he's 1), started running through the house, yelling. "mom! MOM!!!", so I picked him up, squeezed and kissed him, changed his diaper, gave him a little bottle of milk, and laid him on my bed.
My room is where the computer sits, and next to that, is Aaron's room. I started hearing moaning and very soft crying almost immediately, and went over to see what was going on. He was tossing and turning and crying all at once, while holding his belly. Well, this type of behavior and belly holding kind of freak me out. For some reason, I have a real issue with hearing about these appendicitis outbreaks, so I never ever take bellyaches very lightly. Especially when they are paired up with crying, then wailing, and then the best parts start...........
Aaron is 8, and in 2nd grade. He is still a big mommy boy, lol, and when he is sick, he is very sick, and really needs his mommy! I grabbed a bowl, and some tissues, hard candy, soda with crushed ice, and a blanket. He was in the bathroom for quite some time, and came out saying he felt better, can he go to school? I thought, well hopefully this will pass and in a few hours, he will be alright for school. Aaron laid on my bed and fell asleep and seemed to be doing ok.
By this time, Genevive, (she is 4, and normally the first, very early riser of the day!), woke up. She does tend to be a little loud early in the morning, and no matter what time it is, she wants to have her hair brushed, breakfast, new clothes on, lol, she is wide awake and ready for her day!
Out of nowhere, Aaron wakes up. jumps out of bed, and well, I'll spare you the details....
It is now after 8, all 3 are awake, Aaron is brushing his teeth for I believe the third time, and taking his second shower of the morning, the poor little guy. Genevive is all dressed and watching Spongebob Squarepants. Deegan is running through the house, trying to climb on the table, the chairs, the bench, and trying his hardest to reach some Goldfish crackers, yes, already!
This is why I have been saving the drafts for this post for a couple hours. I type a few sentences, then i hear "MOM!", from somewhere, and I need to try my best to walk through the house and try to find all the kids, and gather them in one room!
If Aaron doesn't get any better in a few more hours, I will be calling the doctor. I also will be going to the store to grab some ginger ale and more ice.

My Family's Favorite Dinner

Ok, well, I guess I shouldn't label any as "My Family's Favorite Dinner", since there are a lot of those.
It does seem a little rare though, that all 6 of us, actually will sit and eat and enjoy the same dinner! So, when I post our favorites, like the one pictured above, I call it "My Family's Favorite Dinner".
This has been a long time favorite, and the amount you see pictured here, will normally be completely gone within a half hour! If not, there will be an average portion left, which is then put in a round Ziploc container (my favorites to keep leftovers, especially soups, chili, and casseroles!), and put in the fridge for some lucky person to eat the next day!
This is also a fairly quick and simple recipe, although you will have some extra dishes with this one.
Here is the recipe;

Ham and Potato Chowder

2 or 3 Hatfield Maple Ham Steaks (cut into 1 inch cubes)
6-10 medium to large red potatoes (cubed and skinned if you prefer)
1 large green pepper (chopped)
1 medium sweet or yellow onion (chopped)
pepper to taste
2 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of flour, sifted
Half pound of sliced Cooper cheese (or your favorite, American seems to have the better taste)
2 tablespoons of real salted butter

Spray casserole or 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 375
Boil water in large pot, add cubed potatoes and boil until soft but still firm.
Melt butter in large frying pan, add green pepper, onion, and pepper.
Stir often and cook until onions are transparent.
On medium to medium high heat, add 2 cups of milk, stir often until it starts to boil. Add flour and stir until sauce is thickened.
Place ham in baking dish, drain potatoes and add with the ham.
Top with the veggies and sauce mixture. Stir!
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and add cheese.
Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Sauce will thicken while it sits!

You can always adjust the amounts to your liking. Some may like more or less sauce, plain ham, rather then maple flavor. I wouldn't really suggest a different potato, although yukon gold does work well, you have to be careful and find a good potato that does not hold to much water, I have had this happen, and the sauce does get extra runny!
You can also choose a different cheese. I have used Clearfield American cheese, and it works very well. Cooper just has an extra tasty sharpness to it.
We just had this for dinner the other night, and I should mention that the reason there is a small section without cheese, is because our oldest son, Aaron, is going through a phase where he does not like melted cheese. lol. Although, he will have seconds, and he does not seem to care if  "a tiny speck of cheese is on his plate".
My husband also said the other night that he wondered if the sausage gravy they serve on biscuits and breakfast type dishes would work. That would be an interesting addition, however I don't believe that would work with the ham. I am thinking of trying that, (even though it's a bit more fattening), and using pepper and onion sausage, or maybe sweet italian sausage next time.
Please comment if you try this dish for your family and let me know what they thought!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday Coupon Preview Site!

Thsi is a real cool and very useful site. Some of you may have already known about this site, but I only recently came across it, and I wish I would have found it a long time ago!
This will help with meal, and errand planning!
I can't wait to use it today!!!
Sign up here for access to this very awesome site.

Escalate Network Affiliate Account

Click here to sign up with Escalate Network. They provide all of your links, tons of offers, widgets, banners, and more!
Just apply for an account, and they will normally get back to you within 48 hours.

Sign up with Woman's Freebies!

I have been receiving their newsletters for a few months now, and I do find a lot of good deals from their newsletter!
They are announcing a high value Clorox coupon today, and I'm very anxious to see what this is!!

You can sign up here for Woman's Freebies Newsletters!

New High Value Printables!

$3 off Chutes and Ladders
$4 off Operation! 
$4 off Scrubbing Bubbles!
$4 off Sorry!

Plus many many more awesome deals this week!
This is my favorite printable coupon site!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kid Friendly Chili

This recipe is my mom's famous recipe, with a tiny bit of spices added in by me.
It is always a big hit with the kids, and the adults can add tabasco, or hot sauce to their liking.
This is also one of my favorites to make, especially since I can put all of the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning, and let it sit on the low setting all day.

The amounts will depend on your family size, and if you would like to freeze any for a quick dinner. (This freezes very well!)

2 lbs hamburger (browned and drained)
1 large can of Furmano's crushed tomatoes
2 cans of Red Pack or Del Monte diced tomatoes. (plain or zesty chili)
1 can Hanover or Bush's dark red kidney beans
1 can Hanover or Bush's light red kidney beans
1 can Hanover chili beans
1 large green pepper (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
sugar to taste
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste

Add all ingredients in your crockpot, set on low and cook for 6-8 hours

I normally add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, stir, then taste.
I also found it is very easy to add the cumin and chili powder while the hamburger is cooking in the frying pan.

I often serve this with, cornbread, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and crackers.
The nice Ziploc round containers work very well if you have any leftover and would like to freeze it.
This also works great if you would like to send some to the neighbors'!
We do both, and the extra in the freezer works well for when I have to work that night, and end up running out of time. (which is very often!)
This dinner also seems to work well with picky eaters. Especially if they like Ritz crackers or cheddar cheese. (you can top with your favorites, and your kids favorites too!)
We have been eating this chili recipe for several years, and I try to make it at lease once per month. All of my kids, (all 4), have loved this stuff since they were old enough to eat with a spoon!
Although, Aaron, my 8 year old, will complain a bit since he has decided to become a very picky eater about a year ago. But he ends up eating it. lol.
Deegan, he is 1, loves it so much, I can't shovel it in his mouth fast enough! He does fairly well with a spoon and fork, but he sometimes has an issue getting soups, chili, and certain cassseroles from his dish, to his mouth. Genevive, our 4 year old, absolutely loves it! She's pretty easy to please, and loves meat and green peppers, (2 of her favorite foods). So, she will have seconds and yes, it is a little messy, but nothing makes you feel more content then your 4 year old thanking you for dinner and telling you that you are the best mommy in the world and the best cook! Statements like that, make me melt, and forgive messiness and certainly some other things that I probably shouldn't, lol.
If you have a favorite family chili recipe, I'd love to hear about it! Please make a comment with your recipe link!
Another plus, a very huge plus, is that this is a very inexpensive dinner to create!
I am working on getting our families weekly menus posted on this blog, along with our shopping list. I hope to have this up soon! It scares me to talk with so many people who end up paying so much for their groceries, and family dinners. I will normally try o explain a short version of how our menus are planned and how we save so much with and without coupons.
I do research every flyer from the stores that I frequent, and write all of the good deals down. Then, I will go through each, as some are repeats, and see which stores have the most of what I will need for the week, (to narrow the stores down).
After figuring out where I need to go, in order to get every single thing on sale, or at a very low price, or free, (cause I will never buy it without a sale, coupon, or extra awesome deal!), I start our week, and sometimes 2 weeks worth of menus.
This also makes it very simple when planning your shopping trips, especially when there are a few little ones with you.
But my very favorite part of this is that I don't have to plan to make something last minute, or find out that I ran out of something, or forgot to buy it when I need it!
I'll be posting more of this strategy in the near future!