Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mama Knows Best - Keeping CDs from Little Hands!

Every Saturday I will be featuring Mama Knows Best series. We as mamas have to be innovative and thrifty all in the same beat. Somehow we find new ways of doing things that save us money, time and maybe if we are really blessed.... sanity!

This weeks Mama knows best comes from Amanda from Amanda Saves. Amanda is a stay at home mama who has a great blog!! She lets mamas know about great deals and freebies and updates multiple times daily so you should check it out!!!

Since my daughter is getting older she has started to accumulate a lot of movies. Mostly DVD's and even though our entertainment center has doors with child locks on it she can still get her little arm in there and she pulls all the movies out and takes the DVDs out of the cases.

Now maybe this is just a problem at my house but everyone knows that two year olds are not known for being careful and gentle. Needless to say all her movies were getting dirty and scratched. Thus causing them to skip around or not place at all. After she broke one of her movies in half trying to get it out of the case I was really at the end of my rope. I was telling a friend of mine how frustrated I was when she made suggestion that was so simple I felt silly for not thinking of it myself.

So I followed her advice and got a CD case (I got mine from the Everything's 99¢ Store for 99¢ and it holds 24 disks). I took all the movies out of their cases and stuck them in the CD holder. Then I put all the cases back on the shelf and the CD holder on top of the TV (well out of my two year olds reach). Now when she wants to pick a movie she picks a case and I get the DVD down from the CD holder. It works great.

Got a great idea? Send me yours at . I will gladly give you and your blog recognition for your creativity as a mama!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some deals I just found!

I forgot these 2 deals....

Victorias secret - $10 off any $50 purchase on valentines day gift. Use the coupon code LOVEVS. Ends Sunday.

Fisher Price- 50% sale select toys. Check it out here!

School Daze

I am visiting preschools today. At first I did a little happy dance in the middle of my living room. The thought of 2 hours twice a week with only one child made me stifle a giggle. (You mamas know that one is soooo much easier to take shopping and errand running. )

Then the realization of what that implies almost knocked me over. This was the very first step to the first born, my son, to learning that he doesn't need me as much. I realized in my horror that I will never have him home with me 7 days a week anymore. It made my heart hurt.

This is the beginning. The beginning of worrying if he is being made fun of, eating his lunch, wearing his coat, being kind to others, paying attention to his teacher and keeping his hands to himself. My mind raced ahead. He has such a joyful spirit about him. I don't want him to lose that. I love the way he wants to lay down with me while he watches his toons. I love the way his little hand feels in mine. They way he calls me mama and crawls into my lap. His giggling which is contagious to anyone that hears it. I don't want anything or anyone to ever hurt him.

Its scary for me as a mama because I know he will hurt and struggle. That's part of life.

I have to make harder choices now. What preschool should I send him to? What school district should I put him in? Is there anyway that I can afford private school for him? Is that even a wise choice for our family? My mind and heart hurts as I realize these choices that I am making for him is going to MATTER.

I could hang on to him. I could squeeze another year or two with him. I would be doing it for me, however. God has graced me with a independent, outgoing, extrovert son. He needs people. He thrives in a classroom setting. He practically knocks me over trying to get into his class at church.

So I will pray. I will pray that God takes care of the unique child that he has let me borrow from him. That he will grant me wisdom during these important years and lead us in the right direction as parents. And I will cry in my car when I drop him off that first day. (ok maybe the first week...ok maybe I am crying now thinking about it) But I will smile when I pick him up because I want him to run his own coarse. I don't want him worrying about me when he should be having fun and learning.

I will smile and stalk his classroom until they tell me to stop peeking in the window.

Some deals this weekend

Here are some great deals that I have come across!!!
Borders- 30% off coupon code with $10 purchases. Ends Feb 8th. Coupon Code is SLA5810M.
Carters- They are having a $5 sale! Tee shirts, shorts and more all for $5.
Pottery Barn Kids- Get free shipping on favorite items. To see items click here.
Victoria's secret- They are having a huge winter clearance sale ... up to 75% off. Check it out here.
Osh Kosh - Is having a 40% off spring sale!
Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A smile for your day!

A friend sent me this and I related so much I thought you may too! Enjoy!

Dear Carolyn: Best friend has child.
Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc.
Me (no kids): What'd you do today?
Her: Park, play group ...
OK. I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners ... I do all those things, too. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events); I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy, but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a contest ("my life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks have the same questions. — Tacoma, Wash.

Dear Tacoma: Relax and enjoy. You're funny. Or, you're lying about having friends with kids. Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed. So, because it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get.

When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces checkout-line screaming. It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15. It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier. It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense. It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything — language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything. It's also a choice, yes. And a joy.

But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself.

Bargain recipe of the week- Giant Eagle

This weeks bargain recipe is a Chicken Roast. This recipe is perfect for mamas who are busy because you put it in the slow cooker in the morning and it cooks itself. This is also a meal that you can get 2 meals. After the first night of having a delicious roast you can then boil your leftover chicken to make a pot of homemade chicken soup. (I will tell you how we make it at the bottom of post!) Happy Eating!!

I will not expense spices since most of us have them on hand. Check out Stretching a Buck Giant Eagle deals here to see more great deals.

Baked Slow Cooker Chicken

1 (2 pound) whole chicken (On Sale 1.29 a lb) $2.58
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
(Feel free to add your own spices too!)

Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3 to 4 inch balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and paprika, and place in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
Set the slow cooker to High for 1 hour, then turn down to Low for about 8 to 10 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Add Green Giant simply steam veggies (see Marcy's coupon link for coupon) .50
Total meal $3.08

Add veggies, and Pasta Roni (On sale 8 for $10) and entire meal is $4.33

How we make our chicken soup:

Just boil your roast chicken in a large pot of water until all meat and skin comes off the bone. Then strain liquid picking out meat to add back to soup. A couple carrots, celery, garlic, kosher salt and pepper along with your favorite noodles and you have a wonderful soup. Now that's stretching your dollar!!

Bargain recipe of the week- Meijer

This weeks bargain recipe is a Pork roast. It only has 4 ingredients but the cook who gave me this recipe insists that its very flavorful. Use the leftover pork to make Pork fried rice and you get 2 meas for 1. Now that's stretching your money!!

I will not expense spices since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon. Check out Stretching a Buck Meijer deals here to see more great deals.

Balsamic Roasted Pork Loin
2 tablespoons steak seasoning rub
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast ( On sale for 1.79 a lb) $3.58

Dissolve steak seasoning in balsamic vinegar, then stir in olive oil. Place pork into a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade overtop. Squeeze out air and seal bag; marinate 2 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place pork into a glass baking dish along with marinade. Bake in preheated oven, basting occasionally until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (65 degrees C), about 1 hour. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This meal costs $3.58

With Meijer Frozen veggies that are 10 for $10 meal cost is $4.58

Roast, veggies and Hot rolls (Meijer brand on sale 3 for $5) .83..... total meal is $5.41

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free Juicy juice sippy cup, coupons and nutrition guide

I know we go through alot of juice in this house!

Click here to sign up for a free sippy cup, coupons and a nutrition guide for Juicy Juice. Once you have registered you can check back to receive more special offers!!

Works for me Wednesday- Toy Storage!

I am a "everything in its place type of girl." Drives my hubby crazy! So you see my problem when it comes to toys and 2 children. I don't want a bunch of toys cluttering up my family room but I want my children to play near us. Thank the Lord I found a great compromise!

I spied a large antique looking trunk at JoAnn Fabrics. I thought it was pricey at around $50. So I stalked the papers and waited until they ran one of their 50% coupons. I practically skipped to the store and purchased it. My hubby didn't seem that enthused when he was trying to get it out of my car but anywho.....

It fits in with the decor of our living room, holds the toys and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. You know the best thing about it.... we can shut it on date night and pretend like we are just married :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Printable coupons! has new printables out! They have some really good ones this month....

Check out the sidebar for quick coupon prints.... Happy Shopping!

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

I really try to only post recipes that are somewhat easy to make. Us mama's have enough to do without trying to complicate things. I recently, however went to Mamas day in where one of my friend brought the recipe below. OH... MY ...GOODNESS.... Let me tell you! I know I am still trying to lose baby weight but I wanted to grab the dish, lock myself in the bathroom and lick the pan!!

So although it sounds like a little much for me to provide my family every morning, I would make it for a special occasion. I hope you enjoy as much as I did! For More great recipe's click the icon above to visit Blessed with Grace. You will be glad you did!

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 c Warm water
6 c Flour
2 pk Dry Yeast
8 oz Cream Cheese
2 tb Sugar
1/2 c Butter
3 1/2 oz Instant vanilla pudding
1 ts Vanilla
1/2 c Butter; melted
3 c Powdered Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tb Milk
1 ts Salt

Combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved; set aside. In large bowl prepare pudding according to package.
Add melted butter, eggs and salt. Mix well, then add yeast mix and blend well. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Place in large greased bowl and let rise until doubled.
Punch down dough and let rise again. Roll out and prepare with cinnamon, butter, sugar mix. Roll up and cut into buns.
Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting: (Mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, sugar and milk.) Spread onto buns.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bargain Recipe- Kroger

This weeks bargain recipe is a soup. With a 10 lb potato bag on sale for $2.99, you can get alot of soup and side dishes for very little money! If you have a family of 4 like us it will be easy to freeze what is leftover for a yummy lunch later.

I will not expense spices since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon. Check out Stretching a Buck Kroger deals here to see more great deals.

Potato, Bacon, Cheddar Soup

3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes ( On sale 10lb bag for $2.99) .99
1/2 cup chopped celery .70
1/2 cup chopped onion ( Kroger yellow onions 3 lb bag on sale for 1.48) .37
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk (On sale 1/2 gallon 10 for $10) .25
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese ( Kroger shredded cheese on sale 3 for $10) 2.49
1 cup cooked Bacon (Private Selection on sale $3) 1.50 (You can also substitute cooked hamburger for a more hearty soup)

Total Cost: $6.30 if freezing 1/2 of the recipe..... $3.15

In a large stock pot add potatoes, celery, onion, chicken bouillon, water and parsley flakes.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer until vegetables become tender.

In a separate bowl mix flour and milk. Once it is well blended, add to soup mixture and cook until soup becomes thick.

Stir in cheese, cooked Bacon and simmer until cheese is melted.

Making a Happy Home Monday

This week I strayed from cleaning or organizing and decided to focus on adding a little touch to brighten the home. I try to keep things fun for the kids (ok and me). Following the festivities of the holidays coupled with the cold weather here, January seems very blah. I mean you take down all those decorations and it looks so plain! So I decided to spice up my kitchen a little bit depending on what holiday was around the corner.

In this case I decided to take ribbon from valentines day and put it around my very plain canisters. Its a simple way to add a little color and a little "happy" to my home and that's always a blessing!

For more great ideas to make your home "happy" click the link above! Or visit As For Me and my House blog!!

Menu Plan Monday

With the weather being so cold here I am in cooking mode. Make sure you check back later today for my bargain recipe for Kroger's sales ad. Happy Eating!!!

Monday: Angel hair pasta with Shrimp, Salad, Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Leftover night.. if its not movin you can eat it

Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff, green beans, mashed potatoes, Rolls ( We substitute the steak with hamburger)

Thursday: Easy chicken and noodles, rolls, green beans

Friday: Pizza Night! woohoo!

Saturday: Baked Ziti, salad, garlic Bread

Sunday: Beef Roast in crock pot, mashed potatoes, green beans