Saturday, March 7, 2009

St Patricks day Crafts for Kids

This weekend is supposed to be really nice here in Ohio and it has me itching to take the babies outside! These are some great crafts to do outside! ( Or inside if your temps are not so nice!!)

Blarney Stone Craft- (In southwestern Ireland, there is a very famous stone, called the Blarney Stone. It is located high up in Blarney Castle. If you kiss the Blarney Stone, it is supposed to give you the gift of eloquence. )

Have your kiddos find a large rock, and paint it green.

After the paint is dry decorate with glitter, sequins, beads, plastic jewels, googly eyes, bits of yarn, or other interesting items. (Note to self... this is a great time to get rid of some of those 1/4 full bottles of glitter and other items I don't know what to do with!)

When the paint and glue are dry, add details (like eyebrows, etc.) using markers.
You now have your own small Blarney Stone to help you celebrate St. Patricks Day!

Easy Shamrock paper craft ( with song!!)
Cut a shamrock shape out of green construction paper. Have your little one color, marker and glue fruit loops or other rainbow cereals on the paper.

Glue a pop cycle stick on the back. Wait for everything to dry.

Here's a little song for your shamrock!

I'm a little Shamrock (sung to: I'm a little Teapot)

I'm a little shamrock look at me
oh what color can I be
If you said that I was the color green
then stand right up and YELL YIPPEE!

More crafts to come in the next few days!!

Some great deals for you!

Here are some deals that have come into my mailbox this week!

Babies R Us - Here is a link to "$845 in values and coupons".

Birthday in a Box - This month is Pinata month! They are giving 10 % off of Pinatas until March 31st. See the button on my left side bar for the savings!
Click Pinatas to see the selection.

Bed Bath and Beyond- I don't know about you but I get a 20% off coupon almost weekly in my mail. My girlfriend "K" sent me an e-mail last night telling me not to throw the expired ones away. She was informed that they still take them and used hers! So keep yours even if their past their prime!

CVS- Here is another tip from my friend "K". She went to CVS and bought CVS brand formula and a couple of other items that were CVS brand. When she got up to the register they asked if she had any coupons. She replied that she did but they were for the name brand items. They told her that they would accept the name brand coupon for their generic item and applied her coupons. Now I am not sure if this was just her store or if they all do this. Have you had an experience with this at CVS? Let me know!

Cookie Cutters- (I am talking the kids haircutting salon in Central Ohio)Sign up here to receive discounts in your e-mail.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Free Small Latte at McDonalds in Central Ohio

I just got a twitter from the Columbus Ohio McDonald's. They are giving Central Ohio residents a free Small Latte from 7 am to 7 pm!!
Sit outside, enjoy the weather and sip some free coffee.
(That's if you can drown out the yelling of your children.... good times!)

Product review: Sleepytime Bath Aromatherapy / Giveaway!

Recently I was contacted to do a product review for eco store. Eco store is a company that makes household, baby and child and pet products that are all plant based and free of toxic chemicals. They sent me the Sleepytime Bath aromatherapy to test on my kidlets.

I am not paid to do these reviews so I am going to be totally real with you ladies.

When I am choosing bath products for myself its what is on sale and what I have a coupon for. When it comes to my precious babies however, its a whole other story. I don't want anything that I am not convinced is gentle for their already sensitive skin! ( I married a blue eyed, blonde hair, fair skin Polish man... you can see the type of skin I am dealing with here :) )

The first thing I noticed was that there was a sleeping baby on the package. (Sleeping babies rank high with tired mama's.) I start praying that this product indeed will sooth the little cranky one.

The directions call for me to pour a capful into running bath water. I do and wait for bubbles. No bubbles. Hmmmm. My son is also waiting for the bubbles. I have to explain to him that this is not bubble bath its to help his sissy sleep. He tilts his head and looks at me like I have eight heads. The thought of no bubbles mystifies him.

The bathroom fills with a lovely smell. I would close my eyes and imagine I was in a spa if I didn't have to keep an eye on my two little swimmers. ( Mama's are hindered in this way.. not alot of eye closing unless we are counting to ten to keep from losing it) The smell of the Sleepytime Bath is truly relaxing. I am not sure about the baby but I have visions of taking a bath after everyone is out for the night, lighting some candles and thinking about.... nothing.

I was worried that the water would be oily resulting in a lot of greased pig / kid action when getting out of the bathtub. It wasn't however!! I am not sure how Eco-Store did it but they managed to get an all natural product that is softening without being greasy..... hmmmmm. I did notice that the kids skin seemed more moisturized and there was no film ring left in the tub!

So there you have it. I, the somewhat skeptic am impressed. To add to my happiness my coupon mentor over at Stretching a Buck has scored the following sweet deal:

You can go here and print a coupon good for $1 off any Ecostore USA product (valid 3/1-3/14, and posted with the consent of Meijer). In addition, for any Ecostore USA product purchased at Meijer during the month of March, you will receive a $2 Catalina coupon toward your next store purchase. That means that you are in effect saving $3 per Ecostore USA product purchased!

To add to this happy post, I am giving away a bottle of the Sleepytime Bath to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment and I will pick a winner at random on Monday! I won't tell anyone if you use it for yourself :) Good luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bargain recipe of the week- Giant Eagle!

Bargain Meal of the Week

I am starting to really like these new recipes. I am anxious to try this one because of the different ingredients! Its in a slow cooker which works for this tired mama today. The person who passed this along said that it was "melt in your mouth!"
Happy Eating!

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

Slow Cooker Tomato Chicken

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (On sale 1.99 a lb) $1.99
1 can diced tomatoes with basil (On sale Valu-time .54 ) .54
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen peas (On sale Valu-time .99) .60

Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Stir together the tomatoes, garlic, soy sauce, and dry mustard; pour over the chicken breasts.

Cook on Low 7 hours; stir in peas and cook 1 hour more.

Total cost of this meal: $3.13
Add Valu-time corn muffins (on sale .35) Total: $3.48
Add corn muffins and Valu-time brownies (On sale for .75) Total: $3.86

Do you have a killer recipe that you would like to share? E-mail me at!

Click on the image to go find more Bargain Meal of the Week!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New coupons available

Did you know that at the beginning of each month reset their coupons? This means even more savings for you at the grocery store! You can print most coupons twice per computer and there are some really good ones! (Including Huggies)

You can find the coupons on my side bar to the left. Print away!!!

Works for me Wednesday- greatest hits

This week the WFMW host is asking for our favorite post. This is my all time favorite because it has helped me so much! I am re-posting it from last July. Hope it helps you too!

I don't know about you but I can't stand it when my darling helpful husband does laundry. I know women who swear they would love if their husbands did laundry. I agree with them in theory.

In actuality what I get is a load of laundry that contains the following. A couple white fuzzy towels, a navy blue towel, a pair of nice khaki slacks, a red polo shirt, my linen skirt, a very shrinkable black baby doll top and a rag that I used to clean the oven. Can you hear me growling from where you are??

What I get from my hubby's good efforts is alot of shrunken clothes. I find the dryer does more damage than the washer does. I can't put all of the blame on my husband. I get in a hurry to get laundry done and forget that I have non dryables in the washer. I don't have to tell you ladies that money spent to re buy clothing is frustrating!!

What I have come up with is a way to hopefully save clothes and money. I went to a craft store and bought flat magnet squares that you can cut as needed. I then took my label maker and made a big fat label that said "NON DRYABLE ITEM". (You can just write it on some neon or colorful paper if you don't want to use a label maker or need to get someones attention. :) ) I then attach the label to the sticky side of the magnet sheet and wah lah!

After I throw a load in the wash with a non dryable item I will put my magnet over the lid. It has saved me so much frustration! I have asked my husband to only wash his clothes so that has also saved me some hassle. If he goes to throw a load in the wash and sees the magnet he slowly backs away from the washer..... and this works for me!

For more helpful hints check out We Are That Family!

Bargain recipe of the week- Meijer!

Bargain Meal of the Week

This week Meijer has a ton of deals! They even have coupons in their flyer. I am really excited to try the recipe below. It has everything... pasta, chicken and veggies! Happy Eating!

Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

8 ounces pasta (Barilla pasta on sale .88 ) .57
1 lb boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (On sale 1.99 lb) $1.99
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 bag of frozen stir fry veggies (On sale Meijer brand 3 for $4) $1.33
1/4 cup water
1 bunch green onions, chopped .99
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Place in large bowl with chicken.

In large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water, cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes, until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.

Remove vegetables with slotted spoon and toss with pasta and chicken.

Mix in green onions, soy sauce and sesame oil, adjusting soy and sesame to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Total cost of this meal: $4.88
Add Vienna bread on sale 2 for $3. Total: $5.63

Click on the image to go find more Bargain Meal of the Week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday- Irish edition

Arrr me lads and lassies! Wait... that sounds like a Irish pirate. Anywho, you get the idea.

My home is adorned with Shamrocks and my family is going to start getting Irish food on their plates! There are some delicious dishes and I will be featuring more throughout the next two weeks!

Some notes on this recipe: It calls for a whole chicken cut up. Save yourself some hassle and buy a pack already cut up. You can find it next to the chicken breasts. It also calls for stout. Stout is any dark beer that is somewhat bitter. Any should work just fine. I will be posting more recipes this week calling for stout so it won't go to waste!

Irish Stout Chicken
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves
1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs), cut into serving pieces
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup stout
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup frozen peas

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon, and place in small bowl.

Arrange chicken in single layer in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

Add onion, garlic, carrots, parsnips, thyme,salt, and pepper to skillet. Pour stout over chicken and vegetables. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer 35 minutes.

Add mushrooms and peas to skillet. Cover; cook 10 minutes.

Uncover skillet, and increase heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced and chicken is no longer pink in the center.

For more tempting recipes visit Blessed with Grace!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hot Potato, Hot Potato!!!

Kroger has their 10 lb bag of potatoes on sale for $2.99!!

That is a great deal. Many of my girlfriends, however say they hesitate to buy them because they will go bad. Well worry no more because here are some killer ideas on how to use this great deal to your advantage. ( All without getting sick of potatoes!)

Did you know that you can freeze mashed potatoes??
When such a great deal comes around, I will plan to have mashed potatoes one night during the week. I will triple the amount I make. (Yes, I know that's alot of potatoes... it will be worth it!)

After our family eats I will divide the remainder of the mashed potatoes into ziplock freezer bags. (I usually get 3 bags out of it !) For next couple of months whenever we want to have mashed potatoes we just get a bag out of the freezer and empty it in a pot on the stove. They taste the same and the texture is the same! It really stretches your money and gives you some extra time since you don't have to make all those extra potatoes.

Make potato soup!
Its easy cheap and delicious! Make a double batch and freeze leftovers in freezer containers. We usually freeze in small containers so we can take them out for lunches. (Great with grilled cheese!)

Here is a recipe for stellar ham, potato, cheese soup! (Add jalapeno for some warmth :) )

Make Breakfast

I rarely think about potatoes for breakfast, yet when we go out to eat I always get them! Cube those suckers and fry them up for a special family treat on a Saturday!

Make a casserole to freeze

When someone has a baby or loses a loved one I always try to take them food. In my family whenever someone was down and out we fed them ( Thus, why my hubby and I eat during every possible emotion we experience. I am getting off the subject...)

I never feel like making one at the time, however. I find if I make it ahead and have it in the freezer I am always so grateful to have something to take to someone!

Here are some great recipes! Here and Here!

Plant them.

You heard me right sister.

When potatoes start to sprout we throw them away and feel bad for wasted food. Do you know that you can plant your sprouted potatoes? Its best to do this in early spring or late fall. See this great article for how to's!

I will also be featuring many Irish recipes over the next couple weeks. Most of them have potatoes in them... so check back!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bargain recipe of the week- Kroger

Bargain Meal of the Week

Kroger has chicken on sale for $1.99 this week. WOOHOO! Some other great deals include cheese (3 for $5) and potatoes (10 lb bag for $2.99) ((Look for my post on potatoes tomorrow!)) This weeks recipe is Salsa chicken. I am hoping that it makes me feel like I am in Mexico and not in snowy Ohio but I am not holding my breath!! I hope you enjoy it.. happy cooking!

Check out Stretching a Buck deals here to see more deals at Kroger. I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand.

Salsa Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (On sale $1.99 a lb) $1.99
4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix .99
1 cup salsa (On sale Tostitos 2 for $5) $1.25
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (Kroger cheese on sale 3 for $5) .83
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional) (Kroger sour cream on sale $1.99) .30

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts, and pour salsa over all.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear.

Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Top with sour cream if desired, and serve.

Total cost of meal: $5.36
Add salad ( On sale Dole 2 for $5 ) Total cost of meal : $6.61
Add salad and cherry or apple pie (Kroger brand on sale 2.99) Total cost of meal: $8.11

Click on the image to go find more Bargain Meal of the Week!

Menu Plan Monday

This week I get to use three of my bargain recipes again! I love trying new things so I am anxious to see how my family likes the new meals. I hope you have a yummy week!!

Monday: Sunshine Chicken, rice, Broccoli, crescent rolls

Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: Pork ribs, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread

Thursday: Leftovers- If its in the fridge you can have it, but mama's not cookin!

Friday: Pizza night!

Saturday: Quick beef and pasta pot, mixed veggies, rolls

Sunday: Italian wedding soup in bread bowls

For more great menu ideas visit I'm an organizing junkie!

Making a Happy Home Monday

Mama's do a thousand little things to make their home a happy one!

Every mama I know goes out of her way to make birthdays special for her kids. But birthdays are expensive! Especially little people birthdays. (The industry that makes paper plates and theme decorations sure know what they are doing! )

The trick, I have found, is to pick a general theme and then use what you already have in your arsenal of "stuff". What mazes me is that you can use a thousand things non-party related.

My daughter turned 1 this weekend. She is the only girl out of 10 boys..... of course we had a first birthday princess party. (I mean, is there anything else?? ) I was trying to figure out how to decorate when I came across some things in my basement. Here is what I used....

For a centerpiece where the food would be placed, I bought a plant at Sams for $8. Its pink, pretty and I can plant it outside as soon as Ohio decides to warm up! I thought about pink roses but they would just die and are expensive! This way every time I look at my beautiful pink plant I can remember my little princess!

For the candy favors, I found a cream hat box that I had received as a gift. It was perfect for all the bags of candy! I then found an old pair of elbow length gloves I had worn in a wedding as a bridesmaid. I took a crystal necklace from my costume jewelry and draped it along the gloves. Nothing says princes like some jewelry :)

To hold the silverware I found a candle holder in our Christmas decorations! It has crystals that drip off of a ribbon. It looks very wintery at Christmas time. It transformed into regal, however for this occasion!

I then dug out a silver tiered serving stand that I forgot that I had! It was perfect for the rolls.

I also found some loose crystals that came in a vase that for some reason I decided to save. ( Why? I am not sure... it seemed like a good idea at the time) I sprinkled those along the buffet and it made everything sparkle!!

I know my little princess won't remember what I placed the favors in or what I served the rolls on. I do know that we had a fabulous time and saved a ton of money on paper decorations that would have to be thrown away! And that makes her mama and daddy very happy indeed!

For more happy home ideas check out As for me and My House!