Monday, November 23, 2015

Holidays on a Budget - Easy Twice Baked Potatoes

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes with Bacon Bits

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be sharing posts in my series Celebrating the Holidays on a Budget.  Today I am sharing a recipe that is not only easy to make, but very inexpensive.  You can make it ahead of time for your holiday dinner or get togethers, or just eat it for a family dinner. 

This time  of year is the perfect time to make Easy Twice Baked Potatoes.  Last week Aldi had a 10 lb bag of Russet pototoes for only $1.29.  We will be able to make several meals from that bag which makes me very happy. You should be able to find some great deals on potatoes right now.  

You will need one to two potatoes per person, depending on the size.  

Bake for about an hour at 400 degrees 

Once the potatoes are done, take them out of oven.  I allowed mine to cool for a few minutes before moving on to the next step. They will be very hot to the touch without cooling.  Cut the potatoes in half. To get the potato halves to stand up, cut a small slice from the bottom to make a flat bottom.  Carefully scoop out the potato flesh and place it in a small bowl.  

This next step is the fun part.  Add whatever extras you want in your twice baked potato based on your preferences. I did not measure, I just eyeballed until I felt we had the right amount of ingredients.  I used 2 Tablespoons of Sour Cream, and about 4 thick slices of Velvetta.  You can use any cheese prefer, Velvetta is what I had on hand.  It makes a great grilled cheese, and it is creamy when it melts. You could also add broccoli or even bacon to the filling.  Mix well so the ingredients are distributed throughout the potato. 

Refill the potato skins with the potato mixture.  Place them back in the oven, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins more.  

We sprinkled on some bacon bits,  and a little bit of salt. (I did not have a chance to take a picture before the potatoes started disappearing)   They were really good, and were gone very quickly.  My kids loved them, and want me to make the again, and again. 

If you liked the Twice Baked Potato recipe, you might also like these recipes

Another potato recipe my family loves is Easy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes. We served these at Thanksgiving last year.  Because they are made in the slow cooker they can be out of the way while you prepare the rest of the meal.  

BBQ Sausage and Cheesy Bacon Potatoes made a great winter meal 

Read More »

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dare to Share #190

Was it just me, or did this week seem just a little bit crazier than normal. Maybe it is the anticipation of Thanksgiving, and official start of Christmas season starting next week.  Maybe it is the weather. This week I was sick two days, my daughter appointments with her dentist and neurologist,  and we went from being 60 degrees yesterday to getting 4 inches of snow tomorrow. I had a lot of plans to get things done, but that just did not happen. Maybe I will finally get some of it done tomorrow, since I do not plan on going out  in that 4 inches of snow! I just can't quite get my head about the fact that it is almost weather. It truly feels like summer was just a few weeks ago.  

This week I shared a deal with you for my favorite bra. You can get 30% off a Coobie Seamless Bra and a Violet Love Headband for a limited time.  You read more about this deal HERE

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has shared several posts for Thanksgiving, including this one with her Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Now it is time for this week's party.  You are able to link anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog and my social media. This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses posts to feature on her blog and social media.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


Read More »

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gift Idea- Save 30% on Coobie Bras and Violet Love Headbands

I don't know about you, but as we get into these very busy holiday weeks, I am all about comfort. There are days that are non stop with the shopping, wrapping, baking,  parties, etc.. that I want to wear clothes that I feel good in.  I got one of these Coobie bras a couple of years ago, and I love it! When they claim to be the most comfortable bra ever, they really mean it. On days when I wear a regular bra, I can really tell a difference. I would much rather wear my Coobie bra

One reason why Coobie bras are so ultra comfortable is because they are seamless. You also do not need your exact bra size. They come in one size that fits 32A through 36D comfortably, and a full size that fits 38-42D.  They come in more than 10 different styles and over 50 colors and patterns.  There is sure to be something for everyone. 

While I have not tried a Violet Love Headband yet, I will be trying one soon.  This no-slip no-headache headband is perfect for yoga, pilates, or just because.  They are made from Premium quality fabric and are super soft and comfy.  

Right now you can save 30% on any Coobie Seamless Bras or Violet Love Headbands at ad   Use promotion code USFG30

Read More »

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dare to Share #189

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!! 

I had big plans this week.  I had planned on working on a craft, cleaning my house, and sharing a feature post. This week I worked at the elementary school in a kindergarten classroom. It was a lot of fun, and I met some really great kids.. Those awesome little kids wore me out. For the last two days, i closed my eyes for a second and both times ended up taking unexpected naps. I definitely have a new appreciation for teachers who teacher little ones on a daily basis! 

Due to the popularity of my Snow Owl Ornaments , I shared a post with several my Crafts to Make with Cardboard Tubes

Since I did not have a separate Dare to Share Features post, I am sharing them tonight at the party.. 

I love Cheesy Broccoli Soup, but have yet to try and make it at home. I might give this recipe from Clean and Scentsible a try. 

I love this Sugar Cone Cornucopia by Growing Up Gabel. You might still have some of the candy you need leftover from Halloween. 

This Pumpkin Cheesecake by Bombshell Bling would be a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. 

Apples are still in season, and this Caramel Apple Bread by Serendipity and Spice looks like great recipe to use them in. 

Have any leftover Snickers? I do, only because I recently bought another bag. You can use them to try these Snickers Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by Frugal Foodie Mama

I remember making something like this Pumpkin Roll  with my grandma when I was a kid. I would like try to make this recipe by :Life Anchored   with my own kids. 

,My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has been sharing a lot of Thanksgiving posts.  This week you can learn more about her family Thankgiving  Giving Tree

It is now time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog and my social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features for her blog and social media. 

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


    An InLinkz Link-up

Read More »

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crafts to Make with Cardboard Tubes

With the popularity of my Snow Owl Ornaments this week, I thought I would  re-share some of my other cardboard tube crafts that I have posted over the years. 

Another project that I really enjoyed making was my Turkey Napkin Rings. The entire set was made from one paper towel tube.  I have another Thanksgiving tube craft that I made  a few years ago, but I can not find on the blog. I would tell you what it is, but I think I am going to remake it, and share in the next few weeks. 

One of my most popular cardboard tube crafts was  How to Make Despicable Me Minions  They are still one of my all time favorite crafts. 

Another favorite cardboard tube craft was made by my daughter.  She make her Hanging Rainbow Flower for a school project.  She ended up making three of them, and selling them all.  I think I will have to her make another one for me, because I still love it. 

In a throwback post, my daughter also made me these Cardboard Tube Flowers. I loved them then, and I still love them now. I still have them!  She looks so young in this picture. 

This year I used cardboard tubes to make Leprechaun Treat Boxes. I thought they turned out pretty cute. 

Easter was not left out. Last year I made these Spring Animal Boxes. I could not decide which ones were my favorite. 

For the 4th of July I made this Quick and Easy Fireworks Craft. I added the fireworks to long skewers, which made a perfect way to add to my red, white and blue flower pot. 

And of course, the craft that inspired this post.. my Snow Owl Ornaments

Until I started writing this post, I had kind of forgotten how many cardboard tubecrafts I had actually made. I will be adding to that list real soon!  

Read More »

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dare to Share #188

It is Friday night, and you know what that means. 
It is time to Dare to Share!  

What a crazy week we have had! 

Since the last Dare to Share party, a lot has happened at our house. 

I took my daughter Trick or Treating in the pouring rain. (I actually did not take any pictures of her in costume that night, which I did not realize until later) 

She also got her braces off 6 months later than planned. (she was unable to wear bands for a time because of her migraines, which caused treatment to go longer.  

On Wednesday I noticed my views were higher than normal, but I was not sure why. It turns out my Snow Owl Ornaments were shared on two big Facebook sites. Since then my views have been way, way up, and my post has been shared on Facebook about 100,000 times. These owls have always been one of my favorite crafts, so I am thrilled to see them being liked by so many.  This Christmas season, I plan on a few more Woodland animal ornaments.  

Earlier this week I shared some personal reasons why I am staring a new series of posts on my blog on Celebrating the Holidays on a Budget

The very next day I heard of a great way to save money at Target this holiday season.  They will be having a special deal each day through their Cartwheel app until December 24.  You can read more about it in my post Great Deal Alert on Toys

My co-host Kim from has been sharing a lot of Thanksgiving ideas this week.. My favorite are these sweet Thanksgiving Wall Art Printables .

Now it is times for this week's party.  You are welcome to link up anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog and my social media.  This party will be seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses links to feature on her blog and social media. 


Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

Read More »

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Great Deal Alert on Toys

*Disclosure, this post contains an affiliate link.  

If you saw my post yesterday about how I want to start a series on Celebrating the Holidays on the Budget you would have seen I will be sharing great deals on gifts when I hear about them.   I just heard of  great one if you buy kids toys at Target. Each day between now and Christmas there will be 50% OFF a hot toy of the day with your Cartwheel app.   

Today's hot toy of the day is the Monster High Student Disembody Set.  It is normally $49.99 for a set of 5 dolls today only $24.99 . I am not 100% if you can use both together, but you might also be able  to use the 25% off coupon from the Target Toy catalog for Toys, Sporting Goods or Art/Craft Item.     The final price for the set of dolls would only be $18.74. This deal is in store only. 

If you would like to see more information  about the dolls, you can see them here on Amazon


I would would like to know more about Cartwheel, and other great ways to save at Target be sure to read my post Ways to Save at Target You Might Not Know About

Read More »

Monday, November 2, 2015

Celebrating the Holidays on the Budget (a new series)

I am going to start something new between now and the end of the year. I will be sharing a lot of tips on how to celebrate the holidays on a budget.  I don't normally talk a lot about my family life  on my blog, but there is a personal reason why I want to start this series of posts. I will be honest and say, I am not really looking forward to the holidays this year. In fact, I am feeling anxious about them. There has just been so many changes this year that we are still adjusting to.  We moved to a very small space less than half of the square footage of our house. We barely have enough  room for a Christmas tree. (I had 3 at the house)   I will not be able to bring out  my decorations, which are all pretty much in the back of  the storage unit  anyway.  We no longer have our beautiful fireplace and mantle, which makes me sad.  My oldest daughter moved across the country at the end of September, and will most likely not be able to come home for Thanksgiving or  Christmas.  This will be the first year we will be apart for the holidays. Many of our usual traditions will have to be totally different this year.  My family (parents, siblings, nieces and nephews) live too far for us to go visit. Money is tight, and I am not sure how we are going to afford many presents.  I know there are other people who  also not really looking forward to the holidays.  Two of my best friends have lost both of their parents, and do not have much family close enough to see for the holidays. These special "family" days are also  hard for them.  This time of year it is when friends become your family. 

Since I know that many others may have similar struggles, I thought it would be good to share tips on saving on food, great gift deals I find, how to decorate frugally in a small space, and basically how to simplify the holidays  I am hoping as I share the ways I am adjusting to our new circumstances, that others will also be able to benefit as well.  I don't want to sound like I am being a downer. I really am not.  I am happy and optimistic person by nature. I know there is a reason for  this season, and lessons to be learned. So follow along and we will get through these next two months together. 

Read More »

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dare to Share #187

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

It has been kind of a crazy week.. My daughter is really struggling with her migranes again. We had a 504 meeting at school this week,  because they are bad enough they are affecting her school attendance and school work.  I worked a couple of days this week, and it was also my birthday.  I had a very special day yesterday which you can read about in It;s a Happy, Happy Birthday.  We are hoping to have some Halloween fun tomorrow, but are expecting rain and not so great temps. Luckily we did get to do something fun last weekend in case it is a total washout. We will also be having a long weekend this weekend since today was the end of the quarter.  Even are days "off" will be busy.  Kara gets her braces off after a little over two years, and we also have a Dr's appt. This month few by so quickly, and now the holidays are right around corner.  I know I am not ready for them, are you? 

I had small group at my church tonight, and did not have the chance to select Dare to Share Features.. I hope to do that this weekend.  

My co-host Kim has a great last minute decor idea.  A printable for a Jack-O-Lantern Mini Pennant Banner.  You can see this and other great Halloween ideas over on her blog Kandy Kreations

It is now time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything you would like to share.  If you are chosen as the Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be promoted on the blog and social media. This party will also be seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features that she shares on her blog and social media.  

LInk up and HAVE FUN! 


Read More »

It's a Happy, Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday.  I was working on this post before bed. I had it about 75% done when I some how did something and the entire post disappeared.  It was too late to do the entire thing over again then, so I am trying again today.  

I normally do not get to do a lot of things for myself.  I am one of those moms that seems to always be taking care of something or someone.  A good friend of mine said for my birthday we were going to do things that were all about me for a change. She is like my older sister, and is always looking out for me.   Our day started off  early. The plan was to meet at IHOP after bringing our kids to school.  Originally my friend said she would get there a little after 8. I thought I would have enough time to go back home and get ready after dropping off the kids.  While I was getting ready she sent me a text at 7:45 saying that she was already there.. Ooops! I quickly finished getting ready, and was on my way.  Once there I had a birthday coupon for a free breakfast.  I found out I could have any breakfast on the menu, and they would take the $6.49 off the check.  I chose the egg and bacon combo with strawberry crepe. It was really good! 

I really, really needed a haircut.. Our next stop was Fantastic Sams. I had been sent a birthday coupon for 25% off any service.  I love how good my hair looks after having someone else do it for me.   We took a few selfies before we left salon. It was hard to get a good shot, because we were laughing so hard.

We had some time before our next appointment, so we stopped at Target. Both of us need a few things, and we knew we could easily spend an hour looking around the store. We also go another treat while there..  I chose a Strawberry Frappe, she got a Pumpkin Spice Latte..

I did pick up an unexpected item at Target. In the Dollar Spot section, I found this unicorn headband.  It is a running joke in my family that I am unicorns and rainbows, and  the rest of them are doom and gloom. (my teens and their dad)  I just had to bu it, and then I wore it the rest of the day. I even picked up the kids from school wearing it.  My son asked me "Why are you wearing that thing mom?" . I answered.. "Because I can."   I am sure he thought it was weird, but he should be used to it by now.  ;) 

Next up was the nail salon for mani-pedis.  I have only had one other manicure ever and have never had a pedicure, so this was a new experience.  I had my pedicure first, while my friend got her manicure.  It felt so good to soak my feed in the warm water.  

While I was relaxing, I was given a plate of meats, cheeses and fruit. This was a great snack since it was now about lunch time. 

Admiring my freshly painted toes. I still need to get used to the toe spacers. 

Because it was my birthday, they gave me a delicious white chocolate and berry muffin. I do have to laugh when I look at this picture though, because it reminds me of what happened right after. Do you see that light in the picture?  When I stood up, I accidentally ran into the light almost knocking it over, and  then  I almost dropped my lit muffin on the floor.. I swear I can be such a klutz sometimes. LOL!  The keyword here is ALMOST.   I was able to catch the light. and keep a hold of my muffin.    

It was then time for my manicure. I picked a really pretty purple shade.  Diane from AvaShay did a fabulous job. My nails look nicer than they have in a very long time. I am still getting used to having them polished.   If you are in the Livingston County area of Michigan, I really recommend you stop by AvaShay. They were so nice there, and really did make my birthday feel extra special.  

After are mani-pedis it was almost time to pick up the kids from school.  My all about me day was over, and it was back to reality. 

It was  one of the best birthdays that I remember having.  

Read More »