Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Countdown to the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is now just a few days away.  Do you have your menu ready yet?  I have to admit it is going to be a low key day for us.  We are not really fans of either team, and since it is a school night, the kids will probably be busy with homework etc.   I do love all of the Super Bowl recipes that are being posted online right now.  I am bookmarking my favorites, to use at another time.    I think these Stuffed Pizza Burgers from Celebrations.com look really good.  Back when I was in middle & high school, the cafeteria at my school served pizza burgers that I loved.  I have never seen anything like them since.  These burgers look close, so I think this recipe might be a keeper.
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Target Clearance Finds

I had to go to Target today.  We were on our last few rolls of toilet paper, and I wanted to take a look at the printers.  Our printer has not been working right lately, and I need one for all of my online coupons. There is one that I am considering if there is not an easy fix, but since I am unsure I  decided to wait .   I then went to the shoe section,  because my  son has been complaining about his shoes feeling too tight lately.  The rate this kid has been growing has been unreal.  Currently he is not quite in boys sizes, but also not quite in mens sizes.  He is moving up to a size 7 mens' shoe.   I really don't want to pay full price on his shoes, especially if he can only fit into them for a few months.

I was excited about my find in the boot aisle.  I found Champion Mens size 7 boots for 70% off.  Regular price was $44.99,  I got them for only $13.48. WOOHOO!  Now if only we have some snow that sticks around  for him to wear them in.

The other 3 purchases were for me!  =)  <-----  me smiling  

I LOVE my Target brand suede boots. I have worn them for 3 years and they literally have holes in them.  They are the most comfortable pair of boots I own.  I was thrilled to find a pair of brown suede boots for 70% off.  Regularly $32.99,  I got them for only $9.88.  Since my feet are not growing like my sons, I will be able to wear them for awhile.

I also found a pair of black suede flats.  Normally $19.99, they are on clearnce for only $5.98.  They too are very comfortable, and have a nice fleece lining.

I looked at women's jeans because some of my current pairs are a big snug.  Hopefully that wont be the case for long, but until then  I would like a pair that are comfy.  I found a pair of Mossimo regularly $27.99, marked down to $13.98.  I also had a 15% of womens denim Target coupon, which took off $2.10 more.  Final price for my jeans $11.88.  There were enough that they might be marked down to 70% off shortly, but there was only one in this particular style.  I might check again later in the week to see if they get marked down to $8.46.

I decided to go with Charmin Mega Rolls today because I had both a Target $1 coupon and a $1 manufacturer coupon that I got in my Charmin Sensitive packs awhile back.   Reg $12.99, I got the equivalent to 48 rolls for $10.99.   While I had to buy when I NEEDED it and not when it was on sale, I might not have gotten the best deal, but it was still a good deal.

I saved $82.64 in clearance prices, and an additional $3 in coupons.  A pretty good day!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

New Battery Coupon

$0.55 off Rayovac Alkaline Batteries

If you are in the need of batteries, there is a new  .55 coupon for Rayovac Alkaline Batteries. I think I will be using this one as I need batteries for my new camera.
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Its a Snowman-Snow Day Party

pictures of ideas for a snow day/snowman party

Surprisingly, living where we do in Michigan, we have not yet had a snow day. This winter has been a lot more mild than we can remember, and the snow melts within hours of falling.  The weather channel is even talking about this unusual lack of snowfall.   While we have not had the chance to make a real snowman, the kids and I put together a snowman themed party  with ideas that can be used if we actually do have a day off of school.    Yesterday I shared how I made the snowman centerpiece here.  Also pictured in this photo are the snowman drinking cups that Kara and I made.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snowman Centerpiece

Today we made a snowman centerpiece out of things found at the dollar store and around the house.

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Movie Themed Slumber Party

I had a request for some ideas for a hollywood themed slumber party.  My oldest daughter had one several years ago when she was 9, so I had to do some digging for the old photos.  This party was before I knew I would have a party planning blog in the future, so I didn't have very many photos.   I still remember the party pretty well though.      I bought some red felt at the fabric store and made a red carpet the length of the living room. 

Each of the girls were given a boa, star shaped glasses and a  bead necklace. They  took turns walking down the red carpet, and posed for the photographers.    While we did make up,  nails, and hair  later in the party, this is easily something that could be done before walking the carpet.    This picture cracks me up, Kara was only 4 here, and already knew how to pose like a star.. LOL!   If you can find autograph books from the dollar store, give one to each child and they can take turns giving out autographs.

I used black, gold and silver as the main color scheme of the party, and found many hollywood themed items at my local party store.  Another fun touch would be to make movie posters from pictures of the birthday child and their guests. 

I dont have any pictures of the food we made that night.  We made individual pizzas so that the girls could pick their own toppings.  If you would like to go more elegant, serve finger food in the shape of stars like these recipes on familyfun.com.   Another  fun touch that would make the food look more fancy is to use silver platters from the dollar store. 

This has nothing to do with a Hollywood theme, but being 9, my daughter helped make her own monkey cake.   (her idea)    Sometimes its okay not to stick with the theme, if it makes your child happy. At 9 years old, most girls are obssessed with monkeys, so this was a huge hit
If you would like a more glamourous themed caked, how about the sunglasses cake from

or popcorn cupcakes from food.com.

After walking the red carpet, its movie watching time.  I loved this homemade concession stand by pumpkinseedproductions.blogspot.  The dollar store has a lot of box type candy and even popcorn containers.   The girls can watch some of their favorite movies while enjoying popcorn, and candy.

The next morning I handed out mini tropheys that I found at the dollar store. Each girl got their own special award.   The birthday girl got Best Performance by a Drama Queen (there had been tears at her party.. LOL)  and Best Performance by a Birthday Girl.    Kara got Best Performance by a Little Sister.  I don't remember what awards the other girls got, but they seemed happy with their awards.  

It was definitely a memorable party.   

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Mission Organization

My pantry is scary!  It is not very big, and with 3 growing  kids, we have a lot of food.  I often do not know what is in the back of the pantry because when something is used, it just gets stuffed back in.  A lot of food gets missed because the kids do not see it. I do clean out the pantry every 6 months or so, but it quickly ends up back like this. It was time something HAD to be done.  

The dollar store had bins that were the perfect size to fit in the pantry.  Last night I bought 5, but quickly found out that was not enough.  Today after church, I went back and bought 6 more. 

I started by removing the snacks and other packaged foods  from their  boxes. Removing 30 or so  boxes, makes for a lot more room.  I put like foods together in a basket, in locations where they would mostly likely to  be seen.  I was also a bit surprised at how many jars of pickles I found.  I seriously have enough to last a least of year or more.  I ended up with so many because  there are often good Mt Olive coupons and matched with sales, I buy pickles for less than a dollar.  I just had no idea how many jars there were already in there. 

I don't know how long the pantry will stay organized.  I think I am going to have to give myself another pantry challenge in the coming weeks now that I now see food that I forgot that I had. 

My coupon binder is still a work in progress.  Until this morning, I had all  my coupons cut and ready to file.   While I was thrilled to get 8 new inserts today, (I receive 2 Sunday papers) I now have a lot more cutting and sorting to do.  Luckily my youngest likes to cut coupons for me.  Hopefully I will be posting that it is finally organized soon! 

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sunday Paper Coupons

I saved $49 in coupons this week. Coupons can save a lot of money off things you are already buying anyway.   If you would like to see what coupons to expect in your newspaper this week before they  arrive, be sure to check out the Sunday Coupon Preview.  This week we will be receiving a new Procter and Gamble insert, in addition to a Red Plum and Smart Source.  Click the banner to  see which  individual coupons to expect, so you can start planning your list or buy extra papers.
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Target Deals this Week

Target has a ton of clearance right now. This a a great time to find clothes throughout the store for 50-70% off

I bought my son a pr of jeans 50% off for $8.98
The orange thermal shirt was 70% off for only $3.28
My youngest daughter got a pair of black cords for 70% off, for only $4.48

The polka dot bag is a Thermos brand 9 can insulated duffle bag for 70% off for only $3.53

Maybelline Mascara was on price cut for $4.26. I used a $2 off  Target coupon and a $1 off manufacturer coupon, final price only $1.26

Orange Sally Hansen nail polish, reg price $1.99.  I used a $1 off Target coupon and a .50 manufacturer coupon, final price .49
Blue Sally Hansen nail polish, reg price $2.49.  I used a $1 off Target coupon and a .50 manufacturer coupon, final price .99

3 subject Up and Up notebook, $3.  I used a $1 off Target coupon, final price $2.

2 Prego Sauce, reg price $1.89.  I used a $1 off 2 Target coupon and a .50 off 2 manufacturer coupon, final price $1.14 each

2 Activia yogurt, on sale for $2 each.  I used a $2 off 2 Target coupon and two $1 off manufacturer coupons, final price FREE

Nature Made Vitamin D on sale for $3. I used $1 off  Target coupon and a $1 off manufacturer coupon, final price $1

3 Flinstones gummies $5.99 each.  I used two $2 off Target coupons, and three $1 off coupons.  (I could have used another $2 off Target coupons, but did not have one).  I also got back a $5 gift card for buying 3.   Final price $5.97 total for all 3 after gift card.  With 3rd Target coupon, would have been only $3.97

I also  bought a few other items not pictured.    I used $22.75 in coupons, and got back a $5 gift card.
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Meijer Deals this Week

Meijer has a  good sale this week.  Many items are $1 deals, but 10 get the 11th  free.  Here is a picture of the best deals I bought this week.

Wolf Chili on sale $1.  I used a .50 coupon that doubled, final price FREE
4 boxes pizza rolls, on sale $1,  I used two .40 off 2 coupons that doubled, final price .60 each
3 Meijer brand 2 liters, reg price .88.  I used a Meijer MealBox coupon .50 off 3, final price .71 each
Marie Callendars fruit pie, reg price $2.16, on sale $1.89.  I used .50 coupon that doubled, final price.89
2 Crisco cooking spray, reg price $2.17.  I used two .50 coupons that doubled final price 1.17
Ritz Crackerfuls and 2 Snackwell snacks on sale $2.50 each.  I used a $3 off 3 coupon, final price $1.50 each
Alouette Feta cheese, reg $3.49, on sale $2.50. I used .50 coupon that doubled, final price  $1.50
Pringles snack pack (for kids lunches)   reg price $2.99, on sale $2.50.  I used $1 off coupon, final price $1.50
Lloyds BBQ shredded chicken, reg price $4.99, on sale $3.99.  I used $1 coupon off, final price $2.99
Babybel Cheese on sale buy 1 get 1 FREE.  I also had $1 off 2 coupon, final price $3.49 for 2 or $1.75 each
Healthy Choice Steamers reg price $2.75, on sale $2.20.  I used a .75 coupon, final price $1.82 each

$1 Deals 
Dole Salad, reg $1.99
Spinach, reg $1.99 
Baby Carrots, reg $1.50
Yellow, Red and Orange Peppers , reg $2 each
Healthy Option lunchmeat, reg $1.67
Aunt Millies English Muffin, reg $2.99
White Mushrooms, reg $2.00

I bought a few more items not pictured,  that were just okay deals that we needed.  I saved $26 .30 in Meijer promos and coupons, and $36.05 in sales, for an overall savings of $62.35.  I spent a total of $78.01 off $140.36 in groceries..
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Make it a Family Game Night

I love having family time.  One great way to spent time with your family is by having game night.  There are so many great board and Wii games available that are fun and family friendly.  Make a pizza and pop some popcorn and enjoy a game or two.  Right now there are many game coupons available to add to your

$5 off Bop It! XT

$8 off Scrabble, Simon or Yahtzee Flash We have the Scrabble Flash and love it!

$5 off one Pictionary game Hasbro

$3 off one Jenga or Cranimum Brain Breaks

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Countdown to the Super Bowl

This dip from velveetarotel.com just sounds soooo good to me.   It is cheesy spinach and bacon dip. What is not to love about two types of cheese and bacon (other than the calories!).  It takes only a few minutes to make and will serve a crowd.  For this recipe and many others go to velveetarotel.com. There is also currently a sweepstakes where you can win $15,000.  
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Handmade Valentines

My kids are too old to hand out valentines at school this year.  The youngest one might, but I have not heard anything about it yet.  I have been seeing a lot of cute ideas online for handmade Valentines that are so much cuter than the  mini box kind. Even though we probably wont be making Valentines this year at my house, that doesn't mean others won't be at theirs .  Here are a few ideas that might inspire someone  to make them at home. 

   The hearts pictured above are finger puppets.  The directions can be found on Familyfun.com.

Add clothespin Valentines to little treat bags from MarthaStewart.com.

Instead of a snowflake, make a heartflake also from FamilyFun.com.

Free I am a sucker for your printable from Shindig Parties to Go.

Butterfly Valentines by Modern Handmade Child  found on bing.com
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Countdown to the Super Bowl

We now know who will be in the Super Bowl on February 5th.  Now is the time to get some great food deals for the big game at  your favorite grocery store..  Many of our favorite products are also posting recipes on their websites, such as Franks Red Hot, to add to your party menu.  Today's appetizer is Kickin BBQ Orange Spice wings from Franks Red Hot sauce. In addition to these  spicy wings,  there are many other recipes with a kick posted on their site.
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It's Tax Time

It's tax time again.  I have been using Turbo Tax for years and love how they help every step of the way. They have a free audit support center and free online help.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Mexican Sushi Bites

I guess you could say I am on a sushi kick this week!   When I saw this recipe on the Family Fun, I knew I wanted to share it.  If you are not into the real sushi, how about some Mexican Sushi?   No fish included.  The roll is made for tortilla and the filling is cream cheese, salsa, and veggies.  You can see how to make then on FamilyFun.com.
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Chinese New Year Dragon Treats

I wish I had seen this a few days ago so I could have made some.  These adorable Chinese New Year dragon treats from PartyPinching.com are not only adorable, but easy to make with pre made store bought items.   I also loved her white chocolate oreo panda, which would be so cute for other kids of parties as well.
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Football Pizza

I have been a bit busy today, so I have no idea who won today's playoff game.  My team was out the first week of the playoffs, so honestly I am not sure who I would root for in the Super Bowl.  I did just happen to see this football pizza from Pillsbury.com, that would be perfect for your upcoming Super Bowl parties.  In the next two weeks before  the big game, I will be posting  game day ideas as we count down to the Super Bowl.
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Happy Sushi Birthday

At our favorite sushi restaurant, we had a fabulous dinner tonight. We started with an appetizer of  steamed gyoza.

We were also given bowls of miso soup and salad with ginger dressing

Every plate they serve has a different presentation.  Once our sushi came in the shape of a bird.  We have seen some orders delivered on a boat, or a bridge. This time it was kind of in a flower shape. The middle was a double serving of a MSU roll.  It don't remember what all is in it, but it is one of our  favorites. There is a cream cheese filling, and eel sauce that makes it sweet.  Sweet and cheesy, the best combination EVER!  The roll in the foil is called the snowman, it too is extremely delicious. It has a little bit of shrimp in the middle and the roll itself has mozzarella cheese on the outside. Again on of our very favorites.   Directly in front is a California roll and on the far side a yellow tail roll.   My daughter brought along a friend who wasn't sure  what types of sushi she would like. She ended up liking them all.

They decorated our plate with a pretty flower arrangement  made from some kind of veggie (I think)

The entire restaurant sang Happy Birthday as a bowl of  ice cream was brought out. She had the choice between ginger, green tea and vanilla.

When we got home I served her sushi cake.  I thought you might see the 15 a little better, but I guess I put a few too many sushi rolls on top.  LOL! She didn't mind, she really liked the candy sushi and so did her friend.

When it was time to blow the candles out, the lighter we normally use for candles no longer worked.  She agreed to fake it, so it looked like she blew  her candles out.  I am not too thrilled with Kara making a crazy face in background, but it is my only candle pic. Silly kid!

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Sweet Sushi

I posted a link to this recipe on Snackpicks.com a couple of days ago.  Today is my teenage daughter's birthday.  She absolutely loves sushi, and we are going to her favorite sushi restaurant for dinner tonight.   I wanted to make her a sushi themed birthday cake for her special day.  Since she  is no longer into themed birthday parties, and wanted just a simple cake, I wasn't sure if she would like it.  When she saw the candy sushi, she agreed that it would be cool to decorate her cake with a few of them. 

To make this recipe you need:

6 cups of Rice Krispies (about 2/3 of the 12 oz box)
a bag of gummy worms
fruit by the foot, or some other fruit strips (depends on what color you prefer)
a 10 oz bag of mini marshmellows
3 TBL of butter or margerine

I spray my 15 x 10 cookie sheet with cooking spray and then laid a piece of wax paper on it.  I allowed it to hang over on one side. 

Melt the butter on medium heat

Add the marshmellows.  Here is is just starting to melt and starting to stick.  Make sure to constantly stir for the best results

Just about ready. When fully melted, remove from heat. 

Add your rice krispies,  and try to mix so all the rice krispies are covered

You need a very thin layer to make the roll.  For this step I sprayed  my hands with cooking spray  (they were clean!), and pressed it down by hand.  You can use other tools if you prefer, but make sure to press down.  Another important tip (that I didnt do) make sure that the rice on the edges have enough marshmellow mixture so it sticks when you roll it.   Let it cool before rolling. 

Lay gummy worms,  3 deep about in inch from the side.  Make sure they are close together or you will end up with a few pieces with just rice krispies. 

This is where the extra wax paper came in handy.  Using the wax paper roll the rice kripies as tight as possible.  I had to use my hands and tighten it more while cutting.

When you made one roll, use a sharp knife and cut the length of the tray,  You will be able to make a 2nd  or possibly even 3rd roll depending on how tight you roll them. 

I ended up with two rolls.
Cut into 1 to 1 1/2 pieces

Some of pieces fell apart.  They still taste great, so I allowed the kids to eat this part right away. 

I added the fruit  roll ups to the rice rolls.  To make the process  faster, I left the papers on until the end. 

I pulled off the paper, and soon had a tray of  colorful candy sushi. 

These were my favorites..   Stay tuned for her cake! 

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