Thursday, January 28, 2010

10:55 PM

It's 10:55 PM and I am sitting at my computer, watching Leverage, waiting on my cell phone to beep with tennis scores, rubbing Sportscream on my very tight ankle and calf muscle, eating Ruffles, and listening to Caroline play in her room. Oh, yeah, you read it correctly, Caroline is UP. Our daughter is becoming a late night owl. Her bedtime is 9:00, but Caroline thinks it's okay to 'play' in her room until she decides to fall asleep. Lately, this has been around 11:00. Any ideas as to how to get her to go to sleep any earlier? DON'T tell me to put her to bed at 7:00. I'm not a morning person, so I love her to sleep in a bit.

She's now asleep (11:02) but the coughing has started. The coughing that caused her to be 'dismissed' early from school because of the throw up that follows the cough. The fever has returned and I'm anticipating a rough night ahead...

But, in light of all the stress that is going on right now, I wouldn't trade it for a million bucks! I'll leave you with some Caroline cuteness.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FREE Cheese Nips at WalMart

Currently WalMart has the Nabisco Cheese Nips priced at $1.00. In the 1/24 SS, there is a $1.00/1 MQ (manufacturer coupon) for any Nabisco cracker product. What does this mean? FREE Cheese Nips!!!! I have it on very good authority from my teenage niece that these ARE THE BEST. ;)
I strongly 'dislike' going into WalMart, but I ventured in there today and came home with 17 boxes of Cheese Nips for $.52! Yay! I am donating 15 of them to Caroline's preschool for teacher appreciation week and giving Savannah the other two.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

FREE Rotel!

This week at Kroger, they are having their Mega Event Sale. I LOVE this sale, but since Publix has stolen back my heart with the Knox Coupons, I will only shop at Kroger for the FREE stuff. Also, we are in dip mode around here (hey, it's close to the Superbowl) and we love Rotel Cheese Dip, but it can get very expensive with the rotel and velveeta.

Good news....Rotel is FREE this week at Kroger. It supposedly is around 39 cents, so use the $.30 MQ from this past Sunday's SmartSource (SS) and get FREE rotel! I will be MAJORLY stockpiling this little gem as it is very versatile. It also goes great in Chili! I will post another dip recipe using Rotel and Cream Cheese later this week. By the way, use the $1.00 MQ on Philly Cream Cheese and get it FREE this week at Kroger! Now, we are talking!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

I tried this dip several months ago at a tennis match and fell IN LOVE with it! Now, I'm not a huge fan of buffalo chicken, but this was YUMMY! This recipe was very easy and basically foolproof! My hubby couldn't keep going back to the dish! :) I'll be making it again for some upcoming tennis matches and Superbowl Sunday parties.

Frank's RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip
8oz package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot sauce
2 lb chicken breast (you can use canned chicken for easier prep)
1/2 cup cheddar or mozzarella shredded cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I left this out and substitued for cheddar cheese)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir cream cheese until smooth. Mix all ingredients, except cheddar cheese. Stir. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.

I served this with Ruffles chips but it would be yummy with tortilla chips, fritos and cut up veggies. I also didn't have enough canned chicken so I opted for fresh chicken breasts. I boiled it with cayenne pepper until cooked. Shredded and then combined it with the other ingredients.

Publix Shop This Week

Like I have said before, I am trying to get back to my extreme couponing. I slightly forgot all the hard work, time consuming efforts, and stress that goes into planning a Publix Shop. Wow!
I loaded up buggy and very carefully scoped out the cashier situation. I decided on a very tall, young boy (think football linebacker) and began unloading my goodies. As soon as I began handing him my coupons, I realized that I didn't do a good job in 'cashier profiling'. He was extremely uncomfortable and nervous. He read every word on the first few coupons and then meticulously inspected the rest. I wasn't worried because I knew my coupons were fine (but I was hoping he couldn't do basic math in his head and realize that some of my Publix coupons would produce overage). I handed over my last coupon (Walgreen's Register Reward) and he politely excused himself and a handful of my coupons. I knew where he was going...manager intervention/help. After about 10 minutes, he came back (yes, my line is VERY backed up and I'm doing my best to keep my composure and carry on a conversation with some VERY irritated women) and told me he couldn't take my RR and my Rite Aid Competitor Q, so make a choice. Since they were both $5, I chose the RR because it was expiring that day. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. :)
Transaction Details:
8- Aleve Caplets $1.97 ea- (4- $5.00/2 PQ)= Free+++
10- Knox Gelatin $1.39 ea- (10- $4.00/1 MQ)= Free+++
3- Benevia $8.49 ea- (3- $4.00 PQ and 3- $5.00 MQ)= Free++
2- Sundown Vitamins $3.29 ea- (1- $6.00/2 PQ and 1- $3.00/2 MQ)= Free++
12- Jolly Time Popcorn $1.00 ea- (12- $.50 MQ doubled)= Free
2- Eggland's Best Egg $2.00 ea- (1- $.50 MQ doubled and 1- BOGO MQ)=$1.50
1- Texas Toast $1.65 ea- (1- $.50 MQ doubled)= $.65
1- Dove Caramel Candy $2.15 ea- (1- $1.00 Target Q)= $1.15
2- Kraft Dressing $1.60 ea- (1- $1.50/2 MQ)= $1.69
2- Frank's Red Hot Sauce $1.50 ea- (1- $1.00/2 MQ)= $2.00
2- Swanson's Chicken $1.50 ea- (1- $.50 MQ doubled)= $2.00
2- Krusteaz Muffin Mix $1.30 ea- (1- $1.00/2 MQ)= $1.60
2- Krusteaz Crumb Cake Mix $1.30 ea- (1- $1.00/2 MQ)= $1.60
2- Chi Chi Salsa $2.00 ea- (1- $1.00/2 MQ)= $3.00
4- Ritz Crackers $1.54 ea- (2- $2.00/2 MQ)= $2.18
1- ThermaCare $6.99 ea- (1- $3.00 PQ and 1- $3.00 MQ)= $.99
1- Charmin $6.49 ea- (1- $1.00 Target Q and 1- $.25 MQ doubled)= $5.00
1- Idaho Potatoes $1.99
1- Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bread $1.99
1- Taco Bell Dinner Kit $1.35
2- Ruffles Chips $1.99 ea= $3.99
1- Old El Paso Refried Bean $1.47
1- Publix Flour- $2.29
1- Lipton Onion Mix- $1.29
Total: $201.77
Total (after coupons): $9.93

Total would have been lower had they accepted the other $5.00 competitor coupon. :(

I found some yummy recipes for dips that I was dying to try! I made a Buffalo Chicken Dip last night that will be PERFECT for Superbowl Sunday. I'll post it this week. It was VERY easy and SUPER yummy! Tonight we are making a Creamy Bean Dip to take to a friend's house for a football party. point is, look for sales and use overage to pay for the needed items.

I also thought we were low on toilet paper (something that must never happen!) so I bought the Charmin. When I came home, Tim informed me that he moved about 10 more packages upstairs in the guest bathroom. So, we really didn't need that item. I think you can get better deals at drugstores for toilet paper than you can at Publix. (most of the time).

We have Teacher Appreciation Week coming up at Caroline's school in a few weeks. One of the days theme is "Take Me to the Movies". I quickly volunteered to donate all the popcorn! I ordered 40 Q's off of Ebay. I will only need 15 for the teachers, so the rest will be for us. Tim goes through phases where he can't seem to get enough popcorn. ;) Hey, what's better than FREE!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Bunko Babes

As part of my New Year's Resolutions, I committed to reading at least 30 books in a year. Crazy, right? Book 1 is finished and I must say it was an easy read. :)

The Bunko Babes by Leah Starr Baker was just what the doctor ordered! On Thursday night, we had our monthly Bunco (yes, I spell it with a 'c' but both are correct) gathering and the hostess brought this book to share. I flipped it over, read the back cover and announced that I was borrowing it! I sat down on Friday afternoon and finished it Friday night! I was expecting a 'juicy' novel about the trials of the "Babes", instead I received a refreshing approach to the meaning of true friendship and an invaluable lesson of Scripture.

If you play Bunco, this is a must read. :) Even if you don't play Bunco but have a group of girlfriends, then this is for you too.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Publix Shop Post

I've been trying to get back into my couponing, and it's been quite difficult since taking a break. I'll be honest, I was quite nervous when I got up to the checkout lane. I didn't do the numbers in my head like I used to and I had my niece with me (teenager). I decided to add at the last minute a box of Cheez Its. I didn't have coupons but thought it was a great deal. Also, the Progresso Soup wasn't a stellar deal, but since we were finally out, I needed to buy a few to replenish my stock.
Transaction Details:
2- Sundown Vitamins- $3.29 ea (1- $3/2 MQ and 1- $6/2 PQ)= Free++
3- GE light bulbs- $.95 ea (3- $1.50 MQ)= Free++
2- Green Giant Vegetables- $1.00 ea (2- $.50 MQ doubled)= Free
1- Chobani Yogurt- $1.00 (1- $1.00 MQ)= Free
1- Scotties Tissues- $1.00 (1- $1.00 MQ)= Free
2- Swiss Miss Cocoa- $1.00 ea (1- $.50 MQ doubled)= $.50 ea
2- Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks- $1.30 ea (2- $.50 MQ doubled)= $.30 ea
2- Pedigree Dentastix Treats- $1.90 ea (2- $1.00 MQ)= $.90 ea
6- Progressive Soups- $1.15 ea (1- $.25 MQ doubled, 1- $.50/2 MQ doubled, 1- $1.10/3 MQ)= Various Prices
1- Cheez It- $1.65
1- Milk- $2.69
Used: $5.00/$25.00 Competitor Coupon
Total: $51.24
Total (after coupons): $4.51

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Once again, I am here to apologize for my lack of posting. I promise, promise, promise to be better! Instead of writing everything that's been going on, I thought I would share some stories and some pictures.

Story 1:
We survived the HUGE (note sarcasm) snowstorm of 2010. Here in Georgia we managed to get a dusting of snow. I eagerly woke Caroline up from her sleep to let her play in the falling snow. Hey...don't judge only snows every two years here! ;) You can also tell that we aren't really 'snow friendly' by looking at her wonderful snow outfit we threw together at 10:30 PM.

Caroline was so excited to go outside in the snow and build a snowman. Unfortunately, 1/16th of an inch isn't enough to build one. :(

What is this? This doesn't look like the snow on tv!

Now here's the part where you can judge me. Caroline had been dealing with a cough, runny nose and congestion for several days. It was bad enough for me to call the doctor's office and make an appointment. I am good friends with Caroline's doctor, so there's no need to see anyone else in the office, right? I called on Thursday morning and they had an opening. With another doctor. I politely explained to the nurse that we had only seen Dr. Y and though I'm sure the other doctors are quite nice, we would wait until the next day. The nurse then asked me, "Are you willing to let your child suffer just so she can see Dr. Y?" After I recovered from the slap across the face via telephone, I simply said, "Yes."

So, the snow came and we went outside for about two minutes. At midnight, Caroline woke up coughing. I checked on her, she must have had a broken fever because she was soaked. At 2:30, a blood curling scream (the one that sends you into a full run) woke me up. I met Caroline in the hallway who was having a panic attack. It turns out that she was coughing so much that she threw up. Note to everyone....if you are having coughing fits, blueberries are NOT the best choice for food. Ya'll it was EVERYWHERE! I cleaned her up and brought her to our bed, where Tim was snoring.

At 8:15, the phone rang. It was the nurse telling me that the doctor's office was closed due to the ice storm and I would have to call on Monday for an appointment. SERIOUSLY? Yep, the slap was now leaving a big bruise across my face! So what does one do? I call her doctor on her cell phone and she calls in breathing treatments prescriptions. Oh yeah, you gotta love being friends with a pediatrician!

We just finished up our major breathing treatment medicine and now we are down to two a day. According to Caroline, the medicine is "BAD"!

Story 2:

Apparently I have been feeding our two cats rather well lately. How do I know this? Check out this picture!
If your cats are feeling grateful to their owners, they bring you little sacrfices. This beauty was left at the back door. Needless to say, it stayed here until Tim threw it over the fence.

Story 3:

Caroline is going through the TERRIBLE two's and it has been VERY evident this past week. Let's just say that I know why mothers have mental breakdowns and become frequent visitors to bars! (Just joking!!) Take Exhibit A (picture 1). Who would have thought this sweet, innocent princess would look like this in 2.1 seconds (picture 2) when asked why she made this mess (picture 3).

Picture 1

Picture 3

After a few minutes of pure silence, I realized that Caroline was up to no good! I started walking down the hall to find her quietly closing her door. I must have startled her because she then had a look of terror come over her face. When I opened the door, I found that she had dumped all her clothes (except for her socks/tights) into the floor. Not to mention that she had thrown all her puzzle pieces, babies, wipes, and books all over the room. It looked like a giant tornado had touched down in her room. When asked why she made such a mess? "I dunno know Mommy. Why?"

I have lots more stories from the week, but I'll have to save them until later. I am having difficulty with the spacing and picture importing. But, we have vaseline and liquid hand soap stories later! Get a box of popcorn and come back soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Progresso Soup Giveaway!

My tennis friend, Savvy Deal Diva, is hosting a cool giveaway on her website. She's giving away one can of Progresso High Fiber Minestrone Soup, two Progresso soup mugs, and two spoons! How cool! Hop on over to Savvy Deal Diva's page for five chances to win this awesome Progresso Soup Prize Package!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homemade Biscuit Recipe..Easy and Yummy!

I made these homemade biscuits tonight for dinner and they were easy and yummy! Now, I am a southern girl, but I have never made homemade biscuits. This recipe was SO easy and didn't take very much time at all. Caroline helped me knead the dough and enjoyed watching the biscuits rise in the oven. We enjoyed them with strawberry jam! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swagbucks...really do work!

Swagbucks is a search engine that allows you to earn points for things that you normally do such as "googling" or shopping, etc... I set Swagbucks as my homepage and everytime I am on the computer I 'search' for things, even if I already know the address. For instance, if I want to check my email, I type in Yahoo Mail. Swagbucks then randomly awards you points for your searches. I have several friends that have been using Swagbucks for quite some time and 'bought' all their Christmas presents using Amazon gift cards they earned for free!
Of course, if you sign up for Swagbucks, I would love it if you would use me as a referral. It greatly helps me out too! I plan on using my swagbucks to start paying for Caroline's birthday presents. I have my eyes on some more of the Melissa and Doug food items to go with her kitchen, buggy, and cookie set.
Join me and start getting paid for your searches using Swagbucks!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Year means new thoughts and plans

Do you ever sit down at the computer with tons of stuff to blog about, but then immediately get writer's block? I swear this has been happening to me for the last month! I sit down and then realize that I have nothing worthwhile to say! So, I'm just going to start typing and praying that this post makes a bit of sense. :)

Wow! Can you believe it's actually 2010? I vividly remember when it was 1999 and everyone thought the world was going to end!! LOL! Since it is a new year, I decided to update the look of my blog and type up a few thoughts/plans for 2010.
  • Last year, I promised that I would type up our adoption story, and for the most part, I did. I will finish the story soon.
  • I need to do better on my couponing. I have fallen off the wagon a bit and need to get back on it! Unfortunately, a Sunday has already passed and I didn't buy a paper. Not off to a good start...
  • I plan on tracking my savings this year. I started doing this last year and found my calendar where I wrote down the numbers. It was quite an impressive start and I would like to do it again. Maybe I can last three months this year...
  • Each week I would like to cook something in my crockpot. I have already used my crockpot once so I'm actually off to a great start! However, the verdict is still out on the tastiness....we'll see tonight.
  • Reading books. Oh, how I used to be an avid reader. I would sit down with a book and finish it before the sun came up the next day. Yes, I am a freakishly fast reader. However, since I started working and then having Caroline, reading has been put on the backburner. I would love to see myself reading at least thirty new books this year. I guess since we are on a budget, that would mean getting a library card...anyone have an idea on how to get one of those???
  • Running....yes, I said running. I started out doing awesome with this, but then I got sick right before Christmas. I didn't even have the strength to get out of bed much less run in the frigid weather. So, I need to get back. I would like to find a small (very short) race to participate in this spring. It would help with the accountability.
  • Turning off the television more....this is a big one for us. We are horrible at leaving the television on, even when we aren't watching it. It's like we need the background noise. So, I plan on being more aware of this and just exactly how much tv Caroline watches. She doesn't watch tons, but I definitely know she could cut back.

Okay, if you are still here after all of the randomness, thank you! These were just some thoughts that were circling around in my brain and I thought I should at least try to type them up. I hope you guys have a wonderful new year and I would love to hear some of ya'll's (can you tell I'm from the South?) thoughts for the upcoming year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Heart Publix Major Giveaway!

I Heart Publix

One of my favorite websites for helping me to save money at Publix has reached 1 million visitors! In honor of this accomplishment, she is giving away a $100 Publix giftcard. Hurry and head over here to see how to be entered in the giveaway!!!