Monday, July 20, 2009

CVS Good Deal of the Week

I went a little off plan this week on my CVS trip. As always, my first stop is that magical little coupon printer/price checker thingy. I got a $10/$50 coupon (Woot!), a $1 off CVS brand water coupon and a $2/2 any CVS brand nuts coupon. So I had to incorporate those into my shopping today.

My haul:

(2) 1” Vinyl Binders
(2) Packs Filler Paper
(2) Paper-Mate Pens
(2) Small note-pads
(2) CVS brand cashews
(1) CVS brand Pantiliners
(1) Gallon T.G. Lee milk
(4) Izze carbonated fruit drinks (I drank one already - YUMMY!) - BOGO this week
(1) Case CVS brand bottled water

Coupons used:
(1) $1/1 any T.G. Lee product (printable available HERE)
(1) $2/2 any CVS brand nuts
(1) $1/1 CVS brand water

I had to trek to 4 different CVS’s (and still didn’t get everything I wanted); used a total of $16.84 in ECBs and paid a total of $3.19 OOP. Got back $15.85 in ECBs to spend next week!

For the $5 Challenge (starting with $0 ECBs):

Scenario 1
(2) Speed Stick Pro - $2.99ea - $5.98
- (2) $1.50/1 Printable coupon available HERE (coupon only available in select Zip codes)
Total OOP: $2.98
ECBs Earned: $4 from Speed Stick

Scenario 2
(1) 24-ct Pencils - $1.99
(1) Paper-Mate Pens - $.99
(1) Filler Paper - $2.00
- $4.00 ECB from Scenario 1
Total OOP: $.98
ECBs Earned: $1.99 from Pencils, $.99 from Pens, $2 from Paper

Scenario 3
(1) Filler Paper - $2.00
(1) 1” Vinyl Binder - $3.00
- $4.98 ECB from Scenario 2
Total OOP: $.02
ECBs Earned: $2 from Paper, $3 from Binder

Scenario 4
(1) 24-ct Pencils - $1.99
(1) Paper-Mate Pens - $.99
(1) 1” Vinyl Binder - $3.00
- $5.00 ECB from Scenario 3
Total OOP: $.98
ECBs Earned: $1.99 from Pencils, $.99 from Pens, $3 from Binder

TOTAL OOP: $4.96
and you'll still have $5.98 ECBs to spend another day!

Check out Alyssa's $5 CVS Challenge at Keeping The Kingdom First for more ideas on how to maximize your dollar at CVS.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Views from a drive - Put into words

So, last week sucked. I'm finally feeling more like myself although my voice is still stuck in mouse mode.

Last week, I posted pictures from our drive for Wordless Wednesday, but I wanted to give the story behind them.

Last Sunday, Hubbster and I participated in a mileage test drive with the Audi Club of Florida. We are geeks like that and do love our Audi's. Most of the other cars were newer, but we represented with our 2001 A6 2.7T. I do love my car, but those Q7 TDi's make me want. 40-something MPG! And soo pretty.

Some other Audi's that were driving with us:

Another Q7 TDi:

View of down-town Tampa from I-4 (or maybe this was on I-275?):

We all stopped at this AMAZING German bakery in this teeny little town called Yalaha. The bakery is called (appropriately) Yalaha Bakery. I had potato pancakes and they made me remember eating them when we lived in Germany - got the applesauce to go with, of course.
Anywho - while waiting outside for our group to re-hit the road, I was following this beautiful butterfly around. He posed for me:

And I'm not sure where this was exactly, but somewhere on our way from Yalaha to Altamonte Springs we crossed this bridge and it was just purty:

It's not often Hubbster and I get to go out and just take a drive anymore. The kids get bored in the car (which leads to annoying us), gas prices are crazy, just trying to find the time. But this is something that we have always enjoyed, so it was great being out, windows down, no rush, just enjoying the ride and the scenery.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Heads or Tails

The theme/prompt for THIS week, July 14, is:

HEADS - "Pile"

Make any kind of post using any version of the word "Pile" as your theme/prompt.

The first thing that comes to mind are the piles of laundry waiting to be cleaned that I have absolutely *no* energy to do. I've been sick for the last 2 days and I think today is the peak, hopefully tomorrow will be better. I hate having to do household chores when I'm not feeling well.

Visit the Heads or Tails blog for more!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Forgot to put the chicken out in enough time to defrost completely yesterday, so we ended up eating out. :( Other than that, menu went pretty well last week.

Monday: Baked chicken with roasted new potatoes and fresh green beans (from last week).

Tuesday: Chicken & Veggie kabobs served with rice and BAS (using left-over chicken from Monday).

Wednesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches with fruit smoothies. Girls asked for this to be added every week, it's quick and easy - all depends on what fruit is in season.

Thursday: The girls have a bowling league in the late afternoon. We will either have dinner at my moms or Stuffed Shells left-overs from the freezer. This is a quick, easy recipe that makes more than enough for freezable left-overs.

Friday: Cheesy Baked Ziti with BAS. This recipe is so easy, quick and yummy. And there's always enough for left-overs.

Saturday: Free Night! No plans.

Sunday: Burgers (beef for hubbster, veggie for the girls & I) and corn on the cob on the grill with BAS and some type of beans.

Check out Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

CVS Good Deal of the Week

Not bad for $1.16 OOP, huh? Pretty sure this is a personal best for me.

(2) 5-subject Notebooks
(2) 1-subject Notebooks
(2) Rulers
(2) pairs Scissors
(2) bottles school Glue
(3) packs Paper-Mate Pens
(1) Gallon T. G. Lee Milk
(1) Gillette Fusion Razor
(3) bottles Tylenol Arthritis

Coupons used:
(1) $4/1 Gillette Fusion from 7/5 P&G
(3) $2/1 Tylenol Arthritis from 5/17 RP
(1) $1/1 any T.G. Lee product (printable available HERE)

I had $22.99 in ECB that I used towards this and split it into 2 transactions. Spent $1.16 OOP and got back $23.95 ECBs!

I plan on going back this week for the free 6 x 8 Photo Book and possibly the Benefiber/Maalox deal.

I brought me sister with me this week to CVS. She's never done the "whole coupon thing" (her words), so we planned out a few scenarios for her to get all the free after ECBs items with $5 or less OOP.

Scenario 1
(1) Tylenol Arthritis - $3.99
(2) 1-subject Notebooks - $.99ea - $1.98
- $2/1 Tylenol coupon from 5/17 RP
Total OOP: $3.97
ECBs Earned: $1.98 from Notebooks, $3 from Tylenol

Scenario 2
(1) Tylenol Arthritis - $3.99
(1) pair Scissors - $2.99
- $2/1 Tylenol coupon from 5/17 RP
- $4.98 ECB from Scenario 1
Total OOP: $0
ECBs Earned: $2.99 from Scissors, $3 from Tylenol

Scenario 3
(1) Tylenol Arthritis - $3.99
(2) bottles school Glue - $.99ea - $1.98
(3) packs Paper-Mate Pens - $.99ea - $2.97
- $2/1 Tylenol coupon from 5/17 RP
- $5.99 ECB from Scenario 2
Total OOP: $.95
ECBs Earned: $2.97 from Pens, $1.98 from Glue, $3 from Tylenol

Scenario 4
(1) Ruler - $.99
(1) pair Scissors - $2.99
(1) Gillette Fusion Razor - $7.99
- $4/1 Gillette Fusion from 7/5 P&G
- $7.95 ECB from Scenario 3
Total OOP: $.02
ECBs Earned: $.99 from Ruler, $2.99 from Scissors, $4 from Gillette

Scenario 5
(2) 5-subject Notebooks - $3.99ea - $7.98
-$7.98 ECBs from Scenario 4
Total OOP: $0
ECBs Earned: $6 from Notebooks

TOTAL OOP: $4.94
and you'll still have $6 ECBs to spend another day!

Check out Alyssa's $5 CVS Challenge at Keeping The Kingdom First for more ideas on how to maximize your dollar at CVS.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Update number 1: We're doing really good with the making of beds. I've even got the girls in on it and they are making their beds everyday as well.

Update 2: Not so much. Haven't even started with the daily exercises. Ugh - I am in total fail mode. Maybe I'll just start the 30 day for this challenge tomorrow. (How's that for procrastination?)

Any one wanna join on the Bed Making 30 Day Challenge?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally home...

Guess who finally made her way home today? Kaitlyn has spent the last 2.5 weeks up in TN visiting her aunt, uncle and cousins and while I know she had fun; we are soo happy to have her home! The girls had fun watching the airplanes take off and land as we waited for Kait's plane, wondering which one was hers. As soon as Camille spotted her in the crowd, she took off, with Celeste not far behind. I barely had a chance to get the camera out. lol

Needless to say, the girls have been snuggly and spending lots of time with big-sister today catching up. And I'll admit it, I've been extra snuggly too. It's so good to have my big girl home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Cousin T comes to visit!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit HERE.

Another great day at CVS...

15 32oz. bottles of Powerade
2 Fabreeze Noticables Starter-kits
1 Bayer Countor Meter (will be donated)
3 boxes Post Trail Mix Crunch cereal

Manufacturer coupons:
- (1) Buy 10, Get 5 Free Powerade (hang-tag on product)
- (3) $.75/2 Powerade (wish I had more of these - tear-pad at gas station)
- (2) $4/1 Fabreeze from 7/5 P&G
- (3) $2/1 Post printable coupon available HERE
- (1) FREE Bayer Contour Meter from 3/22 SS or 2/1 RP
CVS coupons:
- $15 ECBs

Total OOP: $3.12
Earned back: $15.00 ECBs ($5 for Post Cereal, $5 for Fabreeze, $5 for Contour meter)

This could have been a major money maker for me, but my kids drink Powerade almost as much as they drink water, so this was a good time to stock up for me.

CVS Good Deal of the Week

Alright, consider yourselves forewarned - this is a LONG post!

Yesterday, I went to CVS – got all of this for $2.47 out of pocket (OOP) and got $11 back to spend another day. That’s right, all this for less than the price of 1 gallon of milk!

Here’s the run-down:
2 Gallons T.G. Lee Milk
4 Head & Shoulders shampoo/conditioners
2 Dawn dish soap
1 CVS brand panty-liners
1 CVS brand pencil sharpener
1 Lady Speed Stick trial size deodorant
1 Colgate toothpaste

Manufacturer coupons:
- (2) $1/1 T.G. Lee printable coupon available HERE (if your CVS carries T.G. Lee)
- (2) B1G1 Free Head & Shoulders coupons from 7/5 P&G
- (1) $2/2 Head & Shoulders from 6/7 P&G
- (1) $.50/1 Dawn dish soap (home mailer from Home Made Simple)
- (1) $.25/1 Dawn dish soap from 7/5 P&G
- (1) $1/1 Colgate toothpaste printable coupon available HERE

CVS coupons:
- $1/1 any Lady Speed Stick printed from kiosk at front door
- $3.49 E(xtra) C(are) B(uck)s for Free Gallon Milk (CVS promotion running through 7/26 – details HERE)
- $12.00 ECBs from Soy-Joy deal 2 weeks ago

I was a little disappointed that they were out of the Post Trail Mix Crunch cereal. I will be checking the other stores in my area for this for sure. Deal is: Cereal is 3 for $10. $2/1 Printable coupon available HERE (will let you print 2 per computer). You get $5 ECB back when you buy 3 boxes. The math: $4 OOP, get $5 ECB back - a $1 money maker!

If you don’t have any existing ECBs, you could always split this up into multiple transactions to minimize your OOP. Example:

Transaction 1:
2 Dawn dish soap
1 CVS brand panty-liners
2 CVS brand pencils or pencil sharpener
Manufacturer coupons:
- (2) $.25/1 Dawn dish soap from 7/5 P&G
Total OOP: $4.37
ECBs Earned: $1 from Dawn, $.89 from panty-liners, $1.98 from pencils/sharpeners

Transaction 2:
3 Post Trail Mix Crunch Cereals
Manufacturer coupons:
- (3) $2/1 Printable coupon available HERE
CVS coupons:
- $3.87 ECBs from previous transaction
Total OOP: $.13
ECBs Earned: $5 from Post

Transaction 3:
2 Head & Shoulders shampoo/conditioners
Manufacturer Coupons:
- (1) B1G1 Free Head & Shoulders coupons from 7/5 P&G
CVS Coupons:
- $5 ECBs from previous transaction (they'll have to round it down to $4.99)
Total OOP: $0
ECBs Earned: $4 from H&S

TOTAL OOP: $4.50 plus you’ll have $4 in ECBs to spend another day.

It’s generally best to save your ECBs to spend on other items that earn ECBs, but sometimes you just need to spend it on milk. We always seem to need milk and CVS generally has the cheapest prices (go figure!). And the Buy 5, Get 1 Free deal definitely sweetens the deal.

Don't have a CVS Extra Care card? Get to it! and check out Alyssa's $5 CVS Challenge at Keeping The Kingdom First for more ideas on how to maximize your dollar at CVS.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New challenge for me!

I've decided to give myself a 30 Day Challenge. Well, actually 2.

1st challenge - To make the beds every day. No matter how messy my house is, I always feel better about my day when the beds are made. This is something that takes 2 minutes or less every day, yet always gets pushed to the side. No more. I will have my tranquility in the bedroom. I will have my little piece of peace in a normally hectic household. I will make the bed. Every day, for at least 30 days. My hope is that we will fall into the routine and continue making our beds daily even after my challenge.

2nd challenge - Not really to lose weight, but in order to get more physically active, I want to do some sort of physical exercise every day for 30 days. I have the Leslie Sansone Walk Diet DVD. I also checked out some Yoga books/DVDs from the library. And there's always taking a walk around the neighborhood with the kids, although it's a bit HOT outside for that.

I don't plan to post updates every day, but I will post updates at least twice a week. Wish me luck and anyone who wants to join is welcome!

Tuesday Heads or Tails

The theme/prompt for THIS week, July 7, is:
HEADS - "Spin"

Make any kind of post using any version of the word "Spin" as your theme/prompt.

Remember these:

Ahhh, childhood memories. I used to play with my sit 'n spin for hours. Looking back, I'm trying to remember what the appeal was, it's just a boring piece of plastic that you sit on and go round and round. No lights, no noises, no plug-ins - oh wait, that's probably what was so great about it. Powered buy imagination engineering.

Visit the Heads or Tails blog for more!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Had to take a little mini-break here last week. I really don't realize just how much Kaitlyn helps around the house until she's not here for a while. I'm so happy that she'll be home this week - and not just for the extra hands, but I've really missed her.

Before we get to the menu; check out this cute little note pad I found at Michael's for $1.00. It's a weekly menu plan with space for the menu on the left and a grocery list on the right. It's not quite perfect (menu plan spaces are kind of small and weekend is lumped together), but it was only $1.00 and it's magnetic so it goes on the fridge just right!

Another easy menu week here, it's just too hot to do much cooking.

Monday: We had Chinese take-out, per Hubbster's request.

Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and fruit smoothies.

Wednesday: Baked mac-n-cheese with Veggie-dogs. BAS on the side.

Thursday: Kaitlyn is finally home!!! Yay! No plans for this night. We'll either go out to dinner, or I will let her pick what we have.

Friday: Veggie burgers with oven fries and BAS.

Saturday: My sister and I will be attending a Slumber Parties party. Baby-sitter Kaitlyn will be serving either pizza, or something simple that she can cook.

Sunday: Baked chicken with roasted new potatoes and fresh green beans.

I'm kind of nervous about the Slumber Parties thing. It looks like it'll be fun, but still, it's an *adult* party. This sounds kind of silly, but I've been working on getting myself more "out there" and trying to make friends. I've had the same friend (singular) for about 20 years and a few acquaintances from my old work, but no one that lives near us. One of Celeste's friend's mom is hosting this party and she is nice, so I am trying to be more friendly and not so
on my own." Anyone out there ever been to one of these parties? Give me some details.

Alright, enough about me. For more menu plans, head on over to the Organizing Junkie site!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett

What a sad day.

Although I do know who Farrah Fawcett was, she was kind of before my time. Any kid raised in the eighties though, like me, knows Michael Jackson. I remember being spooked out by the Thriller video, the one white glove, the shiny red jacket, that black fedora hat pushed forward, the flashing lights on the floor from the Billie Jean video, the white socks with the high-water pants and soo much more. I will always remember watching on TV the Motown 25 performance of Billie Jean, where the moon walk was first performed. Amazing doesn't even begin to cover it. I never was able to copy that move.

Regardless of his questionable mentality and charges of child abuse/pedophilia, one cannot argue that the man was a musical genius. So, rest in peace Michael.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer reading

One of my most favorite things about summer is that we go to the library more often. Since I'm not working this summer, we have even more time to spend at the library. We have been going once or twice a week and I have been utilizing the interlibrary loan program to get some decent crochet pattern books and vegetarian cookbooks.

Our library also offers a summer program for kids where have a fun kid friendly activity or performance. So, once a week we go to the library and the kids get treated to anything from a One Man Circus to an Australian Themed Musical Performance. So much fun!

The only bad thing about the library is the A/C. Don't get me wrong, here in FL air conditioning is practically mandatory. But when it's 98 degrees outside, sometimes it feels like it's 68 degrees inside. My poor tank-topped shoulders get cold. What's a girl to do? Dig through her yarn stash and work up a little shrug, of course. Didn't follow a pattern on this one, just worked in a rectangle until it was the right length and seamed up the sides to make arm holes. It's a little snugger than I intended, but fits well and looks soo cute over a tank top (or a button down!).

So what's on your reading list right now? I currently have in my possession the Super Natural Cooking and Quick Vegetarian Pleasures cookbooks, Tasty Crochet (which I am loving - will have to actually buy this one!) and Adorable Crochet for Babies and Toddlers. I also picked up and can't wait to start reading The Alchemyst but Michael Scott. This is book one in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. Now anyone who know Potter, knows who Nicholas Flamel is, so I feel compelled to point out that this is *not* a book set in the Potter-verse. Click the book for a link to the official web-site.

Tuesday (er, Wednesday) Heads or Tails

So, I'm a bit late this week. Oops.

This week's theme is:
TAILS - "Summertime memory"

So we are supposed to share a memory related to summer. I think the memory that I will share is from our first summer here in Florida. I was 9.5 when we moved from Augsburg, Germany to Palm Bay, Florida. What a shocking difference! I mean, sure it got hot over there but NOTHING like the FL heat.
When we first moved back, we lived on base housing right on the beach, so we spent a good deal of time on the beach, playing, swimming, sun-burning. We learned that summer about tide pools and currents and low-tides and high-tides and sand dunes and sand in your toes and salt-water in your eyes. My oldest sister had to save me and my younger sister one day when the tide came in and we got stuck.
We also visited the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the first time that summer. Gawd I was in awe! For a kid whose childhood hero was Neil Armstrong, this place was heaven. We walked around and I stared at the rockets. I remember walking around the museum type area and gawking at the space-suits and other gear that was used. I also remember being soo sun-burned that it hurt to walk, but I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.

I have a picture (or rather my mom does) of me sun-burned at Kennedy that summer. I'm hoping she's able to find it and email it to me. If she does, I'll update this post with the picture.

Visit the Heads or Tails blog to see some other summer memories!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Pretty laid back week here for us. Just put my oldest on a plane to TN this morning (*sniff, sniff - where's those damned tissues*) and with Hubbster at work Tuesday - Saturday evenings, it's just me and the littles. So, no elaborate dinners planned this week.

Monday: Grilled ham steaks with homemade mashed taters and corn.

Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches with fresh fruit.

Wednesday: Veggie-burgers with Baked Purple Hedgehog Potatoes from the Super Natural Cooking cookbook.

Thursday: Broccoli and 2 Cheese Mini Quiches and Fruit Smoothies.

Friday: Tortellini Salad with Pesto from the Quick Vegetarian Pleasures cookbook (can't find a link to the recipe).

Saturday: FREE NIGHT! No plans.

Sunday: Jamaican Curry Chicken with Rice and Peas. Served with BAS. If anyone has a good *authentic* Jamaican recipe for this, please let me know. Every recipe I've found Hubbster says isn't quite right.

I also plan on baking up some of these yummy looking Banana Crumb Muffins with some naners that we've got that are turning brown.

Have a great week! Check out the Organizing Junkie blog for more menu ideas!

Friday, June 19, 2009

More Crochet Updates (Photos Galore)

Ok, so in this post I set a rule for myself that I wasn't allowed to start any new projects until I completed at least 2 of my WIPs. Already showed off the Cow Potholder - that my mom LOVES, by the way. Finally finished the Acorn Bag, so I'm free to start new projects! Yay! I kind of cheated and started these before actually finishing the Acorn, but I just needed buttons! Honest. I've been on a play-foods kick lately and the kids are loving it! Some pictures to share:

And the finished Acorn Bag. It's soo stinkin' cute! I'm glad I finished it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - The Perfect Snack

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Heads or Tails

This week's theme is:
HEADS - Lost
TAILS - Found

First thing that came to mind was the TV show "Lost." I figured, though, that since I have only ever seen one episode of the show, it would be better to find a different topic.

So, instead I will go with Lost AND Found and share a poem by Cummings that I happen to like. By the way, have you ever noticed that all Cummings poetry (that I've read anyway) is always in all lowercase. Why is that, do you think?

maggie and milly and molly and may by e e cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

Visit the Heads or Tails Blog to read other people's interpretation of the words!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday already??? At least I'm somewhat prepared this week. I went ahead and planned my week out on Saturday so that I could get my grocery shopping done on Sunday and be prepared for the week come Monday/today. We are totally in a "use what's already in the pantry and buy as little as possible" week here. Hubbster goes back to work on Tuesday, so we'll be back to primarily veggie after that.

Monday: Easy Grilled Shrimp on a Stick with steamed rice and green beans.

Tuesday: Parmesan Chicken with angel hair pasta, broccoli and garlic bread.

Wednesday: Stuffed Shells with steamed broccoli and a BAS.

Thursday: Hot Dogs (veggie) with baked beans, BAS and fresh fruit.

Friday: Make Your Own Pizza Night with yummy fruit smoothies.

Saturday: Free Night, no plans.

Sunday: Pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas, or go out to dinner since it's Father's Day.

Check out this YUMMY looking dessert recipe - When is a watermelon, not a watermelon? We might be adding that in sometime in the week. I love raspberry sorbet!

Check out Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.