Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Summary

I have discovered it is difficult for me to write everyday. I tried to do it this week, but I just don’t have that much free time. I started my green series for the month of April in honor of Earth day. I am no gardening expert, but I am sharing techniques with all you fabulous readers that I have found online. I will report the progress throughout the growing season and take lots of pictures. Any additional tips are welcomed and wanted. I have been told my Green cleaning kit has been shipped. I can’t wait to use it and share one in a giveaway with all my current readers and soon new readers. Be sure to Like Pounds4Pennies on Facebook to know when this is going live.

This week started off slow then had a crescendo with tornadoes here in the Dallas area. It has been confirmed that there were 16 tornadoes that touched down that day here. You can read my tornado story. I still managed to score some awesome Allegra and not get wet.

Little miss managed to dislocate her shoulder in the middle of the week too. After a long trip to the hospital and x-rays to find out nothing was broken. It finally popped back into place Saturday. Yeah she can play volleyball next week. I was worried I spend all that money and she has only been to one practice and one game. This is one sport she really loves.

Friday we colored our Easter eggs. I had an old kit I picked up from last year in the cabinet of tie dye Easter eggs. This is the first time we have done these. They are super easy. Even little face enjoyed himself. You put the eggs into a baggie, provided, and put a couple of drops of color on them and squish it around. Then you have a cool looking Easter egg. We only had Little face and my Stepson that is why most are green and blue.

Our neighbors behind us had their son’s 5 year old birthday party we went to this weekend. It was great, since we didn’t have to get in the car and go anywhere. We had a great time. Little face loves their playground out back. He played and ran around for hours, which leads to a great nights sleep for all.

We had a wonderful time with my parents this Easter. We went to the 9:15 service at church. At home we had a fabulous ham covered with cloves and pineapples. I made garlic mashed potatoes and we had green beans. Click the link for Friday Finals to see how much I paid for all the items in our Easter meal.

Garden is growing fine. So far the cucumber is slowly dying off. I have a few more plants I can plant  to try to get them to grow. It is raining once again today. We will have to do the Easter egg hunt inside again this year. Although it might be fun to watch the kids get wet, but I wouldn’t want to be the one hiding the eggs.

Did you do anything fun or exciting this week? I would love to hear what you did for Easter.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tips for Tuesday - Valentines Yummies

Happy Valentines Day everyone. I wanted to share with you some things I made all my sweeties today to let them know how much I love them. On this special Love Day.

I made sure everyone had a heart filled breakfast. With Strawberry heart shaped pancakes and heart shaped bacon. Nothing says "I love you" like bacon!

I have been loving these cute ideas for bento boxes lately. This is a hard heart boiled egg. It is more work than I think I would want to do on an everyday basis, but it is a cute idea for special days. You can read how to make heart shaped eggs on Anna's site. I did mine a little different, since I didn't have a milk carton, I used the brownie box below and cut the corners off to make the V and wrapped the corners with plastic wrap. It still worked great!

Here is a sandwich I made for Little Miss and Little face this morning. Heart shaped scalloped bread with the heart shaped eggs inside. She loves egg sandwiches. I forgot he had a party today at school and didn't eat his sandwich. I just brought it back and put it in the fridge. He can have it on Thursday.

I even made the cheese heart shaped. I put it on the sandwich and forgot to take a picture, so I took it off and it has some Ceaser dressing on it. Oops!

And finally I made Chocolate Strawberry brownie kisses for my sweeties. This tastes like Chocolate covered strawberries, since I used strawberry puree instead of water in the recipe. I will post this recipe at a later date. 

Now what am I going to do for dinner?

Did you do anything special for your sweeties? Leave a comment or link, I would love to see what others did today.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Whatever Wednesday - Wii Party Ideas

My stepson wanted a birthday party this year, so we agreed to host it at our house. (long story) He told me he wanted a Wii party this year. I have to say I am inexperienced at hosting boy parties unless they are two or younger. So I thought I have Follow Me on Pinterest this is going to be easy, until I realized this is not a real popular party idea. I searched on Follow Me on Pinterest, Googled and used Swagbucks to search for Wii party ideas.

Since my theme was Wii. I also wanted to pick a color theme to tie some of my random ideas together. I chose blue and green, since this was a boys party.

Here are some of the decorations and things I designed for the party

Wii Party Ideas

These are the tags I designed to have another gift favor from his party. They all thought they were cool. I don’t have a color printer, so these were black and white. I covered his name to protect his identity.

I made mustache straws. The boys got a kick out of that. The mustache was for Mario and they are all the rage now, so I thought it would be funny. They took the mustaches off the straws and started wearing them. 

I wanted to make something fun for them to do. I had some long paper and cut it in half to look like a Wiimote and used this print out. They were to make a Wiimote without looking. I thought this might be fun; however, this did not go over well with this age group. Maybe a younger crowd would enjoy it.

It is my new tradition every kid gets their own birthday banner. His name is wrapped around the other side. I chose not to show it in order to protect his identity. Not to toot my own horn, but I am getting pretty good at making these. I used scrapbook paper and cut out a million triangles in different colors and plan out the pattern. I used the Paper Bunting Template and to get five triangles per standard 12X12 sheet of scrapbook paper. Then I sewed them together using bias tape. Yes you can sew paper and it is super easy.

I found this fabulous free 3D Wiimote favor box download. I cut out and put together and glued, with help from the birthday boy.

I only needed to make five, so this was doable. Once put together. I stuffed it with 1 bag of M&M’s and one fun size Twix. What do you think? The boys loved them.

We also had those fabulous Homemade Pizza Rolls I blogged about last week. These were so good. I forgot to take a picture of them baked before they were devoured.

I thought it would be fun to place the cookies on skewers and have them in a vase sticking up. This is not the best idea to have boys running around the house with sharp objects acting like they are mini swords. So I had to police as the cookies were eaten, to make sure I got the mini swords, I mean skewers back. I used an old oatmeal container and wrapped it with scrapbooking paper, that matched the banner, to cover it completely. I put a package of black beans to weight it down and stuck the cookie pops in at random places.

The Wiimote cake turned out fabulous. I have an unwritten agreement with my neighbor. I bake and ice the cake, and she decorates it for me. She has all the awesome frosting tips and gadgets to decorate a cake. In return I give her coupons and share good deals with her. Fair trade I think.

I will post instructions on how make this fabulous cake next week.

Oh yeah and the boys played Wii most of the night.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Grocery Budget

Some of you are wondering how I can have such a small budget of $60 for a family of five and still eat healthy and good food. Here are a few things I do to keep my budget down.

I have a ridiculously low budget for all my toiletries per week. Since I have started learning the basics of extreme couponing, I have found I can budget around $5.00 each week on items such as toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, makeup, hairspray, soap ect... This is my budget for all of my toiletries for a family of five. That is $1.00 per person per week.

How is this even possible? I usually buy these items at the drugstores near me CVS or Walgreens. I am always amazed how many items I can get for free or close to free by using the drugstores reward program. Read my Extreme Couponing at the Drugstore post to learn more. Since I get most of my toiletries for free, this really helps stretch my $5.00 budget pretty far. Most toiletry items are used and then thrown away in the trash such as toilet paper and razors. I hate spending my money on things that get thrown away. I might as well just take my money and throw it in the trash too. Boo on that.

Here is how I can get most of these items for FREE or close to free. I LOVE FREE. I scan the ad for the drugstores to see if there are any FREE items for the week. Usually there are one or two items for free each week when combined with their reward program. I will always pick these items up. Especially if it is a food item. If we will not eat, I can always donate it. Then I look to see if there are any items we use. It doesn’t matter if we need it or not right now. If it is something I know I can use and it is at a rock bottom price and I have a coupon for it, I will pick it up. I will then have this item when I need it and I got it at the lowest price possible.

This is different way of thinking and shopping from how I normally used to shop. If I can stock up while the item is at its lowest price, then I will not have to spend more money when I actually need it. I can shop from my stockpile instead of going to the store and paying full price. I always dreaded having to add deodorant and toothpaste to my shopping list for the week. There was my $5 right there. And I only got two items for that $5. I hated knowing this would take money away from my extremely limited grocery budget. Basically this was taking food out of our mouths for things we needed, but could not eat.

We don't need razors every week, so if I get a razor for free I still have five dollars in my budget to spend on other things we may need. This is how I maximize my saving on my very limited budget to buy necessity items for us. I can't stand having to spend money on items I have to throw away. If I can get them for free, it makes me happy! I love free! Then I can spend money on nutritious food for my wonderful family.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Blog Share Day 9

25 Days of Christmas

December 9, 2011

Featured Blog – Pounds4Pennies

I am so happy to be able to participate in this Blog Share with so many other bloggers. I love Christmas time, because it was always about spending time with my family. It is the one time of the year where we all try to make an effort to get home to mom and dad’s (nana and papa’s) house to enjoy time with each other. When I was a single mom I was able to purchase a set of 3 trees of different heights for my Christmas tree. We now use these trees to put in the three kids rooms. These are their Christmas trees to decorate how they choose each year. They get to place their handmade ornaments on it each year. In order to count down to Christmas we make a paper chain advent calendar for them to put on their trees to count down to the birth of Jesus. Here are some variations on this easy frugal advent calendar.

One thing I want my children to remember is, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. I make sure we read the Christmas story from the Bible each year. I enjoy reading Luke 2 verses 1-21. For each length of chain you could write one verse and read it before you tear it off. If you started on the first you can use a few verses from the book Matthew about the birth of Jesus.

If you decide to make only one chain and each child gets a different color to add. They can write what they like about other siblings on their pieces of colored paper and they get to read their day and that is the day they get to tear off. I like coming up with ideas to promote fairness to every child.

The really crafty person can decide to make the chain and decorate each link with their own personality. I find using decorative scissors or punches are fun to do if you have those from scrapbooking. You can sequins, glitter, ribbon. If you make a wonderful masterpiece and don’t want to rip it every day, you could use a marker such as a clothespin to mark the day. Of course you would decorate the clothes pin to match your garland.

There is still time to make an advent calendar. It is a great way for children to enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Here are the simple instructions of how to make this chain calendar.

You will need glue, scissor and paper in different colors.

1. Let your children pick the colors they would like to use.

2. Cut small strips of construction paper across the short end of the paper. Use a pencil and draw lines to make straight cuts on the paper.

3. Take the construction paper and make a circle and glue the ends together to make a circle. This step is good if you have a couple of helpers. Continue until you get to the end.

4. Once you are at the end you can place something special to signify ONLY ONE MORE DAY until Christmas. I used a star this year and placed it near the top of the tree.
5. Hang the garland on your tree or where ever you want. Make sure you enjoy the Christmas season with your Children.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Christmas Budget

Christmas is time for giving gifts, but don’t get into debt by giving. There are a lot of ways to start saving for Christmas by using a budget. One thing I like to do is to have a budget for each person and keep a total on how much I spend. This way I know I am being fair to each person.

If it is difficult for you to keep a budget for each person, you can make individual envelopes and put the dollar amount you want to spend in each envelope and only spend that amount on that person. Keep your receipts and gift receipts in the envelope of that person after you have spent the money. When it comes time for Christmas you can take out all the gift receipts and had it to them, in case they need to make an exchange. When the money is gone there are no more gifts to buy. It helps you get to that stopping point. This is hard when you are shopping for someone who is easy to shop for.

Also try shopping all year round for people on your list. I have quite a few people to shop for and I said I was going to do this in 2011, but once again I did not. Next year in 2012 I am. I now have a better understanding of sales cycles work, and how to stretch my dollar to the maximum. Everyone will be crossed off by November next year. I will keep you guys updated on how this goes.

Next I try to make gifts for those who I don’t have a budget for such as teachers, friends or someone else. These can be made for very little money and they always appreciate these gifts. I much rather do that then, buy something they are not going to use or need. I am planning on making peppermint cocoa as gifts this year. I got a great deal on cocoa at Tom Thumb last week. And this just sounds wonderful on a cold night.

Right now it is very cold here in Texas. We almost had snow today, but it started to warm up right before the snow line got to us. Some people got nearly two inches. That is a lot for us here in the south. It has been raining for three days now and I am a little tired of the rain. And to top it off we are all sick. I can’t talk right now because I have lost my voice. My husband posted on my Facebook page, “Finally some peace and quiet around here.” I just gave him a sneer.

Remember to have a budget and stick to it. I don't have all the answers, I just try to share some ideas that work for me. Find a system or method that works the best for you and stick with it. Now go and shop, shop, shop.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tips 4 Tuesday - Frugal Exercise

I did it! I finally purchased my first few gifts today, and I already have  return. I bought a couple of things for the kids, since it was a good price and it was the last one. However, when I went home to read the reviews, they were not so good.  I will just bring it back and get something else. This is where I cash in for the holidays. I always keep my receipts and bring it back if it goes on sale somewhere else or if I don't like it after I have purchased it.
Elastic Exercise Bands

I don't know about you, but I ate my way through Thanksgiving. My husband is originally from New Orleans and that is where we spent our Thanksgiving. We had all kinds of traditional food, so we packed on a few pounds from that wonderful Thanksgiving meal, now we need to lose all those tasty pounds we consumed. How can you sneak in a workout, since you don't have any time?

I personally don't like to go to the gym to work out. I would rather do things at home. If this is you too, you can combine shopping and walking. Before you head to the store or department you are going to, take a quick lap around the mall or store before you start your shopping trip. If you do this a couple of times a day you are working off a few extra calories and slimming those thighs in no time.

Exercise while you are cooking. I do this all the time. Do a few leg lifts or simply march in place while you are browning your meat or chopping onions. This also helps improve your coordination, since you are doing two things at once. 

If you have stairs take the toys or clothes up stairs one at a time. You are getting a stair master workout, and you are not at the gym. For a quick ab workout sit on the edge of your bed and do some leg lifts about 20 or so before you get all the way out of bed in the morning. 

A video game is a great way to burn calories and have a great time with your kids. We have a couple of fun games to do with the kids, like Just Dance 2 or Wii Sports. You are making memories while burning calories. I love multitasking, especially if you can get the kids involved.

Sneaking in a few extra exercises throughout your day will also give you more engery this holiday season with out caffeine. Who couldn't use a little extra energy. Now if I can find a way to give me more time I will be set!

Do you have any quick fun exercise you do or would like to share? Leave a comment below to share your fabulous tips with others.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday - Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is having a happy Thanksgiving today. I am thankful for being able to celebrate this thanksgiving with my family. We are going to eat lots of turkey and all kinds is sides today. I love all the kids will have a chance to play with their cousins and create their own thanksgiving memories.

I have several questions today. You can choose to answer one or all. It will be fun to see what everyone is doing.

What are you thankful for today?

Are you eating a lot today to build your strength to go shopping tomorrow?

If you are going shopping tomorrow what is the store you are hitting first and what do you hope to get?

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving y'all from Texas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tips 4 Tuesday

First I would like to make sure you are getting all you can from Pounds4Pennies. I offer additional savings information and HOT coupons on my Facebook page and in my BlogFrog community. Please be sure to LIKE me on Facebook to keep up with the latest coupons and savings deals. I also offer additional tips and coupons on BLOGFROG. If you do like my site be sure to click Top Mommy Blogs and vote for me. One click = one vote. I am 108 and would love to get into the top 100 this week just eight more places to go. I know all my fabulous readers can take a few moments to vote for me. THANKS in advance.

I have a few tips to share with you about not throwing things out. My wonderful husband and I try to avoid throwing anything away. If something is about to spoil or we don't think we will use it in time, we just pop it into the freezer. Why let something go bad and have to throw it away. You might as well take that money and throw it in the trash that you purchased that food with. It is basically the same thing.

Do you ever make a pot of coffee and have some left over? Don’t throw it out. My husband and I love ice coffee. We make a little extra during the summer, so we can have ice coffee in the afternoons. We take the left over coffee and put it a plastic cup or make ice cubes out of it. We use plastic cups, since this is water and it will expand and break a glass container. We then put confectioners sugar and creamer and blend to make a great tasting frappe or just have iced coffee. The confectioners sugar dissolves quickly in ice coffee and you don’t have to worry about the grainy texture from granulated sugar.

What do you do with the left over heels of a piece of bread? Again don’t throw them out. There are several great uses for these. I put some butter on them and toast them in the toaster. Then I place them in my food processor to finely chop them up. I never need to buy bread crumbs. Another thing I do with the bread is make croutons. I butter them and cut them into cubes. Then place them on a cookie sheet and put the oven on broil. Watch very closely as these can burn quickly. I even sprinkle some seasonings on them to make them extra tasty. The kids all time favorite is to save these for duck food. We also keep a bag in the freezer and put left over hot dog buns, hamburger buns or bread crusts in there. When we want to go to the park we automatically have duck food ready for the kids to feed the ducks. This also make a great time for family photos.

My husband and I try not to throw anything out. I hope you will be able to use these tips in the future. Do you have any great tips on how to save or use the extra things you might consider throwing out? I love your comments and I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My daughter has been battling a stomach bug, since last Wednesday. She has occasionally thrown up, nothing consistent. In case you are wondering, I don’t clean up throw up. YUCK. It  becomes two messes for me to clean up and I really don’t need more to clean. I am glad that she is finally at the age that she knows she better run with all her might to make it to the bathroom in time. And YES! she has made it each time. I gave her a washcloth to clean off the seat of the toilette and another for her mouth. I even got her some water to rinse her mouth out with. All from afar. I have a very weak stomach for that. I am happy to say we only had one mess this time.

I had a lot of energy yesterday and planned on getting all caught up on clipping my coupons, I am about 3 weeks behind. AUGH! I put little face down and of course he did not go to sleep right away. I then get a call from the school nurse she has done it again. Before I leave the house to get her I call the dr. to make an appointment. Something is obviously wrong. What she eats needs to stay down. Meanwhile I got a call that morning that my stepson was not feeling well either and that I may need to pick him up if he is sick.

So I ask the nurse if she had seen him and she said yes, but he was not running any fever so she sent him back to class. I get little miss and we all head to the dr. The Dr. did some tests and determined it must be a virus and gave us some nausea medicine. My daughter hates the word medicine and all forms of it. She was not excited.

As we are leaving the Dr. I get a call. It is time to pick up child number two. So I head back to the school once again to pick up sick child number two.  He did not throw up, but just felt bad. Again no fever. So on our way home, which is about 5 min. Little face falls asleep in the car. It is 2:00 way past nap time. More like wake up time and he is out. I get little face out of the car very carefully and place him in bed. Get all sick children on the couches. I always make sure I provide them with a large open container to catch anything that might come up. I also make sure this is as close to their mouth as possible and inform them of appropriate places of disposal if needed. If they move they must carry the bucket with them. This is their new best friend until the queasiness passes. I am serious!

After a couple of hours little face wakes up and no incidents have happened, so on to homework. They have gotten into math homework I do not understand. I am glad they were both here so I could cheat and look of f of each other’s papers to see how they did it. My daughter and stepson are in the same grade and go to the same school. This makes it easier when they do homework and planning for family vacations.

And all of this to say, I got nothing done yesterday that I wanted to do. So is the life of a mother.
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