Sunday, December 4, 2011

Visual Latin Giveaway

One of the blogs that I follow is the Home Educating Family Blog, and as an Educator, I love hearing about some of the resources that are available to supplement my own teaching, as well as exploring the thought of perhaps someday home schooling my own children.

The Home Educating Family Blog is having a contest, and the prize is a 30-lesson set from Visual Latin. I took Latin back in high school (Roma est in Italia...), and I am SO rusty! Head over to their blog to win a chance to learn Latin, and improve your vocabulary skills as you learn!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

RIP Trumpet Case

I FINALLY replaced the case that has housed the trumpet I inherited from my little sister. It looked like it had been eaten by several lockers over the years.

I knew that there was another mouthpiece rattling around underneath the foam, so I had to pull the thing apart, and discovered not one, but TWO mouthpieces. Also, to my amusement, I found a program from a middle school graduation in '03, a copy of "Get Ready For This", and one of my sister's old middle school photos.

The hole in the case from the inside.

So happy to have a brand new (as Kaylee would say, "shiny") new case!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Freezer Cooking

Thanks to my hubby, I was able to get in about 2 hours of freezer cooking. He was a big help (and he was just happy to lick the spoon after the Spicy Peanut Chicken was done cooking).

Here's the list!

6 lbs of strawberries (clearanced out at Meijer today), which will go into a batch of Strawberry jam later next week
2 batches of Easy Beef and Broccoli for the crock pot
9 individually-wrapped Herb-Crusted Pork Chops
9 pork chops (bagged in pairs, with one solo) with various marinades
2 batches of Spicy Peanut Chicken (the hubby's favorite!)
2 batches of Sweedish Steak for the crock pot
24 bananas (had several bunches go over-ripe on us in the last month) which will eventually go into Banana Bread
1 batch of Cheerio Bars (basically Rice Krispie Treats, but with Cheerios instead). We have an over-abundance of Cheerios in our house, and sleep in too long to sit and have a bowl of cereal in the morning. :-p

Not pictured: We got 5 gigantic zucchini from my in-laws, and I diced and froze enough zucchini for 13 batches of Zucchini Bread. :-p

What are your favorite freezer cooking recipes?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yummy Eggplant Recipe

I didn't plant eggplant in my garden this year, because...well, I had no idea if I liked eggplant! I've eaten all sorts of odd and unique foods in my travels as a musician, and eggplant was never one of them. We received a few eggplants (does "eggplant" have a plural?) from my in-laws, and decided to look for something tasty. I stumbled across a recipe for Crispy Eggplant Parmesan, and I can say that I am hooked!

Now, just a fair warning...the sauce has a nice little bit of heat to it, but we like heat in our household. I also split the recipe and tried freezing half. I had the frozen batch tonight for dinner, and while it was still good, it went a little mushy. I think I like the "fresh and crispy" version a little better.

I think I may have to plant eggplant next year just for this recipe!

Partial goal success

So, my husband walked out the door with BOTH sets of car keys, leaving me unable to do my pre-baking planned grocery run, and unable to go to my orchestra rehearsal tonight (boo...), so I took the opportunity to plow through the list of new shows in the DVR (he can't complain about watching them without him, now can he?) and IRONING.

I am happy to say that the Mr. now has NO unironed laundry. My stuff is a different story, however, I do not get as many opportunities to wear iron-worthy clothes lately, and I am more likely to up and iron the item I need myself.

Can I claim a partial victory?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekly goal update

This week has been full of highs and lows. I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back, and it put me on the DL for most of the weekend. According to my hubby, I was OUT COLD for 2.5 hours on Sunday during one of the football games...which meant I never got up my anticipated series of Sunday posts giving my favorite Game Day meals and snacks. I will have to assemble this later in the week.

On the upside, I have 4 confirmed private students, and two more I am waiting to schedule. Things are starting to fall into place in those regards, which makes me feel less like a "unemployed" spouse. I am doing my best to take advantage of this time at home, and to be a wonderful spouse and homemaker for my wonderful husband (who has picked up extra teaching hours to close in some of the salary gap).

Here is my goal list from last week!
1.1 load of laundry per day. The victory on this one actually belongs to the Mr., as he did some laundry for me while I was laid up.
2. Ironing catch-up.  The new television programs all come out this week, so I plan to take care of things while plowing through all of the new shows we've set to record. Being unable to move made this one a fail.
3. Finalize office organization. Victory! My office is starting to look office! We're just down to the boxes that were moved in from my classroom after my layoff, but I'm not counting those in the equation.
4. New chore list. Fail.
5. Finalize cross stitch wording. Fail.
6. Sort/pack/donate one box or bag to Goodwill this week. This was my plan for Sunday afternoon, but my body said no. :-) Fail.
7. Canning! Rather than canning, I turned quite a bit of what I had handy into freezer meals. I'm building up quite the stockpile of oven-ready meals to overcome the fact that I will get to see my husband all of 2 evenings a week.
8. Follow up on sub lists. I have an orientation with one this week, and the other one isn't returning my calls, so I've emailed. At this point, I'm considering it complete.
9. Contact local music teachers re: sub list. Half-complete. I have the names/emails of every teacher who was listed on the website. I've decided that a snail-mail letter might be a bit more professional than an email, so this is going on my list to accomplish this week. I have spiffy music letterhead in my stash to make it look cool. :-)
10. Make sure my grad school homework is done every week! Done, but this will be an ongoing goal.
Here is my list for this upcoming week:
1. 1 load of laundry per day
2. Ironing catch-up.
3. New chore list.
4. Finalize cross stitch wording.
5. Sort/pack 1 box to donate to Goodwill.
6. Mail out letters to local music teachers for subbing.
7. Unpack/resort/repack boxes that came from my music room, and find a storage place in the house until the God-designed job comes along!
8. Catch up on the coupon sorting (My MIL gave me 2 months worth of coupon inserts, and the clipping and inserting of those has me behind).
9. Call the list of students who never contacted me back re: lessons.
10. Grad school classwork.
What is your goal list this week?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly goals update

It's been a hectic week, and some back problems (and several days of cold, rainy weather) put a damper on getting some goals accomplished. Here's my update!

My new goals list:
1. Daily load of laundry
2. Get TOTALLY caught up on ironing. Epic fail. This is going back on the list!
3. Complete office organization! I'm putting this back on the list. I'm down to a couple boxes of odds 'n ends, and then I'm including the boxes of items from my school, which need to be sorted/repacked/stored until a new teaching job comes along, and then the things that are school property need to be returned.
4. FINALLY do the new chore list. Layoffs at the hubby's work and changes in my class schedule threw this for a loop. Giving this one another shot!
5. Canning :-) Boo rain. Back on the list!
6. I have two schools yet to contact re: subbing. I called them...they never called me back. So, done, but I think it needs to go back on the list
7. Contact my assigned music students and get them scheduled.
8. Cross-stitch wording...I think I know where the graph paper is now! Another epic fail.
9. Box up as much of the items from our twice-failed garage sale and donate it to Goodwill so that we can reclaim our garage! Going to be a MUCH bigger project, so this is getting revised.
10. Contact the music teachers in the districts I'm eligible to sub. Third epic fail. I'm on a roll!

This week's list:
1. 1 load of laundry per day
2. Ironing catch-up. 
3. Finalize office organization.
4. New chore list
5. Finalize cross stitch wording
6. Sort/pack/donate one box or bag to Goodwill this week.
7. Canning!
8. Follow up on sub lists.
9. Contact local music teachers re: sub list.
10. Make sure my grad school homework is done every week!

Keeper of the Home Giveaway

Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home is having a Union28 giveaway! Union28 has a great line of marriage apparel, and she's giving away $50 in Union28 apparel! You should go enter her giveaway!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekly goals update

This just seems like a crazy week, but I really feel like I got a LOT accomplished!

Here is my list from last week.
1. 1 load of laundry per day.
2. Finish organization of the office. (Super close to being done! The desk and table are cleaned off and purged of clutter, so I'm down to 2 boxes of books and a huge pile of music that needs to be sorted and filed in the cabinet that is currently blocked by the boxes of books)
3. Put together new chore list. Changes at the hubby's work changed his work schedule majorly, so we're bumping this yet another week.
4. Order baking supplies.
5. Follow up on city school sub list.
6. Finalize the wording for Thomas' cross stitch.
7. Schedule classes!!
8. Put together blocks of lesson availability for the music store.
9. Transfer coupons to new coupon binder.
10. 1 new app this week. There's just...not much out there. I did, however, have orientation for subbing at the ESC, so I at least am on the lists to start working!

My new goals list:
1. Daily load of laundry
2. Get TOTALLY caught up on ironing so that we know what hubby has in the wardrobe and what needs replaced so he looks all professional for the start of his next term of teaching.
3. Complete office organization!
4. FINALLY do the new chore list...which should be easier to handle now that we know what our respective schedules are going to be.
5. Canning :-) The sweet corn and beans should be ready in the garden, and I have some beans still to can from my mother-in-law!
6. I have two schools yet to contact re: subbing. 
7. Contact my assigned music students and get them scheduled.
8. Cross-stitch wording...I think I know where the graph paper is now!
9. Box up as much of the items from our twice-failed garage sale and donate it to Goodwill so that we can reclaim our garage!
10. Contact the music teachers in the districts I'm eligible to sub for to let them know that I'm on their list. I always hated taking sick days, because I knew it was unlikely that I would have a musician for a sub...and therefore my students would fall behind. I know teachers can often request subs, so I want to see that my foot is in the door.

What are your goals for the week?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Update and new weekly goals

I've started putting together weekly goals since I've been home more. Makes me feel good to check things off, and I don't feel like my time at home has been totally useless! :-)

Here's last week's list and the updates:
1. Wash/Dry/Fold/Iron 1 load of laundry every day. I half-did this. I did laundry, but didn't iron. :-p
2. Apply to 1 new job every day! I received word that I will be on the sub list for the surrounding county schools (orientation on Wednesday), and I applied to sub for the city schools...still waiting to hear on that. I also have been accepted as a private lesson teacher at the local music store!! It sounds like they have a decent waiting list, so I just need to readjust my fees (to account for the studio rental fee) and put together my availability.
3. Put together a new chore list.  Fail. :-) Putting it on next week's list.
4. Sign up for college classes. It would be nice if the people I needed answered their emails, and the rest didn't do the "you need to talk to someone else" pass-off. I'm making phone calls this week
5. Clean/organize the office and make it functional. We're half done! My desk area is purged of clutter, reorganized (I had no idea I had so many red pens and post-it pads), and cleaned. Going to work on the table/workstation and random boxes this week
6. Clean out/scrub down the fridge. Success!
7. Prep for my MVSO audition! Done! There were no openings on my instrument, so I'm on their sub list. :-)
8. Plan out the lettering for Thomas' cross stitch project. Can't find the graph paper. Hoping the office clean uncovers that.
9. Order baking supplies. Wanted to make sure that bills would clear and I potentially had more income before I spent money. :-)
10. Contact my private students to get lessons set up for the fall. Still waiting to hear back from a couple, but everyone has been contacted.

So here's my list for next week!
1. 1 load of laundry per day.
2. Finish organization of the office.
3. Put together new chore list.
4. Order baking supplies.
5. Follow up on city school sub list.
6. Finalize the wording for Thomas' cross stitch.
7. Schedule classes!!
8. Put together blocks of lesson availability for the music store.
9. Transfer coupons to new coupon binder. I have long since outgrown my old coupon file, and needed something with greater capacity. It looks like I may need more sheets (I used the baseball card plastic sheets, and it works pretty well), so I may buy those as funds are available. Wal-Mart had the zippered 3-ring binders, which saves me in case coupons decide to escape the sheets, and the one I bought has a file section that is great for ads and coupon inserts.
10. 1 new app this week. We're at the point where 1 app a day for teaching jobs just isn't going to happen. My goal is one application per week, whether to sub or for a long-term job.

If you are seeing this on facebook, come to and follow me on here! Nobody follows my blog on here. Share the love! :-)

What are your goals for the week?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goal update- completion!

No more science experiments! Pulled out all of the drawers, scrubbed everything down and reorganized! Goal complete!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Life Reorganization and My New Weekly Goals

It's been a major mental turnaround the last couple of weeks. It's taken my brain a while to wrap around how my life is changing, and I think I'm a little less frantic and a bit more organized. I just finished up 2 applications, and getting ready to hand-deliver some materials and to apply to sub in town.

With the sudden influx of at-home time, I took a little inspiration from Money Saving Mom, and  have created my own list of goals for the week. I hope that you will help to keep me accountable!

1. Wash/Dry/Fold/Iron 1 load of laundry every day. (My laundry is REALLY good at getting out of control!)
2. Apply to 1 new job every day!
3. Put together a new chore list.  Since our schedules have changed (and the last list fell victim to the puppy), I want to ensure that our cleaning also doesn't get ahead of us. The house is a bit of a wreck after the summer employment, and I want to take advantage of my new time at home to get things back under control.
4. Sign up for college classes. I think I'm going to begin adding a certification/endorsement. I'm debating between English, Special Ed, or Technology. Any suggestions?
5. Clean/organize the office and make it functional. The office has long since been the "dumping ground" in our house, and with the hubby and I both pursuing higher ed degrees (he started his PhD this summer, I'm so proud of him!), and since I am much more productive when I am not in front of the television, I want to make this a productive working room.
6. Clean out/scrub down the fridge. My baking supplies have conquered the fridge, and now it's just a disorganized mess!
7. Prep for my MVSO audition! After encouragement from several people in the pit orchestra I played in this last month, I've signed up to audition for their sub list!
8. Plan out the lettering for Thomas' cross stitch project. I'm FINALLY done with the detail work (have I mentioned that metallic blending thread is a thorn in my side?), and the only thing left is the names and date. Need to plan that out so that I can finish this off and get it framed for them.
9. Order baking supplies. I'm almost out of muffin cups, and you can't find these at Kroger. :-)
10. Contact my private students to get lessons set up for the fall. This moves to the bottom of the list because I need to know my class schedule before I can set up dates for lessons. Several of my students took the summer off, so since I am now unemployed, this funding becomes crucial to the budget.

What are your goals for the week?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Groupon $10 for $20 at Fox and Hound in Mason

Groupon in Cincinnati has a deal for $10 for $20 at Fox and Hound in Mason. I've not been, but it's right in the same area as the movie theatre at the Deefield Towne Center.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why I Am a Music Teacher

I can't count how many times students have asked me "So why did you want to teach music?" I think today sums it all up.

I've been working on planning for the band program for the past few months, and one of my little 8th graders "Z" was so excited at the thought of being in the high school band next year. On the night of our instrument fitting, she quickly determined that she wanted to play a clarinet, and she sat in my room for the entire 4 HOUR fitting, "playing" the clarinet during any time it wasn't in use. The local music store came in for the parent meeting last week, and Z had to inform me that her father told her that she couldn't be in band because of financial reasons. She was very upset, and I told her that I would see what we could do, but that I wasn't sure how many (if any) school instruments we would be able to get.

Through the generosity of others, and through a project on, we will be receiving a clarinet over the summer! The project reached completion last night, and I told little Z this morning. She was SO excited, jumped up and down, wrapped her arms around my neck. "Really?!?!" It's moments like these, when I see how excited a student is about becoming a musician, that make me want to be a music teacher. Moments like these make up for all of the days of horrible student behaviors, days of ISS coverage during my free periods, and any other "crappy days" we have as a teacher. To know that you make the difference in the life of one child...that's why I'm a music teacher.

If you have never visited DonorsChoose, please visit their site, find a project that means something to you, and help out a teacher in need of supplies or classroom equipment. We as teachers all know how hard it can be to function without some of the basic supplies, and you can donate as little as $5 to the classroom project of your choice, and your donations combined with the donations of others can make a huge difference in the lives of students.

If you want to see more of my projects, check out my teacher page! I'm not actively asking you to donate to my classroom, but it WOULD be really nice to have a bass drum for my classroom. :-)

God bless!

Friday, May 20, 2011

$25 for $50 at Tony's of Cincinnati

Groupon has another good Cincy deal, and they only have about 100 left! $25 for $50 in yummy steaks from Tony's of Cincinnati. Just the picture is making my mouth water!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

$15 for $30 Worth of Live Music and Libations at The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar

Groupon in Cincinnati has an offer for $15 for $30 at The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar. If you click on my link, you may have to look under "more offers", since it isn't today's offer. I know several of my friends enjoy going there, so thought that I would share!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


As some of you know, I've been starting a brand new music program at my charter school. It got off to a rough start, given that student schedules were set long before the district knew that they were hiring a music teacher. I started off with 4 kids in band, and NO instruments. I've lost 2 of those kids due to family moves, so my numbers have been pretty small. Two students does not a band make.

As of yesterday, I have 13 kids who have signed up for high school band, and 3 who would like to be in the middle school band! So, I'm a little excited for this upcoming year! I plan on those numbers growing, because it doesn't count any new enrollments.

::does a little happy dance::


Groupon- $5 Ticket to African Safari Wildlife Park

If you go to the Cincinnati Groupon page, they have tickets to the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio. Might be nice for a family trip! You can buy up to 6 tickets! I've had friends go to this, and they've said it's really neat!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TV Fasting update

So far, surviving with no TV for a week! (minus the 2 hours I was stuck in Tire Discounters this week, but there were no other chairs other than right in front of the TV...but I really wasn't paying attention to "Days of Our Lives" anyway!) Here's a list of all of the things I've accomplished this week, and all tv-free!

Tore out the "vine bush" that was in the side garden (It was evil, and trying to take over the holly bushes)
Put up the new mailbox! The post is now 3-feet deep in the ground, and is a treated 4x4 with a heavy-duty mailbox. I'd like to see the snow plow TRY to take it out this year! We have to laugh, because between snow plows and major rains, we're the ONLY house on the street with a straight mailbox. :-)

MAJOR gardening overhaul! We redid the existing brickwork around the lilac tree, transplanted some flowers from where evil vine-bush was to around the lilac tree. Weeded around the entire back of the house and lined the whole garden portion with bricks. Dug up the dead rose bush and cultivated a good portion back by the porch to eventually put in an herb garden. The other bonus of the day...MAJOR sunburn on my shoulders and back!

Chiropractor appointment (WAY overdue)
Had new tires put on the Honda (which took 2 hours). My car no longer shakes when I go over 50 mph!
Since I was down in the area, I picked up Indian food at the place that Nate and I took our 2nd date, and brought a (late, due to the 2 hour tire replacement) lunch to Nate at his work. Enjoyed a spiffy lunch with the most awesome hubby in the world.
LOTS of ironing...I am SO far behind!
Did a major scrub-down of the master bathroom. This doesn't get cleaned NEAR as much as it should, since we tend to focus major cleaning jobs on the rooms that will be seen by my music students during lessons. :-p
Grocery run to Meijer- bought a ham, and we're going to try cooking and slicing this, since it's FAR cheaper per pound than lunchmeat!

Cleaned/ironed at home while my car was being repaired. It was recalled! Apparently something in the engine could shut down and cause the car to lose power. Lucky me! :-p
Nate picked me up, took me to the Dentist. Need to have a soon-to-be-cavity filled. :-(
Aldi and Kroger stop on my way to a drum lesson.
Final run-through of the Easter Cantata!!

3-hour nap. In my defense, it was only supposed to be an hour. However, it appears that I just managed to change the clock time, rather than set the alarm itself. My error seems to have made the dog and the baby kitty very happy, because I had snuggle-buddies the whole time. :-)
Not a whole lot accomplished today. Massively long naps tend to throw off one's plans.

While I am antsy to get caught up on a few shows that I'm missing this week, I really have enjoyed the tv-free time this week. I've been making up for my need for noise by listening to a back-log of podcasts instead. :-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Activities To Do While On a TV Fast

Nate and I have decided to take on the challenge offered by our pastor this week, and we are fasting from television during Holy Week. For us, this will be a challenge, since much of our evening social time revolves around catching up on the DVR list or enjoying our Netflix subscription. For me, especially, this will be hard, as I am the kind of person who enjoys having the TV on, if just for the background noise it provides. One television! (and for us personally, no DVD's, no video games)

If you are also taking the TV Fasting challenge, or are just looking for some ideas for local family activities, I've put together a list of lots of things you can do to fill that time (or to keep the children otherwise entertained)!

1. Read a book! Stop by the Wilmington Library and borrow a book (or Book on Tape/CD), or go on Wednesday for their Toddler or Preschool Storytime. If you prefer electronic books, has a huge collection of free ebooks that you can download. If you don't have a Kindle or other e-reader, they have a "Kindle for PC" application that you can download for free to read the books on your computer.

2. Check out one of the Wilmington Parks! You can go feed the ducks, take a walk, or have a picnic! Take a Frisbee, and hope that the weather cooperates.

3. Go Geocaching! If you have a GPS or GPS-enabled device, you can go on a high-tech treasure hunt! There are several locations locally! Be sure to take a little trinket to leave behind when you find your hidden location!

4. Start a home garden! Even if you don't have a large yard, plant some container-friendly vegetables (like tomatoes or peppers) and enjoy some tasty home-grown veggies this summer. Or plant some flowers around your yard! Need some help starting a garden? Go to

6. Cook a meal together! Need some ideas? Pillsbury and Betty Crocker are great resources to see what you can make with the items you already have in your pantry. You can also use the extra time to plan and make some freezer meals. (I do the freezer meals a LOT! It takes so much of the guesswork out of trying to figure out what is for dinner. Give the meal the entire day to thaw in the fridge, and dinner comes about much faster when you don't have to chop/prep that night!)

7. Play a board game or do a puzzle! Dust off those games you haven't played in weeks or years! On a personal note, I remember many a childhood thunderstorm when the power would go out, and we would play Monopoly by candlelight, so this is a great tv-free task!

8. Do some spring cleaning and get organized! Nate and I have been following the Get Organized Wizard blog's 30-Day Organize-athon, and she breaks down different organizational tasks into 5-minute assignments. Use this time to clean out your closets, organize your garage, and set aside things to be donated (or for the church garage sale that will be later this year).

9. Go on a romantic date! Take a walk, go out to dinner, or make a romantic candlelight dinner at home!

10. Come by the church (200 A Street, Wilmington) for all of the activities going on this week! Maundy Thursday service on Thursday at 6pm. Help fill Easter eggs with candy on Friday at 4. Invite a friend and their kids to join us for the Easter Egg hunt on Saturday at 11am. Be a part of the Easter Sunday activities, with the Resurrection service at 9am, breakfast at 9:30, and the Morning Service at 10:30!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Discount Green Beans make a tasty side dish!

Every Tuesday, I hit up the "local" Meijer (it's local to work, no local Meijer by home) and check out their discounted produce rack. Sometimes it's hit and miss, unless your a big lemon/lime fan, but this week they had green beans for half the normal price! Given the cost that green beans can reach during the off-season, and knowing it's not quite warm enough to plant mine in the ground, I picked up two 4.5-lb bags. Some of them were cleaned up and put directly into the freezer, some went directly into a crock pot for a batch of Green Beans & Sausage (a family favorite, and a summer favorite of the hubby).

Some of the ones that were left made it into Sunday's lunch! My Mom and Dad came over this afternoon to bring us my little brother's old bunk bed (his old room is being turned into a guest room with a slightly larger bed), and they brought many tasty things to eat. My Mom is an incredible cook, and I always say that I've learned from the best. :-)

So, I tried out a new recipe, courtesy of Betty Crocker's website. Head over there for a really simple Spicy Green Beans with Caramelized Onions. While it does have a smidgin of a heat to it, it's not horribly spicy. The sweetness of the caramelized onions really balances out the red pepper flakes, and you could probably even leave those out if you don't want the spiciness. These were REALLY tasty, and were nice and crisp!

Getting green beans this week is really making me itch to get the garden plowed under. Here's hoping for warmer weather this week!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Groupon- $15 for $30 at Relish Modern Tapas in Mason

Groupon has a deal on right now for $15 for a $30 certificate for food at Relish Modern Tapas in Mason, OH. If you live in the Cincinnati vicinity and haven't been here, the food is INCREDIBLE!! We discovered Relish about a year ago, and the food was phenomenal! It's a part of the Deerfield Towne Center, so use this to end a nice day of shopping, or make it dinner and a movie at the Regal Cinemas.

Thought I'd forward on a deal that would make your "dinner date" fund stretch a little further!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free e-book: American Frugal Housewife currently has The American Frugal Housewife available for download for $0.00! It's designed for Kindle, but if you don't have an e-reader, it will give you an option to download to your PC (PC reader download is also free).

Note: This price could change at any time, so double-check before you buy!

Shoe Carnival- Surprise coupons

Shoe Carnival has a surprise coupon that will save you $5, $10, or $15 off a purchase of $29.99 or more. If you get the $15 coupon, that's half-off your purchase!

Free e-book: A Thinking Love

Simply Charlotte Mason has a free e-book, "A Thinking Love" available for download!

Saturday, March 5, 2011 Macaroni Grill $5 Gift Card

If you are like me, and are a habitual soda-drinker (yes, I say "soda), then check out the gift cards section of My Coke Rewards. They now have $5 Romano's Macaroni Grill for 140 points each! There doesn't appear to be a limit as to how many you can get, so cash in your points and enjoy a nice dinner out courtesy of your daily caffeine fix!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pampers Gifts to Grow: 10 points

Join Pampers Gifts to Grow and earn points towards rewards!

Add this code for 10 points:


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Awesome wives....

...make chocolate covered strawberries!
These were made even more awesome by the fact that I made them at 10:00 at night! I had chocolate chips leftover from making Christmas cookies, and got a coupon from Driscoll's for 50-cents off of a berry purchase. Double that coupon at Kroger, and I got a carton of strawberries for $1 last weekend!

I do have to confess, however, that I "licked" the chocolate bowl clean with one of the chocolate-less strawberries that was left over. Mmm...

Free audiobook download has a monthly free downloadable audio book. I will confess, I'm saving my audio books for this summer when I'm going to baking and canning, so these will help to keep me company in the kitchen! No credit card needed!

$1 Groupon for 3 Redbox rentals

Groupon has a deal up for $1 for 3 Redbox 1-day movie rentals! Given that rentals are usually $1 each, this is a buy one-get two free deal! I read the fine print, and you can use these codes over multiple visits! Rentals expire June 1st!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

$10 Maggianos Coupon

Sign up for the Maggiano's email list, and get a coupon for $10 off your next visit! Be thrifty about your dinner selections, and this could make for a moderately-priced date night!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Late night freezer cooking

So this is 2 days late, thanks to parent-teacher conferences yesterday and doing my freezer-bake at 10 PM the night before. **Disclaimer: I do NOT recommending 10 PM freezer-bake sessions! You'll see why in the rest of my post.

Last week, I stopped by Meijer after my grad class since it's close, and they clearance their produce that day. I picked up a bag of 12 Cubanelle peppers for $2, and my Mom (and my cooking muse) sent me my Aunt Marcia's recipe for stuffed peppers.

So, in looking at the recipe, it calls for 12 peppers. So, awesome! I have everything I need to double the recipe, so we'll go ahead and double the recipe and freeze the rest, right?.... Needless to say, I failed to notice that the recipe was for stuffing green peppers, and that my Cubanelle peppers were MUCH smaller than a regular green pepper.

So I went ahead and stuffed the 12 peppers I had:
You sprinkle cheese on them towards the end of the baking process...mmm, cheese! These were absolutely delicious! We had them last night, and the leftovers were packed in my lunch today by my wonderful hubby!

And yet, I still wound up with twice as much stuffing as I needed! So, decided to be creative, and had some frozen bell pepper strips from a previous clearanced produce purchase. I diced up a couple of peppers-worth, mixed it in, and decided to make...
"Stuffed Pepper" Casserole! (Are we noticing a cheese affinity in my cooking?)

Just as a note, freezing casseroles has really helped in making drastic strides in reducing our grocery budget. I've gotten a lot better about cooking from our pantry as much as possible. Once every week or two, I take an hour (or two) to destroy my kitchen. For just the two of us, being able to take a regular recipe and split it into smaller casserole dishes, or to double a recipe and freeze several pans takes away that excuse of not wanting to cook when I get home after my hour-long drive home from school.

Since the hubby gets home before me, I write baking instructions on the foil, and he can put the casserole in the oven timed to be ready when I get home! And honestly, ladies, isn't it wonderful to have dinner waiting for us when we get home? :-D

Heads up for all you "Canners"!

The Meijer stores in our area have clearanced out a lot of their canning supplies, and if you plan to have a garden or will be visiting a u-pick farm this summer, this would be a great time to snag some supplies!

Our store had the Original and Sugar-Free Pectin for $0.75 each (half off!), and all of their pickle mixes and spices were marked to half off as well ($1.29 each for the pickle mix). We made bread n' butter pickles last summer with some cucumbers we were given, and I hope to plant cucumbers in my own garden this summer. Nothing tops off an awesome sandwich like a dill pickle spear on the side. I remember growing up, and splitting one of those HUGE dill pickles (the ones in the big jar) with my Dad.

Hopefully your Meijer is doing the same!

Giveaway at Just 1 Step- The Daniadown Sherpini Throw

My friend Kara over at Just 1 Step is giving away a Daniadown Sherpini Throw! She's giving away multiple entries for sharing her link!

Head over and check out her blog and giveaway!

Friday, February 4, 2011


So I misread the label on what I thought was a pork loin. I wound up with Ribs! Needless to say, no objection to the mishap from the hubby, who I think was more excited at the prospect of ribs than to the pork loin!

Pork Ribs with Molasses-Mustard Sauce Had to do a little searching, but had the perfect recipe, and I had the rest of the ingredients in the pantry!

I would have taken a picture, but I couldn't find the camera, and they didn't last long enough to find it! Verdict: This recipe is a keeper!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow day shopping trip!

Hubby was in need of a prescription refill, and since a lot of the markdowns happen around here on Tuesday, I went ahead and took care of the grocery shopping! Lots of really good deals this week!

Made a stop at Meijer first, hoping to catch the markdowns:

Pork loin: marked down to $6.00
10 green peppers discounted to $3.73
24-packs of Coke Zero and Diet Mountain Dew (not in the picture): 2 for $10
Bob Evans sausage: marked down to @$2.23, plus a .50 coupon (doubled to $1) = $1.23
Blueberry doughnut holes: marked down to $1.97 (hoping for another snow day so I can have a spiffy breakfast with the Hubby!)
Green giant frozen veggies: $1.00 each, plus 4 $.50-off coupons = free!

Non-coupon savings: $11.23
Coupon savings: $5.00
Total savings: $16.23
Total spent: $23.58

Kroger was the big score of the evening!
Stuff in the Mega-event:
2 Tidy cats litter: 1.99, plus 2 $1-off coupons = .99 (.49 each with ME)
All laundry detergent: 3.49, plus $1 coupon = $2.49 (1.99 with ME)
2 bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo: $3.00 plus 2 $1 coupons = $2 each (1.50 with ME)
4 bags of Chex Mix: 1.99 each, plus 2 .50/2 (doubled) coupons = $1.49 each (.99 with ME)
2 Finish dish packs: $3.49, plus a $2.25 off and a $1 off coupon = $1.86 each (1.36 with ME)
Advil congestion: $4.49, plus $2 coupon = $2.49 (1.99 with ME)
3 Kraft Cheese singles: $1.99, plus 3 $1 coupons = .99 (.49 with ME)
4 Philly Cream Cheese: $1.48 plus 2 $1/2 coupons = .99 (.49 with ME)
Uncle Ben's Brown Rice: $1.49 plus .75 (doubled to $1) coupon = .49 (free with ME)
Beggin Strips: $2.99 plus $1 coupon = $1.99 (1.49 with ME)
ICBINB tub: $1.79 plus .60 (doubled to $1) coupon = .79 (.29 with ME)
Non-event deals:
5 boxes of Kelloggs Special K: $3.24 each, stacked with 4 B1G1 coupons = .64 each
8 pork chops: marked down to $7.23
3 packages of Perdue ground chicken: marked down to $1.09 each
2 jars of Ragu: $1.93 each, with .50/2 coupon (doubled) plus a $1/2 e-coupon = .93 each
2 Activia 4-packs: 1.88 each plus 2 $1 coupons = .88 each
Gallon of milk: $2.55, plus coupon for free gallon with $100 purchase = free!
Frigo string cheese: $5.49 plus $.55 (doubled to $1) coupon = $4.49
Ham: $3.99 plus .55 (doubled to $1) = $2.99
Loofa: $1 (ours is falling apart!)
4 Butterfinger candies: 2/$1, plus $1/2 coupons = free!
Yoplait yogurt cup: .60 plus FREE coupon = free!

Coupon savings: $45.76
Store coupon & Kroger plus savings: 41.93
Total savings: $87.69
Total spent: $66.80 (57% savings)

And as I was writing the blog post, I got the email cancellation of school tomorrow! Looks like I'll get to make that pork loin into something tasty!