Saturday, January 31, 2009

Money Saved On Last Shopping Trip

I didn't do as well this last shipping trip as I did the previous two... One reason was extras for the Super Bowl. Another reason was the fact that DH went shopping with me to Walmart and we bought a couple things for our sons' Nerf guns :) FOr our oldest, it was a special treat for all the extra chores he has been doing without even being asked :)
I still went under by about $30-$40, so that is not too bad. Going under instead of going over is nice, no matter what the amount is! Also, I did a bit of shopping at Walgreen's and got a $2 in register reward (actually $3, but I used $1 of it for a second shopping trip a couple days after earning the $1 RR). And, I also bought a printer ink refill, which was on sale for $5 but has a $5 rebate-so that is free and I should get the $5 in a few weeks or so since it is my 1st time doing a rebete through Walgreen's.
So, all in all, not too bad :) Eric was impressed when I told him how much I had saved at Walgreen's and also when he learned I would be getting the printer ink refill for free.


I found a new search and win site that seems promising. It is called iRazoo

You earn points for every search you make-up to 100 points a day. You can also earn extra points for commenting on a website found for you by iRazoo. It does take more points to get a prize than it would take through, but I think it equals out since iRazoo gives you points everytime :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Banana Muffins

Mmm--mmmm! These were good! I have to say I was surprised. I will post the recipe I used from below but I want to review these. I doubled the recipe, so all my reviews and recipe variations will be for my doubled version (the recipe below is not be doubled though)..
I used half margerine and half applesauce (unsweetened). I added in cinnamon (not sure of amounts-just sprinkled, but if I had to guess, I would say a good 2 teaspoons). I also added in about 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla. With the flour, I used about 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour. In the one cup that I had 1/2 cup wheat in, I added about 2-3 TBS of Milled Flax seed and filled the rest of that 1 cup measuring cup with all-purpose (this was my final cup of flour I needed to add to the recipe). Other than those additions, I did this recipe as called for (only doubled, don't forget that-lol)
These were SO good out of the oven! The started to get overbaked on the outside (my oven runs hot) and I was afraid would be dry, but they were not! Usually, with fruit type breads, I find them much better after a good cool down, the next day, or after they have been frozen and thawed. But, these had a ton of good banana flavor! The wheat gave it some heartiness...You could easily add raisins and nuts to this recipe, but my kids do not like that all that much, so I left them out...of course, I just remembered I have a huge bag of Craisins I could have added in too...will try that next time even if with just a few :)

Banana Muffins II
"These delicious banana muffins are easy for kids to make."
READY IN  35 Min
Original recipe yield 12 muffins, or 48 mini muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.

Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grandmother Bread...

Ok, so you can mess it up-lol! Or, I can-which is not hard for me...

I decided to follow advice I had seen on another blog. I kneaded the dough until I could make a nice ball and flatten/stretch it without tearing. This meant I had to add more flour as I went along...My bread was tough that night! I could hardly eat it and I LOVE Grandmother Bread!! So, from now on, atleast with Grandmother Bread the way I have been doing it-kneading until I can feel the elasticity. I check this by pushing (not poking the bread) two fingers into the dough and seeing if it 'bounces' back. This lets me know it has good elasticity and is ready to start the rising process :)

I made some waffles last night before I started dinner. I was able to get two good batches made and this will give the kids breakfast for two days. Waffles take awhile, so next time I will definitely start them earlier and triple or quadruple my recipe to make enough to throw in the freezer :) Today, I hope to make some banana muffins to stick in the freezer for later in the week.
I would post pics, but I have lost my camera...need to find it. It is probably lost on the desk somewhere...another reason I need to clean it off!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Huge Turkey Blessing

I have seen other bloggers talk about buying turkeys after the Holidays for really cheap. I have looked around, but never found such great deals. Then, the other day, my friend called me to let me know she found turkeys marked at $5 each and asked if I wanted one :) YAY! I was thrilled-almost high-over the excitement of having a turkey for such a great price! She grabbed me a large one and I got it from her later that day. This turkey has got to be over 20 lbs! It is a monster-heavy and plump!! It is thawing in my fridge-has been since we brought it home, and I plan to brine it later on this week for dinner this weekend (hopefully it will be thawed and hopefully it will fit in my small oven-lol). After we have it for dinner, and then leftovers the next day, probably, I will take all the meat off, probably break it up and stick the carcass in my crockpot with some water to cook all day and make a nice broth...then, package up the rest of the meat for the freezer! SO glad I have that Ziploc system now!

Our turkey from Thanksgiving was a tad over 15lbs and the leftover meat from that has lasted us awhile by using it for soups, chilis, and other add ins for dishes that I would use shredded or cubed chicken. I imagine the turkey from my big guy now will last me through to late Spring or Summer-lol! If i had a freezer, separate from the one on my fridge, I would have tried to get another turkey to save for Thanksgiving, but Im thrilled with just this one and can't wait to stock my freezer with lots of turkey :)

Free Diet Dr Pepper Coupon By Mail

Go here and sign up for a fre Diet Dr. Pepper-either 20 oz or 1 liter-comes in the mail :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

I did not get my goal met last week :( Bad Debbie!! I did get one box condensed, but that is a far as it went...So, I will try again this week. With bad, icy weather, I might need something to do...

I also plan to make a big batch of waffles and pancakes. I am going to search for a good muffin recipe and hopefully will throw out a big batch of muffins. My freezer has quite a few nanners stored in it, so I can use probably half of those up.

We are stocked up nicely for any major ice storm that might be coming our way. We might be headed out to get more wood this afternoon as our supply went a bit when the furnace was out. And, our flashlights need batteries-lol! So, I will need to get some, just in case. I don't want this to be like the ice storm we had Dec 2007 and when we needed batteries, candles, etc, there were none to be found :( Sometimes it was hard to find water! Our well pump ran on electricity, so without electric, we had no water...11 days...ok, I can feel the panic attacks starting-lol!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saving Money

I have been proud of myself see, I have been able to not spend my full amount budgeted for groceries lately. The last three times I have been shopping, I have gone anywhere from $50-$100 less than my usual budgeted amount. I don't think store prices have come down, and I have always been a conscientious shopper. I look closely at prices, compare items (both in price and size) and pay attention to the prices as my items are being rung (rang?) up :) I use coupons-usually, I am able to save an average of $10 with my coupons. I imagine if I went to more stores that doubled my coupons, I could save more, but unless I see a really good deal, I usually do not go out of my way that much.

I usually shop 4 different stores..they are not too much out of my way and I know I save alot, even with the gas I spend. One of those stores is the bread store and I can usually find terrific deals on english muffins, tortillas, and bread.

But, I got to thinking the other day on ways to reduce even more! I usually buy 2 bags of cereal for the kids...depending on the type of cereal, this can last my kids anywhere from 5-8 days (sometimes more). So, two bags costs us about $6 (they are $3 each for the store brand bagged cereal). I thought, I could buy a whole bag of flour, plus maybe eggs, for the price of one bag. I could make the kids a much healthier breakfast-something like some nice healthy pancakes (we add whole wheat, oats and ground flax seed to our recipe), some good muffins, etc...

It will mean planning on my behalf. Many things I thought of I can make ahead of time and keep in the freezer :) I can make a good stash of muffins, pancakes, waffles, homemade breakfast bars/cookies, etc... and the kids can pull them out that morning, or I can place them in the fridge the night before to thaw a bit. I think pulling them out to thaw will also allow me to keep track of what we have used and what we have left :)

So, after talking with the kids, we are going to start this new challenge :) This will be my goal for next week too, making big batches of breakfast items for the nest two weeks. There are mornings my oldest two can provide breakfast because they enjoy making muffins. Also, Josh has started to enjoy making eggs and toast for everyone, so I am sure he can take a morning of breakfast duties as well :)

I will let everyone know how our challenge goes in a couple of weeks. Im hoping the kids enjoy it and maybe we can do away with cereal altogether--maybe buying some for special occassions :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Walgreen's Next Week

Walgreen's is going to have a few great items on sale starting Sunday :) First off, they will have their printer refills (black I assume) for $5 and then, you can use the mail in rebate from the Easy Saver Catalog (or I think you can also do your rebate from their website...I will learn more after I do this deal ) and get $5 back-so a free refill! Yeah, Baby! Then, I noticed they have Reynold's Foil on sale-I think it is the 50 sq ft size, for 89 cents...maybe you have a coupon for this. I need to look through my coupons and see :) There are other good items which I already forget, but the ad comes out on Sunday. Go to my blogs on the left and click on From Wags to Riches and she has a link to view the ad ahead of time :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reasor's and Food Pyramid

Here are some sales for Reasor's and Food Pyramid this week:

Food Pyramid

They have a 1 day sale going Saturday, Jan. 24-
Libby's canned veggies-42 cents, limit 6
CapriSun juice packs-$1.75 limit 2
Ozarka Water 24pk. $2.99 limit 2
Hot House Tomatoes-$1.29/lb

Regular sale items for the rest of the week:
Pork Steak, Country style ribs, or Pork Should Butt (how can the should be on the butt?) roast-$1.19/lb
Apples-Gala or another which I can't read but want to say fuji?- 99 cents/lb
Charmin Big Squeeze 9pk-3.99
Hiland Cottage Cheese 24 oz-$1.89 and this Sunday there was a $.45 off coupon-doubled makes this $.99
Hiland Orange Juice-gallon-$2.89-$.55 off coupon from Sunday paper-won't be doubled-$2.34
Ground Round-$1.99/lb

Make sure you grab an ad if you didn't get one in the mail because these first few items are on sale with the coupons in the ad:
Pepsi 2 liter-98 cents
American Beauty Pasta 24 oz, select varieties-99 cents
4 lb bag naval oranges-$1.67
Swanson Dinners-77 cents
Swanson Pot Pies-2/88 cents
Crystal Farms Block Cheese-16 oz-$3.39

These prices may not be the same for your local store's so check online before you go, or check your ads :) These prices are for Tulsa area :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

CInnamon Swirl Bread

I made this bread yesterday-- Country Cinnamon Bread
This will be long, so hold on tight :)
These are the ingredients I needed :

You can check the recipe link for specifics :)
Anyway, I got started by melting the margerine (you can use butter) into the milk (basically warming the milk with the butter until the butter is melted)
Then Hubby came in to be sure all gas appliances were off because they were turning off the gas...ummm-ok.
WAIT! Microwave!
So, I heated the milk a bit in the microwave and that melted the butter-let it cool...You do not want your liquids too hot when adding them to the yeast, or it will kill your yeast.
Meanwhile, I added the yeast, warm water and sugar to my big pink bowel (decided not to use the snowman bowl since it has a thin bottom :)
I like to let my yeast, water and sugar sit a bit to proof, as I said in a previous post. Then, I added the cooled milk and butter mixture, as well as the cinnamon (I also added in a touch of vanilla not listed in the recipe, but I thought it would be nice :)
Next, start adding your flour and stir. I like using a flat spoon for this. Reason being, it allows you to get the doughy goop off the spoon when you are ready to start kneading :)
When it starts to look like this below, you will be ready to start with hand kneading:
Add about 1/2 cup or so at a time. Usually, I get a handfull, sprinkle it over the hand I plan to knead with and start folding the dough over and over again, turning my bowl as I go along. I knead in my bowl because, to me, it creates a lot less mess than doing it on the counter, table or whatever...
Above, you can see how the heel of my hand is starting to get sticky with dough-this is where I start to add more flour. You hav eto careful to not add too much and your hands will naturally become sticky because of accumulated dough, so just sprinkling the flour into my hand allows me to not add too much flour into my dough. Too much flour can make your dough tough. I also, as I get further into the kneading, do switch hands--two reasons-1) because the one arm/hand gets tired-lol and 2) because it gives me a better feel for how sticky the dough is, or if it is close to being done with the kneading process.
This is about the point where I was called away for the first time. I do not remember why. I came back a couple minutes later and kneaded more. Then, an injured child came in-laughing at how she wiped out on her bike. Scrape on the knee, everything fine. Then, she discovered a worse injury which I will not go into-let's just say it was bad and would make you wince terribly...I hate bikes I think...
So, my dough at this point was not kneaded as much as I think it should have been, but by the time I had dealt with this serious injury, it was already rising....
Put into clean and greased bowl, turning your dough over to make sure it is nicely oiled/greased. You can spray with cooking spray if you wish, but honestly, I have not had success with this-maybe I do not use enough, not sure, so I just use canola oil to cover the bowl and my dough :) Then, cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot.
About an hour later, your dough will be double in size.
Punch down-no, don't really punch it I guess--I use my hand to sort of fold it over onto itself a couple times. Some recipes call for you to place on a floured surface after the punch down and knead a bit more. This one did, so that is what I did :)
Then, I rolled it into a rectangle :
Then, I slathered the butter and sprinkled the sugar and cinnamon on top. Rolled it up into a log, trying to keep it tight and placed it into a greased pan (I do use cooking spray for this).
Cover again with the towel, keep in warm spot and let rise about 30 mins. I guess I let mine rise a good 40 mins.
Then, bake at about 375 degrees. I forgot to set my timer, and remembered just at the right time-before it burned-lol! So, check the directions in the recipe for time amounts :)
Remove from pan and let cool before slicing :
Now, see the middle of my bread is not 'with' the rest of the bread. I think my problem is I do not roll these sort of breads tight enough...I have the same problem with my cinnamon rolls. Not sure what I do, I feel like I am rolling tightly-oh well...the bread is gone this morning :) That is all that matters ;)
On another site, a bread pro mentions kneading for awhile, and checking your dough's elasticity by taking a golf ball size amount of dough and sort of flattening/stretching it out. It should not tear easily. I planned to do that with this dough, but got sidetracked. I did do that with my bread the day before, but since I had no final product to bake, I cannot tell you how well that worked. Usually, I will push two fingers slightly into the dough as I am kneading and watch if the indentations (I do not puncture the dough with my fingers) springs back right away. This works well for me it seems.
I think that is all for now :) Hopefully this is not too confusing for those who were interested in a tutorial. Really, and many people told me this, it is getting in there and doing-again and again. Eventually, you will get the hang of it. Start off with an easy bread recipe-like from Chickens in the Road's blog-see on the right under Fun and Creativity, then look in her recipe section for Grandmother Bread-she has a great tutorial!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

Goal---goal...hmmm...Im not sure what my goal this week will be. No, it's not like my house is perfectly clean in every nook and cranny. It is not like I could not find one little thing to do-or even one big thing-lol! I am sure I can find something, but what?

Oh! It's not like it is right in front of me or anything---ahem---my desk! Oh, it needs it badly. Add to it that right now the one side of my computer tower is off (the processor fan is acting up-pray it stops acting up and acting right as we cannot get a new one right now). There are also two boxes -oh-three boxes right next to my desk that I need to go through. They are things found in the garage that I thought I might need for school, so I need to go through them and either pack them up or put them in my room to be used :)

I will say the cabinet my printer sets on is nice and clean :) Josh did that a couple weeks ago and it has stayed organized ever since...hmmm--wonder if he will clean the desk for me too?! Yea, I bet it would cost me a couple dollars-well, then again, that might be worth it? LOL!

So, Desk and boxes by the desk...

Oh, and my goal last week-what was it? Coupons! Yes, I remember now. I went through my shopping notebook and found all the coupons I had shoved into the front and back pockets with every intention to file them later on...that was happening over the past few months, so there were lots of coupons-lol! I threw out the expired ones. I went through my coupon envelopes, threw out the expired coupons and then put all the coupons I had found into the correct envelopes.
I also went ahead and started my shopping list for next paycheck. I pulled out any coupons I thought I would need and placed them into the envelope that says "This Trip's Coupons". This stays clipped on the page my current list is on.

Bread update

Well, let's say, we had no fresh baked bread for dinner last night...let me explain:

I used the Fleischmann's master bread dough recipe, cut in half. As I was doing the half recipe, I was wishing I had just made the full recipe because if nothing else, I could have froze half the dough in the freezer (the recipe gives good instructions on how to do it, but basically, after you knead, you put the dough into a baggie and place in the freezer. They suggest making it into a disc which is a good idea to save freezer space. It also gives good directions for thawing). I kneaded, and kneaded, and...well, you get the idea :) I saw on another blog that I plan to add later on, that you know when you are done kneading by taking a golf-ball sized piece of dough and sort of stretch it out. It sort of reminded me of stretching a pizza dough. If it doesn't tear, your dough has good elasticity and it done. I used this technique yesterday and it really worked. I realized I probably had not been kneading my doughs long enough by the look of the pretty dough I had made yesterday. It was lovely-smooth, elastic-y, lovely :) I was going to take a pic, but my batteries we not ready yet, but I promise, it was gorgeous!!

So, I let my dough rise. Now, I always put my dough on the back of my stove. It is warm back there and it always rises nicely. Well, I have to tell you, I have a new bowl. I got it after Christmas marked half off. Just a plastic bowl, really big, with snowmen decorating the outside egde :) I guess it has a thinner bottom than my other plastic bowls. When my dough had risen (and it looked weird, but I didn't know why at first) I realized it was crusty at the bottom. Hmmm--Im thinking "I know I put a nice layer of oil all over this thing to prevent crust-this happened last time. What is going on?".....Ha! My bread has slowly started to bake! So, I had to throw out that dough :( I guess I am glad I did not waste all those ingredients by doing the whole recipe :)

I might bake more today-we will see. Today they are going to put in the furnace, which I won't be needed to help I don't think, so I might make bread-use it for breakfast in the morning with some eggs :) I am charging the batteries right now for my camera, so hopefully I can post pics as I go along this time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Year Challenge

I have really gotten into making bread the past few months-by hand :) I used a bread machine before that, and it did become useful in this house, but it died :( SO, I had to figure out how to make bread on my own with the use of no machinery...and this recipe really helped me: It is really easy and pretty fail proof, but I think it taught me alot in learning how the dough should feel, kneading, etc.

So, my next venture will be trying new bread recipes. As you saw a couple weeks ago, I made bagels. I will try those again-perhaps tomorrow :) Today, I plan to try the master bread dough recipe from (this is Fleischmann's Yeast site). I will scale it down to use just one envelope of yeast and make some rolls for dinner to go with our chicken tonight :) I want to make it a point to try a new bread recipe each week-whether it be yeast bread or a quick bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, or breakfast items-like muffins and the like :)

I will try to remember to include pics as I go along. Some weeks it might be me making the recipes, or it might be my kids :)

And Hubby Learns....

Eric called me yesterday letting me know he used his two coupons he got for his favorite energy drink by doing a survey. He had misplaced them, but found them in his work bag, and used them. He got two energy drinks for 34 whole cents! LOL! He was so proud-I said how good it feels to do that, and he agreed :) So, maybe he will get a bit more excited over saving money when I use MY coupons-lol! Oh well, it thrills me to no end when I am able to do it, so that is all that matters!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Oh my, we had a nasty cold front come through! But, I guess we were not as cold as places up north, so that was a blessing. But, the day before the cold front came through, our furnace went out. We thought it might have just been the pilot on the furnace, but that was going full force :) Happy lil flame burning away. It turned out to be a part that was easily replaced by a repairman, but we had to go through the day of the cold front coming in, the cold, cold night, and part of the cold, freezing day-lol! Then, it took almost the whole rest of the day to get the house up to a comfy temp! UGH! Our fireplace was nice and all, but it just did not get the heat around the room like I was wishing it would. The kids slept in the living room and I ended up in the living room about midnight when Levi kicked me out of bed (he stayed in bed with us so I would be sure he was warm enough). I stayed up most of the night putting wood on the fire.

But, another problem was found with our furnace. I am Praising God as I think the part that went out was a blessing now. There is a crack somewhere in the furnace that when the blower comes on, it cause a downdraft to the flames on the coils. This causes them to dance a bit wildly, and it could be dangerous. Thankfully, two different repairmen both comfirmed this and said it would need to be changed out this weekend-no later...the furnace would need to be changed out. So, Eric and our landlord will fix it Saturday, when it is also a bit warmer ;)

Just when you think something is so frustrating and wondering why it happened, God lets you know, He really does have it all under control ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Suave Today

I think yesterday, I said this was a printable coupon but it is not-they send you a coupon for a free bottle by snail mail-still nice :) Here is the link again:
Free Bottle Of Suave

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Suave Starts Tomorrow

Free Bottle of Suave Go here tomorrow morning (Jan 14th, 2009) and get a coupon for a free bottle of Suave. Don't forget :)  Even if this is not your preferred shampoo (but my hubby uses it and sometimes my kids) you can keep it for some other things-perhaps a food pantry, a gift basket for someone with some other 'freebies' added in, or keep on hand for company to use during a visit and if they forgot their shampoo at home...or you could even use it for emergency soap ;) Im sure there are other ideas you can come up with :) Free shampoo-always nice ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Goal Setting Sunay

I got the tree taken down finally on Thursday :) This was after a good friend was talking about her goals and I realized I had not done mine-YIKES! Good thing too, since I got some sort of virus on Saturday and still have it today. I am forcing myself to post this-really, I am :P Anyone have some good mint tea? I sure could use some!

And, I am forcing myself to make a, I don't have a cannon pointed at myself...Hmmm-I noticed, and I also posted this the other day, my coupons are out of hand in my accordion file. But, they are also not organized in my shopping notebook. It was no fun when I went shopping yesterday with coupons falling all over the place-plus, my stomach was hurting...So, my goal this week is to organize my coupons again and also to clean out the expried ones. This will be easily done and make room for new ones I will get from today's paper.

Check your coupons...are they organized? Do you know where your coupons are (play spooky music here)?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Food Pyramid and Reasor's Ads this week

Just going to highlight things I know are a pretty good deal, so be sure to check these ads out yourself before you head out to the store and be sure you see all the good deals according to your own shopping lists :) -Food Pyramid -Reasors

Food Pyramid
*8 lb bag of Red Delicious Apples or Navel Oranges-$3.99
*Hunts Spaghetti Sauce 26 oz-.87
*Martha Gooch Pasta-.87
*General Mills Cereal, Select Varieties 9-14.25 oz (showing Cheerios in ad)-$1.87 printable qpon $1.00 off 2 boxes-making them $1.37 each (also a qpon in Sunday paper for $1/3)
*Cambell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle-3/$2-about .66 each, but you can save more if you can find a coupon-FP doubles up to 50 cents.
*3 lb bag of frozen BL/SL chicken breasts-$4.99
*Midwestern Gold Ground Round -$1.99/lb
*Tyson Fresh Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast-$1.99/lb
*Old South Sausage-.99/16 oz

Reasors- Havng a big 10 for $10 sale -Yippee!!
* 10 4 $10-
1 dz med. eggs
Dole Classic Romaine Salad 10 oz bag
Pepsi 2 Liters
Fresh French Bread
Tostinos Pizzas 9.8-11.5 oz
Royal Gala Apples/ lb
Hostess Single Serve snack cakes
Borden Dip or Sour Creams 16 oz
Best Choice Ketchup 36 oz
Bar-S Lunch meat 1lb

*Chuck Roast-$1.98/lb
*Ground Beef-$1.48
*Cambell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle-3/$2

Reminder-Go through your coupon stashes from previous months and clean out old, expired coupons :) I went through my Oct coupons and found about 2 that were not expired, so I need to get to cleaning these out :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Right@Home Back to Basics Gift Pack-!st 5,000

Sign up for the newest Gift Pack Right at Home  If you are among the 1st 5,000, you will get a \Ziploc Big Bag gift pack-details are on the site). But, don't worry if you are not among the 1st 5,000 as they do send out nice coupon books to the non-winners :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

I did not get to my blinds-we had those two nice warm days, but I just spent that time enjoying watching my kids play outside :) And, I ended up doing some other cleaning in my kitchen-moving the fridge and cleaning behind and under it (my cat had fun helping me since he found a long lost marble that was his in my cleaning process and don't ya know how fun dust bunnies are to chase around? they are-try it-well, if you are a cat and reading this blog...ahem...)

But, I did get my baseboard cleaning goal done as I posted already :) And, I got most of my tree taken down--packed all the ornaments into new boxes, and organized those boxes. I have bad light sets in one box with some bad Christmas decorations-ones I really do not want to throw away in case I can come up with something to do with them (yes, I am a bit of a pack rat). Then, I put all the nice decors into another box and the good lights/new lights into another.

This week's goal is to get the tree put away and to ask DH to help me put the boxes away :0) My goal will be easy, but we are starting back to school this week and I just want to focus on that. Plus, my laundry is growing again and I need to get that down. I will be able to tackle quite a bit of that today when I get the fire going and can hang clothes near the fireplace to dry ( and put some moisture into the air ;)

Have a great week everyone! I would love to hear from others on what their goals might be this week! Feel free to share :)

Bagels and pancakes and Ziploc

I made the bagels. I will say this recipe was a new one and I really did not like how they turned out. It called for 7 cups total of flour, with the first 6 cups being mixed in and the last cup used for kneading--oh goodness, I did not need it! With just the 6 cups, the dough was so stiff! I didn't even need to flour my board while kneading and actually had to add some water into the dough. It was extrememly stiff and made for slow rising, as well as hard forming of the bagels. I could not get a good ball going and that is why my bagels look a little funky-lol! Here is a pic:

Did they taste good-well, yes, they actually did-they were VERY chewy right out of the oven and slathered with butter :) Today, after being in a baggie all night, they are nice and soft and ready to be toasted. So, they are getting eaten-the kids love them. IF--IF-I use this reacipe again, I will watch the flour at about 4 cups-maybe 5. I know when using flour in making bread, you have to watch it due to humidity-you may need more or less flour in certain situatins. Also, I will saute some onions to add into the mix-I did add in onion powder and garlic powder, but I love onion bagels and these needed something. Also, I will be sure to buy some poppy seeds too :) I love them in bagels!! So, these were not a total failure!!

Now, I got a special treat the other day :) It made me very happy! I could not wait to use it but didn't know what to use it on until I went shopping....From Right @ Home I got the new Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit. It removes air from special baggies you use with it so you won't get freezer burn. I have wanted one for a long time-going back and forth between this one (because it cost less) and the Reynold's one which my sister and mom have (they love it). Well, my decision delima was over when I got this. Every so often, you can go to and sign up to get gift packs-it is limited to a certian number, so you have to be fast-this is the first time I have ever won in probably 2 years-lol! But, if you do not win, they send out a nice coupon pack to the others, so it is still nice :)

I got in quick enough last time and got the Ziploc kit--I used it yesterday on my pancakes-it came with 3 qt size baggies (which I must add do not fit alot of pancakes in them, but that's ok-lol). I put some pancakes in a regular baggie (note here-not a freezer baggie but it is all I had on hand) and some in the Ziploc vacuum are my results after one night of freezing:

Not the best pic but you can sort of see the ice crystals starting to form inside the regular baggie-also you can see there is air back in the baggie-this is not the Ziploc one but a regular gallon sized Great Value brand baggie.

Here is the Ziploc Vacuum baggie-no air and no ice crystals formed. It held up through the night and Im very pleased. I will try to remember to post the price of this Starter System when I go to Walmart next and also the price of the baggies-hopefully vs the price of the Reynold's system. The Ziploc System uses no batteries, so that is a plus. It only took a few pumps to get the air out. Others have reported being able to reuse the baggies after washing and drying.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

In a Baking Frame of Mind

I have been in a bad mood/bummed out mood since Christmas I think...definitely since Christmas but perhaps longer-lol! Poor, Poor Hubby!! There ARE real reasons for this, but I won't explain...
Instead, I will tell you I am now in a baking mood. Perhaps this will help my bad mood--unless the things I am making don't turn out and then, my bad mood will be exasperated-uhoh!

I am going to make bagels (looking for a recipe right now) and that will take care of breakfast for the kids tomorrow (though, I can somewhat imagine them not lasting until tomorrow, so I will throw in a quick batch of waffles or pancakes while I am letting the bagels rise).

Then, I am going to make these: Marble Squares
I will let you know how it all turns out-and perhaps post a pic or two-that is if I can beat my kids to the food before they eat it all! LOL!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well, I managed to get one goal finished already. I decided to get started on the baseboards in the kids' bathroom. It was the worst and drove me nuts every time I went in there-lol!

Here is a picture of one of them before:
You can see, sort of, how the caulking around this board is not very smooth. I think that made dust get trapped more and it got very grimy...

 Problem with that was, I had a hard time just using a cloth to wipe it down. I went to softly scrubbing with a scrub brush--new problem:
These are clean, but do not look like it-though I promise they are. The brown you see is paint that rubbed off-even though I was gentle with the brush :( I will show Eric when he gets home and I think will take on a project when it is warmer of removing these baseboards, removing the caulk, repainting them and letting Eric re-caulk them. He is really good at that-makes a very pretty bead :) So, I know they will look nice when he is finished and they will be easier to clean next time. I think the paint used in our bathrooms is not a bathroom paint, and that might be why it rubbed off so easily. I will be sure to use a good bathroom paint when I repaint :)

Here is an area away from the tub that needing cleaning, but I could just use the damp towel due to no caulk-crevices :) It looks much nicer!
On another note--]

This is what my kids did yesterday :
Levi wanted to make a lemonade stand to sell lemonade, but I had no disposable cups. So, they decided to raise money for a local animal shelter/rescue. They raised over $12 in just a few hours :) They are out there again today and hoping to raise more :) I honestly did not think it would work out for them, but it really did! They made this all up on their own, didn't even ask me-lol, and did a great job! Im proud of them :)