Showing posts from June 20, 2010

Father's Day

We knew it would be a busy first half of the day, so Andy could take the second half and rest. We went to church and spent several hours there. We first dropped off our banks (another post for another time) and then it was the day we introduced the Circle Of Love children to the congregation. Dasha had to wear the blue t-shirt like all of the other kids. We sat through a service, had donuts in the foyer, sat through a second service and then had brunch. The food was very yummy: smoked BBQ ribs, chicken on a stick, green salad, veggie trays, lemonade and then cookies and ice cream for dessert! After the meal, there crafts for the kids to do. They make patriotic frames, beaded red, white and blue USA bracelets, pencil toppers and collapsible pen caddies - all things that the Ukrainian kids could easily take home as souvenirs. Here is Sarah creating a frame... Here is Dasha and Vickta making bracelets. After church, we stopped in at my In laws and delivered a banana cream pie (with grah

The Birthday Party

We had THREE birthday parties for Sarah this year! You already heard about the "puppy party" where we invited her entire preschool class and the gifts were for the local Humane Society. That was party number one. On her actual birthday, it was just a special day for the three of us! We did fun stuff in the morning, lunch at A&W, had a playdate, saw the new Shrek movie and had her tomato soup for dinner. She also got to open one gift from us. That was party number two. Saturday was party number three. It was family and a few close friends. We keep the Puppy theme, served the Oscar Meyer hot dogs and brats, potato salad, watermelon, grapes, chips, soda and had a puppy cake. It was made by our neighbor - was a very moist white cake with strawberries in the middle. The frosting was green tinted whipped cream. That is where she gave it to me and I decorated it with my Cricut Cake. I used the Paper Pups cartridge, cut out four dogs (she is four), added flowers to the corners

You CAN do it!

A very interesting thing that my church did on Mother's day: They sent these can banks home with us. (you didn't have to take them, totally optional)One of our church ministries is called Hope House - it's for single mothers and helps them get back on their feet. This was a fundraiser for them. Here is how it works: You take a bank. You put $1 in right away to cover the cost of the bank. You add your change to it over the course of time and bring the bank back on Father's day. Simple - right? I was curious, and a few days before we turned them in, opened it and counted. $37ish in just change. Add that $1 back in and almost $40 for one month of savings!!! If all the banks came back even close to ours - how cool would that be for the Hope House? NOW, just think if YOU did that ALL THE TIME!!! You can go to the dollar store and get a bank for $1. They have all kinds of cool ones: pigs, shaped like giant crayons, soda bottles and more. You could be creative and more frug

Back To School Basics

I know summer just officially started, but before you can believe it, summer will be over and you will be sending the kiddos back to school! Mine will only be in Kindergarden but we still hunt down a lot of supplies for the school kits we make for Luther World Relief. Last year we made 6 kits, this year we plan to make 10. We are SOOOO blessed when compared to so many, it's great to be able to help other people :) If you have kids going to school this fall, see if you cant get a copy of the school supply list (or the one from last year) and slowly start filling it. If you slowly stock up on things, at sales prices, you won't break the bank when the time finally comes. This is my rough "go to guide" for pricing from Hot Coupon World - it's her list of best price points you should be watching for this summer on back-to-school basics. I found that between Staples and Walgreen's, I did just as well, if not better. You might want to put it on an index card and

What to look for at the stores...

This is a GREAT bit ofinfo from Hot Coupon World's weekly email -- I hope you find it as usefull as I did :) Brands to Watch This Week OFF – I hate bugs, so I'm always glad in June when bug spray goes on sale! Watch for savings of at least 25% off, but in stores like Rite Aid and Walgreens, the savings can already be as much as 50% off. Sunscreen – This month, there will be a lot of competition in the sunscreen category with brands from Neutrogena to Banana Boat squaring off for your business. Watch for pricing of up to 50% off. For an interesting read about sunscreen brands and their overall effectiveness, check out this article that was featured last week on CNN - Environmental Working Group Report on Sunscreen. No matter which brand you wind up with, be sure you're getting it on sale! Oscar Mayer – In anticipation of 4th of July festivities, watch for Oscar Mayer hotdogs on sale. I don't like to pay more than $1 for any hotdogs (all-beef), so this next two wee

Baked Blueberry French Toast

This one is SUPER yummy, decantly rich and great to serve with some fresh fruit and juice Enjoy! Blueberry Baked French Toast INGREDIENTS: 12 slices white bread, crusts removed 2 packages (16 ounces total) cream cheese 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed 12 eggs 2 cups milk 1/3 cup maple syrup or other syrup Sauce: 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/2 cup water 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 1 tablespoon butter Cut bread into 1-in cubes; place half in a greased 13- x 9-i x 2-inch baking dish. Cut cream cheese into 1-inch cubes; place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in milk and syrup, blending well. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes more or until golden brown and the center is set. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; ad

breakfast crepes

A very simple recipe -- and very easy, yet elegant, to do! Crepes 1 Cup Flour 1 Cup Milk 4 Eggs pinch vanilla Mix well with Mixer. Coat a frying pan with a small amount of butter or spray with pam spray. Add a small amount of mixture and move the pan around to get your mixture spread evenly. It should be thin. After a minute, flip. (this will depend on your stove. You don't want them to burn). should be done about 30 seconds later. This is such an easy recipe and so good! I double this recipe and freeze them with sheets of waxed paper inbetween crepes. The Tupperware 12 Inch Round Pie Taker works beautifully For breakfast, I slice strawberries and bananas up, roll them in and dust with cinnamon sugar or just drizzle a little orange juice over it. For lunch or dinner, I fill with a creamy chicken and broccoli filling or ham and asparagus, add a little shredded cheese and golden bread crumbs. De-lish!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I finally ran out of the Vanilla that I had gotten from Mexico...and the prices for the REAL stuff is crazy! It's SUPER easy to make your own, you just have to be a bit patient as it takes two weeks to make. You need: •4 vanilla beans •1 Cup good-quality vodka Place beans in a small, clean jar. ( I use an old jelly jar!) Do NOT split the beans (some recipe say to do just that) Cover with vodka, and tightly seal jar. Park it somewhere for at least 2 weeks, but you can go longer. The longer you let it "steep", the stronger it gets. (vanilla flavor, not alcohol content). It's that easy! Now I know that a cup doesn't seem like a lot -- check out how much an 8oz bottle of REAL extract would cost you at the store! This is 48 teaspoons of yummy for baking, adding to coffee, etc. ***How about making some NOW for your holiday gift baskets? The six months it would have to set, would make it pretty darn yummy! Servings: Makes 4 ounces (24 tsp.)

The Next Copp's/Pick N Save Flier

One of the reasons I like the "Pocket Your Dollars" website is the simple fact that she posts for the Rainbow Stores (a Roundy's store). Their sales start on Sunday and our stores new specials don't start until Thursday. This give us a sneak peak at what is going to be coming out for us, a few days early. :) Who doesn't like that? We now have FOUR more days to plan for our double coupon shopping, swap coupons, order them in - whatever! Yippee! Here is what Rainbow stores kicked off for today in their papers - MOST things are the same for us. Some times we have better pricing, sometimes the grapes are red instead of green, etc. It is a GREAT guideline as to what to expect and we can jump on the printable coupons before they are out of prints. Here is the list of what comes out for us on this Thursday - I have put what drew my attention in BOLD . Happy planning! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produce Iceberg Lettuce $0.68**Make sure you weigh t

Meeting Daryna!

This gives you a little backdrop about our Circle of Love Project that we met Daryna (Dar-E-na) through... Brief History (from our program flier) After the worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union, an estimated 3 million people are suffering the effects of radioactive fallout on their agricultural lands and waterways. Children Of Chernobyl Project In 1990, Connie & Cliff McClain of Petaluma, CA traveled to the Soviet Union and witnessed the hardships suffered by many as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. They learned of respite programs that sent children throughout Europe to breathe uncontaminated air and eat uncontaminated food in hopes of strengthening their immune systems. In 1991, at the invitation of the McClains, the first group of ten children with their interpreter arrived in Petaluma for a six-week respite. Since then churches and organizations all over the world have been sponsoring children for respite care. Since 2000,

I have been picked!

I have been picked for a 4 week grocery challenge! Here is the rub- I can't share any of my meal plans or grocery details until the challenge is over! Soooo...I will have other fun ideas on her for you over the course of the next month on how to save money, have fun and be creative. I will share grocery store sales, what draws my attention and a few recipes. :) You will also get to know more about our summer family addition - Daryna. (more about her in a different post). Soooo - wish me luck! I can't even tell you what I would win, but certainly will if I do!! :)