Showing posts from June 27, 2010

Everything is an Adventure

The other day I was watching my four year old daughter hop back and forth across the garden hose as it was moving around the yard as Grumpie was attending to the flowers around the pool. It was the simple magic that a kid finds in almost anything that they do. Today we didn't run errands, we went on an adventure! It started with the chipmunk we saw on the front steps who, when he saw us, ran around to the back yard. Next, it was all about the butterfly that was dancing around inside the video store. (Yes, we went to rent a few movies - they were $1 for the week)! At Walgreen's we had to guess what color my new Asthma puffer was going to be. We were both wrong but I still think it should have been MUCH fancier for the $30 I paid... We ended up at the grocery store and then came home with our Magic in the Water movie to watch after supper...I got the largest hug from the littlest person saying that we had a fantastic adventure day! I challenge you to create some magic in your cor

DIY Driveway part 2

It took me two days and two bottles of crack filler but I got it done! :) As I sit here typing, I can feel the hamstrings and quadriceps in my legs having their little muscle spasms. I can also feel the arthritis in my right arm throbbing...but the satisfaction of knowing that I did it myself over comes that all! Here are a few tips: --Attending yoga classes for a few years before you try this might help keep you from getting muscle cramps as you are doing a form of downward facing dog during most of this application. --Wearing a head/sweatband helps keep the sweat out of your eyes and that said sweat from dripping on your blacktop canvas (remember, water is your enemy on this project!) --Having a 4 year old, ready with a nice cold glass of water is the ultimate necessity for proper recovery from your efforts! I have to let this set a day or two in the heat before the next step...which makes it perfect timing for the few days in a row of rain that we have coming! This project won't

Gyro Burgers!

Have you ever seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? I could swear that movie was written about my neighbors! I am often blessed with Greek Salad, Greek cookies or Baklava, even Gyro leftovers. (Yes, life is tough...) If you aren't lucky enough to live next to a couple like that or you can't make it to Greek Fest in Madison or the local Gyro joint? Try this tasty alternative: Gyro Burgers! Grill 4 burgers as normal on your grill. Mix 1/2 cup Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt and 1 minced clove of garlic. Cut your grilled burgers in half (after they sit for five minutes to reabsorb the juices! Cover pitas with sliced plum tomatoes, a little shredded lettuce and some chopped cucumbers; top with sour cream sauce, burgers and a little bit of crumbled Feta cheese.

Driveway DIY

Curb appeal is a HUGE thing to a home buyer -- you need to have everything visibly appealing to help make that killer first impression! I have done a great job with the flower beds, there is always something blooming in my yard - all spring,summer and fall. When the did the street work a few years ago, we had the front walk replaced. Hubby put nice black railings in by the stairs. The dying 80 year old pine trees had been removed and their stumps drilled out so we could create a grassy front lawn. Now it is time to address the driveway! This is the year of me getting it done or paying someone to do it for me! Mom taught me how to repair concrete cracks and I touched up the foundation of the garage. (Looks pretty darned good, if I say so myself!) I also have windows to repair and re glaze and a bathroom project to finish - along with getting my dishwasher installed (I earned it almost 10 years ago from Tupperware and it's been sitting in my garage on a pallet) Now it is time to tack

Coupon Trading

Do you know some other local coupon queens? Occasionally, we get our hands on coupons that we won't use, or have more of one than we really need. This is where swapping comes in! Let's say I have five extra $1 off Cheerios and we are SICK of Cheerios...but my friend Pam has five $1 off Uncle Ben's Wild Rice and her family swears that they will become Japanese if they eat rice one more time! Swap for swap...they now have cereal and you have a new side dish! Do you have expired coupons? Occasionally, some stores may take them...I find it simpler to pass them on and so can you! Send them to a military wife overseas -- their local PX will take them for up to 6 months after they are expired! You can help our military families and if you don't know anyone, let me know - I can give you contact info for a base in Japan. You COULD deduct your postage as a charitable contribution on your taxes, however - most APOs are the same as mailing in the continental United States. Swap aw

Checking in - Summer Fun?

Early June, I shared a huge list of things we planned to do this summer. This is my accountablity check for what I had on it and what I might have added to it. So far our list: *swimming (done a bunch so far) *make popsicles (did it once, need to repeat a few more times!) *library and bookstore reading programs (We are only doing Half Price Books!) *Going to the Dells with our Russian Girl Dasha--thinking Circus World and Devil's lake *Going to Branson (we leave in a week!) *Going to the Voss's cabin with my inlaws *crafting (making a red white blue 8x8 album for the Dasha to take home) - Album half done, a few more pages for our personal album planned as I ordered prints *make homemade ice cream (I got a machine free from TW a few years ago and we didn't use it ONCE last summer and found a pretty cool recipe for SnickerDoodle Ice Cream to try!!) We *MIGHT* try the ice cream in a bag recipe! *homemade bubbles with dishsoap and white corn syrup (Did it - a huge hit!) *we di

Bald Eagles

Part of he 4th Of July Fun this year. The kids got to make a fun pariotic treat! This year they made "Bald Eagles". First you take a marshmallow and put it on a fork... then you dip it in white chocolate... Then you roll it in shredded coconut real quick and set it on an Oreo. Then poke a hole in the middle to stick a whole cahsew and use cake decorating gels for eyes... Then you have the cutest little bird on your plate! All you need to do is eat it! This would be a FUN thing to do for a party that has little kids, LOL! I would love to hear if you try this!


One of the joys of having a large family is the simple fact that THEY can get your kids "stuff" and you don't have to! Add the fact that the kid has a birthday in the summer and you have the entire year covered between that and Christmas! Bendaroos are one of those things that I would never spend money on. To me, a box of wax covered string for $20 is insane! However, it is effectively marketed to the under 5 years old set and in high demand. Keep in mind that these are wax covered, so they are sticky. Picture in your head, a few on a long haired cat...who is now streaking through the room and lightening speed. Enough said. These gems even come with a box of templates to show you roughly how to do things with them, other than sticking them to a cat. You can see Sarah and Aunt Janet working intensely on a shark. Boy, was it fierce! We now have a completely stocked "art cart": pipecleaners, beads, paints, glitter glue, Bendaroos, a Lite Brite and more! What a luck

Another Garage Sale...ugh!

After all the talk about "simplifying" ...last week was a trifecta of stupidity! 1)My mom and I participated in the local neighborhood garage sale 2)My big Sis and her hubby came up from Topeka for a visit 3)My hubby's Uncle and wife came from Minnesota for a visit The dumb part was organizing and prepping a sale while prepping for two separate family visits! I ADORE my big sissy and really should have had more time to just "be" with her, but she did get a great insight of how cool a kid my little bugaboo really is. They swam, we swam with the Aunt & Uncle and we sold crap at the sale, LOL! Seriously, after day one - Mom and I were at just over $100 between the two of us! We both snuck out to other garage sales and she spent more than she made and I spent about $9. (I did score some cool dinosaurs, 3 separate Halloween costumes and some nice books...) We decided not to do day two, and just box up our leftovers for tax donations. SO, we had a great dinner out

July Coupon Book for Walgreens

A new month means a new coupon booklet at Walgreens. The July coupon booklet will be available in stores starting Sunday, 6/27 and will be valid through 7/31. These are store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer’s coupons (but not with other store coupons). Wondering where to find these coupons? Look in the literature rack near the front of the store when you first come in. You’ll no doubt see a rack of weekly ads, and the coupon booklets will be right there. Sometimes Walgreens has a flyer of coupons available for the week, too. GROCERY •$0.99/3 Dentyne Gum (9 or 12 pk.) •$1/2 Simply Lemondade, Apple or Orange (13.5oz.) •$0.50/1 Mars M&Ms (9.9 to 12.6oz.) BEAUTY •$1/1 L’Oreal Everstrong or EverPure Shampoo or Conditioner (8.5 oz.) •$1/1 L’Oreal Entire Cosmetics Line •$1/1 Garnier Fructis Color Shield Shampoo or Conditioner (13 oz.) or Leave-in Conditioner (6 oz.) •$1/1 Maybelline XXL Pro Mascara or Lasting Drama Gel Liner •$5/1 Maybelline Pulse Perfection Mascara •$3/1 Re


A group of my friends pick a word every year to be their general little word for 2010 was "simplify". Here is the funny...I have been a little off target. This past week I have overloaded my calendar to almost the point of insanity! In one week I had: 3 Tupperware Parties, a Tupperware Meeting, my big sister and her hubby in town for a visit, my husband's uncle and his wife for a visit, a garage sale with my mother, things for Dasha to do and places for her to go, Sarah's family birthday party, classes and activities for Sarah and more! Not exactly simple, LOL! I love the sermons from my head pastor at our the weekly bulletin that comes to our house he had a great message that has made me look closer at my calendar and get back on track. He always seems to hit the right topic, and just when I need it! Here is his message, I hope it works for you too - enjoy! (And yes, we are going to church today, LOL) Summertime, and the living is easy. That is