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Life is good, I take it for granted too often. I have a fabulous, supportive husband and a beautiful son who is always teaching me the simplicity of life. My day is made when samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I'm addicted to coupons and every penny counts. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your success stories with me as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Groceries Week of December 14-20

Smiling Hill Farm - my total was $7.92 and I returned two extra pint jugs which gave me a small discount.

Shaw's - my total was $158.01 and I saved $46.60.  I now have enough stickers to redeem for a free lasagna pan. I was also able to get some cash back through Checkout 51 and Snap from a few items I purchased.  My favorite deal was King Arthur flour on sale for $2.99.  I've never bought that brand of flour so cheap before.  A lot of little extras were added because I didn't have my menu, grocery list or coupons organized.  Another distraction was my coupons falling everywhere.  I had placed them in a Ziploc bag (my binder is currently lost) and somehow they kept dropping and I was leaving a trail of coupons in the store.  A very nice employee kept picking them up for me and found me two different times giving me coupons I had dropped various places on the floor.  He said it was like I was leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind...definitely not the most organized moment of my life.

My total spent this week was $165.93 which is over my weekly budget.  :(  

My Song For the Day - "Your Grace Still Amazes Me"

We took Bradley to a library event last night where the kids could come in their pajamas, drink hot chocolate, and listen to The Polar Express being read.  We were very excited about this activity and we were going to drive around afterwards to look at Christmas lights.  Bradley ended up misbehaving very badly at the library which resulted in an early bedtime for him last night.  It downright sucked because our entire evening was ruined.  My husband posted this on Facebook last night and it blew me away how he responded to our change of plans for the night. 

Brad had a tough night and earned an early bed time which didn't settle well with him. It hurt me to see him upset but even more so the fact that the discipline robbed us of time together. It was the best thing to do to help him understand consequences but it felt awful. After putting him in bed I went downstairs to the basement to build part of his Christmas present. While working on the present it hit me how God must feel about His children when our sin gets in the way of communicating with Him. If I, an imperfect father, still found a joy in building Brad his Christmas present even while he was in the middle of throwing a fit that was literally hurting me inside, how much more does our Father, God, still love us when when we hurt Him. I can imagine God working behind the scenes in the middle of our every failure already building or orchestrating our next blessing.‪#‎godsgracestillamazesme‬

I'm so thankful that God is teaching us together how to have a real relationship with Him.  Mike's post had me singing this song all morning.  It's such a beautiful song with pure, healing, comforting words.  Please take a moment to listen, worship, and thank God for extending His grace to us over and over again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Broken Pieces

We finished this puzzle last week.  It took us about 10 hours throughout the week to complete.  When I bought Mike the puzzle, I also bought the mat to go underneath the puzzle so it could be transported without breaking.  I went to move the puzzle today and instead of rolling the mat up the way it was designed for, I decided to just carry the puzzle laying in the mat.  And you can see the results....not good.  I seriously just wanted to cry.  I couldn't help but be upset with myself for carrying the puzzle the way I wanted to, and not taking the time to follow the directions.

And of course, God gently reminded me of how stubborn I can be going through life.  I want things done my way. Looking back, if I would have just shown more grace to that person, bridges wouldn't have been burned.  If I had just had more patience, feelings would have never been crushed.  If I had just said no, I would have never found myself in sticky situations.  So many times I'll try to figure it out the hard way and if I had only taken a few extra minutes to ask God for direction, life wouldn't have been so complicated.

Luke 9:23 says Then He said to them all "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me".  It must be a daily commitment to choose love over hate.  To choose patience over frustration.  To choose good over evil.    To choose forgiveness over bitterness.  To choose mercy over revenge.  To choose happiness over depression.  

The beauty of this broken puzzle is that it can easily be fixed.  And so can I.  God isn't finished with me yet.  There will be good days and broken days...but He is with me picking up my broken pieces, continually loving me, and showing me there's so much more to life if I just live His way.

Norwex EnviroCloth Review

Now that our family is on track with eating healthier, it's time to start on another area of our life....household cleaning products.  I was so excited to have a chance to review Norwex Envirocloth!  When I first heard about the cleaning cloth, I wasn't sold on the idea.  What made me a believer in this incredible product was actually USING it!  The first time I wiped my kitchen counter, I was completely sold on the product. 

Norwex focuses on cleaning without chemicals.  Over 80,000 chemicals have been created in the last 50 years.  That's a LOT of chemicals!  An average household will spend $600-$800 a year on chemical products.  Or if you are like me, around $100-$200 thanks to CVS deals and bucks!  

The other day I was cleaning our bathrooms and I was using just an ordinary off-brand bathtub cleaner.  The smell of the chemical was so strong that I instantly had a headache and had to open the windows to air out the house.  That bottle of bathtub cleaner is now in the garbage...which means I just threw away $3.

I was sent the EnviroCloth and the Kids EnviroCloth to try.  These cloths simply lift particles away from the surface and into the cloth.  A regular wet dish towel in the sink can start to stink in just 24 hours.  I just threw a washcloth away last week due to that problem.  That won't happen with Norwex EnviCloth.  The Norwex Microsilver in the cloth goes to work with self-purification properties against mold, fungi, and bacterial odor within 24 hours so it's ready to be used again.  And it's true.  After every use of cleaning, I'll rinse the cloth and hang it over my kitchen spout.  There is no foul smell to the cloth 24, 36, 0r 48 hours later.

While using the EnviroCloth, I never used any cleaners. And I still had fabulous results.  The kitchen counter has seriously never felt so clean.  

Like most kids, Bradley hates having his face washed.  But when using the Kids EnviroCloth, he didn't mind it.  The microfibers are like splitting one single strand of hair 200 times...it's that soft.   Yesterday I asked Bradley to go wash his hands.  He said "can I just use my washcloth?"  Even he can feel the difference in these Norwex cloths!

I love the look of stainless steel but I hate the way every fingerprint can show up on the refrigerator.  Normally I would grab my roll of paper towels and Windex.  Instead I tried just using my damp Norwex Envirocloth.  No words are necessary when you have before and after pictures!

I was blown away with all the products Norwex carries.  I only tried 2 products and fell in love with them.  I can't wait to add more of their great cloths to my collection.....hint for my Christmas, birthday, anniversary, and whatever day you want to give me a gift day!  They have a variety of basic packages available which make great starter kits.

**I was given a sample of Norwex Envirocloths in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Menu Week of December 15-19

Ok, so I made my menu after I went grocery shopping this afternoon.  I DO NOT recommend this ever.  I had no clue what to buy and was just grabbing a hodge podge of items, which totally blew my budget.  UGH!  The only meat that was on sale was beef so we are going to do a couple suppers this week without meat.  

Egg, Ham & Cheese Puffs (from the freezer)
Blueberry Muffins
Homemade Biscuits
Fried Eggs & Whole Wheat Toast

Leftovers x 2
Mac & Cheese & Sliced Apples
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Homemade Cheese Pizza

Cheese Ravioli & Fresh Bread
Mexican Casserole
Rice and Broccoli Casserole
Salisbury Steak over Rice

Our Weekend Recap

The weekend definitely didn't happen the way we had planned.  We were hoping to get some more house projects completed but it just didn't happen.  Bradley was up most of Friday night with wheezing.  A typical cold can easily turn into croup for the little guy.  We've had many emergency room trips because of those late night scary moments when he has trouble breathing.  We took him into the Urgent Care Center on Saturday morning.  He was such a ham and didn't even act sick in the office.  The nurse totally fell for his charm too!

After that we took my car to the dealership to get a state inspection.  In Maine, all cars have to go through an inspection.  Crazy...but it is what it is.  The other thing that is different is you have to have a license plate on both front and back ends of your vehicle.  I went with the chickadee license plate and Mike went with the lobster license plate.  Both of our cars are now officially Mainers.  

Waiting at the car dealership for our car to be inspected.

We had a late lunch at Smiling Hill Farm.  It was our first time eating there at the cafe and the sandwiches were awesome!  Bradley had egg salad, Mike had turkey, and I had a BLT minus the lettuce and tomato.  I know....I shouldn't even call it a BLT but bacon and mayo on fresh white bread is just the way I like it.

We took a quick ride to the ocean so I could show Mike a new spot I found on Friday.  The only problem with it is that the fog horn goes off every 2-3 minuets and it's REALLY loud.  But it's a gorgeous little cove and we even saw one guy scuba diving.  

On Sunday, we went to Texas Roadhouse after church.  Bradley loved cracking the peanuts and ate more peanuts than he did his steak bites.  We made a quick trip to Mike's work to drop off some paperwork and took my car through the car wash.  I had a free coupon and the wash was $17.99!  We went home, crashed, and took a nap.  After a quick cleaning of the house, we ended our night with catching up on some Parenthood episodes.  And I promise to try to start having Mike take some pictures of me next weekend! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Egg, Ham & Cheese Breakfast Puffs

These egg, ham & cheese puffs were a HUGE hit for the boys at breakfast this week.   And they are freezer friendly which is always helpful!  These will be perfect for Mike on those mornings that I want something sweet and he wants something salty.  You can also use switch up the breakfast meat and use bacon or sausage instead of the ham if you prefer.

4 slices of ham
10 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese
16 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, saving 1/4 of cheese for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles, optional
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Cut ham into small pieces.  Whisk eggs.  Add all ingredients into the egg mixture and whisk until blended.  Pour into greased cupcake tins.  Sprinkle some remaining cheese on top of each puff.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until puffs are golden brown.