About Me

My photo

Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sale on Vicks at Walgreens this week

Do you have a cold or want to go ahead and stock up on some Vicks medicine? This is the week at Walgreens to do it. Buy 2 Vicks products at $5 each and receive $5 back in Jingle Cash. Use two $1.50 coupons from the 10/31 or 11/28 P&G insert and your total cost will be $1.00 each after coupons and Jingle Cash. You can further sweeten the deal with a free box of Puffs Kleenex. Use the coupon buy 2 Vicks products and get a free box of Puffs from the 10/31 P&G insert. I just scored this deal this morning!

Try Cheryl's Cookies for Free

I've sent Cheryl's cookies to a couple of my friends and relatives for special occasions and have received great feedback from them on how delicious the cookies were. I've never tried them myself and now might be a good time since they are offering free cookies. There is a shipping and handling charge of $6.95. They will also give you a $10 reward card to use towards your next purchase. See below for more details:

Try our customer favorites for FREE!*
You only pay shipping and handling charges of $6.95.

Limit one per customer!

BONUS OFFER – You will receive a $10 Reward Card towards your next Cheryl's purchase. $21.99* in TOTAL SAVINGS!

We’ve included 6 of our most popular flavors: chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, snickerdoodle, chocolate chocolate chip and our FAMOUS buttercream frosted cookie. Each of our soft and chewy, individually wrapped cookies are made from the finest ingredients - sweet creamery butter, whole rolled oats, plump juicy raisins and rich chocolate chips.

*Free cookie offer is exclusive of shipping, handling charges and taxes. Item can only be shipped within the continental United States and cannot be shipped to PO/APO/FPO boxes. No other purchase is required. Items subject to availability, delivery rules and times. Offer available online only for product #57141. Limit one item per customer. Offer valid while supplies last. Offers cannot be combined, are not available on all products and are subject to restrictions and limitations. $21.99 savings include $10 reward card savings on next purchase and $11.99 free gift value. Prices and charges are subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited.

And the Winner Is.......

Congratulations to Serah Roy for being November's winner of the $10 Panera Bread Gift Card. Thank you to all who participated and stay tuned for next month's giveaway!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My best Cyber Deal so far today...FREE WASHCLOTHS from Kohl's

Thanks to Moneysavingmom.com, I was able to score 2 packs of free washcloths from Kohl's today! I really needed washcloths for our guest bathroom and this deal was perfect! I used my $10 Kohl's cash in order to get this deal for free but even if you don't have Kohl's cash, it's still a great deal if you need washcloths. Check out the deal here.

$10 off The Popcorn Factory

Have a relative or friend that lives out of state? This deal from The Popcorn Factory would make a great Christmas present for them. I just purchased a sampler for my Grandpa who lives in Illinois. Enjoy $10 off your next purchase by using code TAKE10. And today only, get an additional 10% back when checking out through Ebates.

American Girl 50% off Sale (Today only)

I LOVED the American Girl books when I was younger. I recently bought my niece a Bitty Baby and another niece some American Girl books for Christmas. Today only they have a large variety of items 50% off. Check them out here. They have some hardback books for only $4.00! One of the best deals I saw was the Kit DVD originally $19.95 on sale for $5.00 today!

Free Shipping at Barnes & Noble (Today only)

Do you have someone on your Christmas list that enjoys reading? Today might be the day to buy their Christmas present. Today only, you can get free shipping at Barnes and Noble with no minimum purchase. They have a great variety of children books on sale for $1.78. Use code B3X4N4N for free shipping. You can also check out through Ebates for an additional 8% cash back.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

I'm going to take the rest of the week off from blogging. We are headed to Oak Ridge, TN to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of my side of the family. My brother arrived home safely from Afghanistan and will be bringing his fiance, Kate, with him. Between my two sisters, I have nine nieces and nephews so Dad's house will be filled with commotion!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Spend a few extra moments with your family members letting them know how thankful you are for them. Life is way too short. We are all very blessed people so be THANKFUL!


Monday, November 22, 2010

My three items for Thanksgiving dinner

This year our family will all be together at Dad's house in Oak Ridge, TN. He is taking care of ordering the ham and turkey and us girls are all each making a couple of side dishes. My side dishes will be sweet potato crunch, butterhorn rolls, and stuffing. I will be honest and tell you that the stuffing will be coming out of a Stove Top box. I grew up with Stove Top and I don't see any problem with continuing with tradition. LOL It's super easy to make and I actually love the taste better than homemade. The sweet potato crunch and butterhorn rolls will be homemade. The butterhorn rolls are my Grandma's recipe and I'll always remember the way her kitchen smelled when she pulled them out of the oven. The rolls melt in your mouth!

Here's the recipe:

2 cups milk, scalded
2 packages of yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup shortening
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
9 cups of flour

Add yeast to cooled milk. Mix shortening, sugar, and salt with mixer on slow. Add milk and yeast to shortening, sugar, and salt mixture. Add beaten eggs. Add 1/2 of flour and increase speed for two minutes. Stir in remaining flour by hand and knead dough. Put in bowl, cover, and let rise. After dough has risen, divide the dough in six parts. Roll each portion into a nine inch circle. Brush with butter. Cut each circle like a pizza so you should have about 6 triangle wedges. Start at wide end and roll. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. Brush with butter while hot.

20 Piece Picnic Set for only $3.59!!!

I just finished ordering this 20 piece picnic set and my order total was only $3.59. It's so cute that now I'm ready for summer to be back so Mike and I can go on a picnic! This daisy set includes four plates, four knives, four forks, four tablespoons, and four teaspoons.

Here's how to get this great deal. Click here to go to the sale on WomenWithin. You can also check out through Ebates to receive an additional 3.0% cash back. Use coupon code
ww46998 for an additional 10% off and free shipping.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A cheaper way to have a nice Filet Mignon dinner

I absolutely love Filet mignon. There's nothing like going to a nice restaurant and having that sizzling filet placed in front of you. MMMMMMmmmmmm! I start to drool just thinking about it, that's how much I love Filet mignon!

Instead of spending a chunk of money on that nice restaurant meal, try heading to your local butcher shop and buying two 8 ounce Filet mignon steaks. We have a New York Butcher Shop about 20 minutes away and when Mike and I are craving steak, I make a trip over there. For under $25 we can both have 8 ounce Filet mignon steaks. Add some mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, and rolls, and you have yourself a fancy restaurant meal for under $30.

The best way to cook Filet mignon is to have the Butcher season the steaks for you and then fry them in a hot iron skillet for about 2 minutes on each side. Place one tablespoon of butter on top of the filet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees. Depending on how you like it cooked, will depend on how long it needs to bake. We like our steak medium so we bake it for about 15 minutes. You will be very impressed with the way the steak melts in your mouth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why signing up for free samples is worth the time

I love signing up for free samples. There's nothing like going out to your mailbox each day and getting something for free! Today I got a coupon for a free package of Sister Shubert's rolls, a coupon for a free bag of Food Should Taste Good Potato Chips, and Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Deodorant. Three items absolutely free just for taking about 5 minutes last week to sign up for these freebies. I have an entire drawer full of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, deodorant, and toothpaste samples in our guest bathroom. These items are great when we have guests stay overnight that forget these items. No late night trips to Target to pick up something they forgot. My two favorite websites to find free samples are allyou.com and moneysavingmom.com

Check them out and sign up for some free samples today! It may take a couple weeks until your samples arrive but if you sign up for one free sample each day, pretty soon you'll start getting at least one free item in your mailbox each day!

Useful Dog Tricks performed by Jesse

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

I've been running out of hand soap lately and decided since I had an overabundance of body wash, to try this homemade foaming hand soap. It was so easy to make and works just as well from anything I buy at Bath and Body Works. Of course I miss the holiday scents that they have out right now, but I'm saving money. Check out this website on how to make your own foaming hand soap.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shopping Trip to Walgreens

I made a trip to Walgreens this morning and here is what I purchased:

Two boxes of Stove Top stuffing
One can French's Fried Onions
Two bags of Hershey Kisses
One box of Puff's tissues
One bottle of NyQuil
One bottle of DayQuil
One bottle of Infusium Conditioner
One bottle of Pantene Shampoo
One bottle of Wisk detergent
Two bottles of Welch's sparkling grape juice
Two boxes of Ziploc freezer gallon bags

Total was $67.27 but I paid $38.96 for a total savings of $28.31. I also received $13.75 back in Register Rewards.

Now if I was smarter, I should of thought this transaction through more carefully. I'm not a huge fan of Walgreens and their Register Rewards policy so I don't shop there often. It's not as simple as the CVS Extra Care Bucks program. But they had great deals this week so I didn't want to miss out. I should of separated the food products and checked those out in a 2nd transaction and used all the Register Rewards to help reduce the cost of those items. If I would of checked out using that scenario, I would of spent $24.99 on the first transaction and received $11.75 back in Register Rewards. I could of used that $11.75 for the purchase of the food items and only paid $2.22 out of pocket for a total of $27.21 and not $38.96. I would of used all my Register Rewards but they expire so quickly that and I since I don't shop at Walgreens enough, it would of been ok. This shows that I'm definitely not a coupon expert yet and still have a lot to learn.

Heart On Your Sleeve Design Jewelry

I recently bought a couple of necklaces for my nieces from Heart on Your Sleeve Design. The necklace in the picture is a bottle cap necklace with her initial. Sorry my camera isn't the greatest quality so this picture doesn't do it justice. It's an adorable, well made necklace and my niece is going to love it! Be sure to check out all their great pieces on their website and become a Facebook fan to keep up with all the news and special sales!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All You Magazine

I VERY rarely ever pay for a magazine subscription but there is one exception and that is All You. It is filled with practical decorating ideas, cheap and easy but delicious recipes, jammed pack full of coupons, and great makeup and hair advice. There are so many coupons in this magazine that it actually pays for itself with all the savings from the coupons. Check them out online here. I've bought several family members and friends a subscription to this magazine and they absolutely love the magazine. If you would like to subscribe to this magazine, make sure to check out through Ebates to get cash back. Magazines.com is offering 26% cash back right now. If anyone has any questions about buying through Ebates, feel free to email me and ask. I've earned $20.92 this month with cash back from online purchases.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Years Ago

I wanted to share the last email I got from my Mother on my birthday. It was two years ago, on my birthday, that she had her cat scan and the doctor's told her that the cancer had spread to her lungs and there was nothing else they could do for her. I'll never forget the phone call I got from Dad later that afternoon telling me the details. She felt terrible for having Dad call me with the bad news. She didn't want to ruin my birthday. I felt like my world was coming to an end and felt so helpless that we couldn't do anything to make her better. I had no idea what the next couple months would be like for our family. My mother was an angel throughout the next several months even though she was in a lot of pain and had trouble breathing.

I will always remember how special she made me feel on my birthday by
having my favorite cereal for breakfast and making my favorite dinner. She truly was the best mother anyone could ever ask for! I love you Mother!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter,
Happy Birthday to YOU!
Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating YOUR day. (: I know what I was doing 27 years ago today!
I'm up early so I could eat something. My cat scan is at 9:30 and I can't eat or drink anything prior to four hours of testing. ): I can handle the not eating part but not the no drinking part!
Love ya! Mom

'Little Fockers' Trailer 2010 HD

I can't wait until December 22nd!! If you haven't seen Meet the Parents or Meet the Fockers, watch it now before December. These movies are hilarious! Check out the preview for Little Fockers. And if you want to come with Mike and I to see this movie, let me know!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Point of grace - There is nothing greater than grace

$5 off $25 at BabyFans.com

My husband, Mike is a HUGE Red Sox fanatic and so last month I bought a Red Sox crib mobile for Ty's crib from Baby Fans, Inc. It is so adorable and plays the song "Take me out to the ballgame". Ty loves it which makes Mike very happy. Check out their website and all their great items for any sports fan. Use code BFBC05 for $5 off your next purchase of $25 or more.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ham Cheese Ball Recipe

Here is the cheese ball recipe I also made this morning:

1 bar of cream cheese
2 tablespoons green pencil onions, chopped
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cubed ham
2 cups cheddar cheese

Beat cream cheese, milk, onions, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Add cubed ham and one cup of cheese. Roll into ball and cover with remaining cup of cheese. Refrigerate for at least an hour until firm. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Italian Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

I just finished making this delicious pasta recipe for Mike's coffee club today. Here is the recipe:

1 box of tricolor spiral pasta (you can also use your favorite type of pasta, I used Penne today)
1 cups cubed mozzarella cheese
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional, I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms so I left these out)
6 green pencil onions sliced
1 large can of black olives (you can use sliced or whole)
1 package of sliced pepperoni (I buy this at the deli and then cube it)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse with cold water and drain. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, chicken, peppers, mushrooms, olives, green onions, pepperoni, and pasta. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Toss before serving.

The fun thing about this recipe is you can tweak it the way you want. Add more of your favorite vegetables, grill the chicken marinated in Italian dressing, etc. This is one of our favorite pasta salads!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

$10 Panera Bread Gift Card Giveaway

One of my favorite places to eat breakfast, lunch, or supper is Panera Bread!! I seriously think I should start working there, does anyone know if they offer free food to their employees? LOL

So this month, I'm going to be giving someone a $10 gift card to Panera Bread. All you have to do is become a follower on my blog. For a double chance at winning, leave a comment and tell me what your favorite menu item at Panera Bread is and you will have another chance of winning this gift card! Winner will be chosen on Tuesday, November 30th. Good luck!

Coffee Club Menu

Mike has Coffee Club tomorrow so that means I get to cook and bake!!! On the menu for tomorrow is:

Italian Chicken Pasta Salad
Ham Cheese Ball and Crackers
Carrots and Celery Sticks with Ranch Dip
Pumpkin Roll

It's a pretty simple menu but I've been very busy lately that I didn't have time to come up with anything elaborate. But the Italian Chicken Pasta Salad is so yummy and loaded with veggies, meats, and cheese all covered with a homemade Italian dressing. The cheese ball recipe has been in our family for years, another simple thing to make but I remember devouring this cheese ball when Mom would make it. We would all just stand around the kitchen spreading it on the crackers. Half the time the cheese ball would be gone before Mom could even put it on a pretty tray. And of course, the pumpkin roll is a never fail dessert. Seriously what could be better than a slice of pumpkin roll with a nice cup of french vanilla coffee? So it's off to the grocery store and let the cooking begin!

Monday, November 8, 2010

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Believe it or not, I just made peanut butter cookies with just THREE INGREDIENTS! And they were actually really yummy!

Here's the ingredients:
1 egg

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of peanut butter

Mix ingredients well. Roll into walnut size ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork, making crisscross. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

Melissa & Doug Safari Floor Puzzle for only $5.81

Target has this Melissa & Doug Safari 100 piece floor puzzle on clearance for $3.88. Use coupon code 4IKCC8AJ for an additional 10% off. Checkout through Ebates to receive 3% cash back! I just finished ordering this puzzle and my total cost with shipping was $5.81. This will make a great Christmas present for one of my nephews!

Growing Tree Toys

Use code SHOUT for a 20% off your next purchase at Growing Tree Toys.

Pricing can be a little steep at $6.95 and higher. They feature a deal of the day which is a toy that can be up to 60% off so combine that with the 20% off, you might just score a great deal!

Coupon code expires on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yankee Candle - Buy 2 Get 2 Free

I LOVE Yankee Candles! Right now use promo code WXF011H1 and when you buy two 22 ounce Housewarmer jar candles or tumblers at regular price, you will get two free! Shipping is a flat rate of $5.00. This could be a great Christmas present for your child's teacher, daycare worker, boss, c0-worker, and yes, even for me if I'm on your Christmas list! LOL

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another $5.00 Amazon gift card free from Swagbucks

I just earned another $5.00 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks today! If you haven't signed up and switched over your search engine to Swagbucks, do it today! It's so simple to earn these gift cards by just searching through them rather than Google or any other search engine you might use. And these extra gift cards will come in handy when doing holiday online shopping this year!

Free Birthday Meals

So I'll be eating good for the next week or so. Today I opened up my email and I had seven emails from different companies giving me free food for my birthday which is next week. Have you ever taken time to sign up for these deals? It's definitely worth it especially if you and your husband share a birthday within the same week. Mike and I will be able to go out to eat in the next two weeks and not pay a penny! Some great places to sign up for their birthday club are Fuddruckers, Ruby Tuesday, Jason's Deli, Cold Stone Creamery, Bruster's, Maggie Moo's, and Sticky Fingers.

Puppy Chow

So you might not call this snack Puppy Chow but I grew up with calling it that. It's the Rice Chex Muddy Buddies. I just finished making a batch this morning! This was one of my favorite snacks when I was a kid and we normally only made it around Christmas time. I'm going to tattletale on my sister and make sure everyone knows what a cruel babysitter she was to my brother and me. Heather was babysitting Brandon and me one night and she decided to make this puppy chow. In order for us to eat a piece, we would have to drink 8 ounces of water and then she would give us one tiny piece. The entire time we were drinking the water, she was stuffing her face with the puppy chow. I think I remember my brother and I drinking about 3 glasses of water and then realizing it wasn't worth it. Our poor little bellies were so bloated with water and I'm sure we were peeing all night long. We will never let her forget that night. :)

The recipe is on the side of the cereal box, but in case you still want the recipe, here it is:

9 cups of Rice Chex cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter on medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, add vanilla and stir well. Add Rice Chex cereal and stir until Chex is evenly coated. Pour powdered sugar into Ziploc bag and add chex mixture to bag. Shake bag until the powdered sugar is evenly distributed over all the mix. Spread on waxed paper to cool.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tip of the Day

Maybe you already know this little trick when it comes to boiling and peeling eggs but I recently just found this out and love it!

When you boil eggs, add a little olive oil to the water and when you peel the eggs, the shell will come right off. No more itty bitty pieces off egg shell breaking in tiny pieces or sticking to the egg. You'll get a perfectly smooth hard boiled egg every time!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trip to Walgreens

I bought the following at Walgreens this morning:

Two boxes of Rice Chex
Four bottles of Nivea body wash
One bottle of Herbal Essences Shampoo
One bottle of Herbal Essences Mousse
Two boxes of Sandwich Bags
One box of Storage Bags
One Bag of Brach's Candy Corn (Mike's favorite Halloween candy)

Total was $34.86 but I paid $15.57 for a total savings of $19.29. And I got $2.00 in Register Rewards back to be used on my next purchase.