About Me

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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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Old South Jelly Roll Cake Recipe

My Mom used to make the most incredible strawberry jelly roll.  I found the recipe she used that I scribbled down at least 10 years ago but the directions are so vague that I didn't think I should try it, especially since this is for Mike's clients this afternoon.  So I found Paula Deen's recipe and almost didn't believe it was her recipe because it didn't call for a stick of butter.  LOL  But as always, her recipe for an Old South Jelly Roll Cake came through for me and turned out perfect!  The best part about this recipe is you can use your favorite jelly as the filling.  An endless amount of choices....

4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup jam or jelly, stirred well
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting, sifted

Whipped Cream, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and set aside.  In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until light.  Gradually add the sugar, vanilla, and mix well.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg  yolk mixture.  Fold in the egg whites into the egg mixture and pour the batter into a 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan lined with waxed or parchment paper.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cake is golden brown.

Loosen edges of cake, invert cake onto a towel dusted with confectioners' sugar.  Gently peel wax paper off cake.  Begin with the narrow side and roll the cake and towel up together.  Cool cake on rack, seam side down, for 10-15 minutes.

Once cake has cooled, gently unroll and spread cake with jam or jelly and re-roll without towel.  Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or cover with whipped cream.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crazy Menu Plan for this Week

We have a lot going on this week so making dinner plans each night is going to be difficult.  There are two nights that Mike will be home late, I have a girl's night out, and then we have two birthday dinner's this week.  So it will just be easier to make up several meals ahead of time, put them in the fridge and we'll eat on our own throughout the week.  Here are the meals I'll be making today and tomorrow:

Chicken Teriyaki and Rice with steamed veggies
BBQ Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes, and Glazed Carrots
Baked Chicken and Stuffing

Our Weekend Trip to Charleston, SC

We visited Mike's parents in Summerville, SC  this past weekend.  They are 22 miles away from Folly Beach.  We made three trips to Folly Beach and made it once to downtown Charleston.  The boys loved the ocean, well Ty did.  Bradley didn't seem to care much.  Thanks Mimi and PopPop for the wonderful weekend.  We made some very special memories!

This is my favorite one of the entire weekend! 

There's nothing like a sunset on the beach!
Ready to hit the beach!

First time touching sand
Ty loved the ocean!

Completely exhausted from a exciting weekend!

Bi-Lo Deals - sale ends tomorrow, Tuesday August 23rd

I had a great grocery trip to Bi-Lo on Friday before we left for Charleston.  I spent $16.13 and saved $26.54.  Some of my favorite deals were:

Domino Sugar 4 lb bag - on sale for $2.50 and I used 50 cent manufacturer's coupon which doubled to make my final cost $1.50. 

Era Laundry Detergent - on sale for $2.99.  I used 50 cent manufacturer's coupon which doubled to make my final cost $1.99.

International Delight Coffee Creamer - on sale for $1.66 and I used a 55 cent manufacturer's coupon which doubled to make my final cost 56 cents.

Ball Park Franks - on sale for $1.79 and I used $1 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost 79 cents.

EarthBound Farm Organic baby carrots - on sale for 99 cents and I used $1 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost FREE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

20% Your Entire Purchase at Gymboree.com

Use code 11BDR8C8XZL83780 to receive 20% off your entire purchase at Gymboree.com

They have some really, really adorable fall outfits!  And you can earn Gymbucks right now so you will even have more fun shopping while earning!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Walgreens Deals - Three Free Items!

I bought the following at Walgreens today:

Deerfield Farms Shredded Cheese and Sliced Cheese - on sale 2/$3 with in-ad coupon

StayFree Maxi Pads - on sale BOGO and I used a BOGO manufacturer's coupon to make both packages FREE.

One Gallon of Whole Milk - $3.59

Herbal Essence Hair Spray - on sale for $3.00 with $1 back in Register Rewards.  I used a FREE Herbal Essence product coupon so they paid me $1 to purchase this item.

My total out of pocket cost was $5.18 with a savings of $22.15.  I also received $1 back in Register Rewards to be used on my next purchase.

CVS Deals - Free Gatorade

Today I bought the following at CVS:

Five Gatorade G Series Fit - on sale for $1 each.  Buy 5 and receive $5 back in ECB's so my final cost was Free!

One Revlon Clear Nail Polish - on sale for $4.99 with $3 back in Register Rewards.  I used $1 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost 99 cents.

One Caramello Candy Bar - Free with CVS coupon from kiosk

One Tranquil Body Wash - Free with CVS Facebook Minute Clinic Coupon

My final out of pocket cost was $2.33 with a total savings of $15.54.  I also received $8 back in ECB's to be used on my next purchase.

Monday, August 15, 2011

FREE Baby Carrier from Seven Everyday Slings

Use Promo Code FAMILY2011 to receive a free baby carrier from Seven Everyday Slings.  Shipping and taxes will still apply but you will be able to purchase a $39.00 sling for around $15.00.  This sling can hold a baby up to 35 pounds.  Has anyone ever used this type of sling for your baby?  I'd love to hear a review on whether you liked it or not.

A Simple Way to Make Delicious Roast Beef

I love Crock Pot Roast Beef and there's nothing better than a recipe to make cooking simple.  One of my new favorite ways to make Roast Beef is to put it in the Crock Pot, add 2 cups of water and two envelopes (1 box) of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  Add your potatoes and carrots and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan

I have another easier week as far as planning the menu because we are headed to Charleston on Friday so there will be less meals to plan.  But until then, here's what we will be eating this week:

Monday - Roast Beef, Carrots, and Potatoes
Tuesday - Teriyaki Chicken, Rice, Zucchini, Squash and Onions
Wednesday - Crunchy Tacos
Thursday - Leftovers

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

$10 off your next order at Shutterfly.com

Use code 6B9Z-6DST-UYJA-TCAK2W to receive $10 off your next order at Shutterfly.com.  This code is valid for a one-time redemption per qualifying order per member. 
Qualifying merchandise order must total $10 or more before taxes, shipping and other charges in order.  Taxes, shipping and handling will apply.  This code expires on August, 31, 2011.

Thomas the Train Zip, Zoom, and Logging Adventure - 48% off at Amazon.com

Right now you can purchase the Thomas the Train Zip, Zoom and Logging Adventure from Amazon.com for only $31.50, normally $60.99.  This item also qualifies for free shipping!

The Perfect Piggy Bank

Mike and I have talked about how we want to teach our children to use their money wisely.  We love the Dave Ramsey principle "The sooner kids start learning how to save and manage their money the better off they will be in life."  He teaches how children need to learn how to save, give, and spend their money.  I recently came across a piggy bank that is perfect for this concept and even goes one step further, invest.  There is an individual slot for each of these categories where the child can drop their money.  Check it out here.  If you decide to purchase this bank, you can save an additional 10% by using code PTM911.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My First Attempt at Making Blueberry Jam

I've never attempted to make any jam or jelly other than strawberry.  I'm not really sure why unless it's because strawberry is my favorite and I just never took the time to try any other fruits.  Today I made blueberry jam and it turned out perfectly!  I used the same recipe as my strawberry jelly but used 4 cups of crushed blueberries and 4 cups of sugar.

One of my jars of Blueberry Jam!  Yay for success!

Monday, August 8, 2011

CVS Deals - Saved $23.15

I love it when Pampers go on sale at CVS!  This week they are on sale for $8.99 with $3 back in ECB's.  I used a $2 manufacturer's coupon so the final cost was $3.99 which makes it 11 cents a diaper. 

Skintimate Shaving Cream is on sale for $1.99 and I used $1.50 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost 49 cents. 

Renuzit air fresheners are 2/$1.76.  I bought 3 and used Buy 2 Get 1 Free coupon to make my final cost 58 cents each. 

Lipton Green Tea (12 pack) is on sale for $5.99 with $2 back in ECB's.  These will be perfect to put back for our road trip to Iowa next month. 

My total cost for all these items was $5.42 with a total savings of $23.15.  I also received $6 in ECB's to be used on my next purchase.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Menu Plan for Week of August 7th-13th

Yay for me!  I have another week's menu plan all figured out and it's only Sunday night.  Here's what I have planned:

Monday - Steak, Baked Potato, Broccoli
Tuesday - Spaghetti, Garlic Bread
Wednesday - Blueberry Waffles and Sausage
Thursday - DATE NIGHT (we are using a gift certificate for Brioso Fresh Pasta)
Friday - Chicken & Dumplings, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies
Saturday - Cookout at a friend's house (we are bringing potato salad & chips)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Completely Out of the Budget

 So I'm looking to buy a toddler bed for Ty so Bradley can move out of the bassinet into Ty's crib.  While browsing different online sites for toddler beds, I came across this AWESOME twin bed and swivel chair for their bedroom.  The boys will be sharing a room as soon as Bradley sleeps through the night (which might be very soon, 3 nights in a row might make him ready) and their room is all Red Sox baseball themed, so this would be perfect!  Of course this twin bed was completely out of our budget but it's just so incredibly awesome that I just had to share the picture.  It would cost us $869.98 to purchase these items and we would still have to buy a twin mattress and sheets.  Totally unrealistic....but it can't hurt to dream!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Just one more mess

Do you ever have one of those days you feel like you are cleaning one mess after another?  While I was vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floor, Ty was having a blast destroying his room.  One of his favorite things to do now, is to take all the diapers out of the cabinet and throw them everywhere.

Free Shipping TODAY ONLY at Books A Million

Use Coupon Code SHPFR82 at checkout to receive FREE SHIPPING at Books a Million.  This coupon is only valid today, Friday, August 5th.  There is no minimum order needed to receive this free ground shipping offer.  Be sure to check out their Bargain Books, children books starting as low as $1.77.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bi-Lo Shopping Trip - Spent $16.43 and saved $35.27

I was so happy to stock up on wipes today at Bi-Lo.  Each container only cost me 84 cents!  Lance's crackers are on sale BOGO and with two 55 cents coupons which doubled, the final cost was 39 cents.  Spot Shot stain remover is on sale for $2.59 and with $1 manufacturer's coupon, the final cost was $1.59.  Eggland's Best large eggs are on sale for $1.39 and I used 35 cents coupon which doubled to make my final cost 69 cents.  I paid 99 cents for the Goldfish Cinnamon Grahams and the Macaroni was on sale BOGO.  The bologna was 25 cents after coupon and sale price.  My final total was $50.69 but I only paid $16.43 after coupons and Bonuscard savings. 

Pampers Wipes - 84 cents at Bi-Lo this week!

Bi-Lo has Pampers Wipes 64-72 count on sale BOGO.  Use a 50 cent coupon that will double to make your final cost 84 cents per tub.  That's about a penny for each wipe!  This sale will end on Tuesday, August 9th.  This is a great time to stock up on wipes at this excellent price!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coupons for Bruster's Ice Cream

Ahhh, I'm a huge lover of ice cream!  My all time favorite is mint chocolate chip but give me any flavor of ice cream and I'll still love you.  It's been wicked hot lately so who doesn't need some Bruster's to cool down with?  Go here to print coupons for your next visit to Bruster's.  By the way their Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae is just sinful!

This Week's Menu Plan

I'm going to try and be better about making a weekly menu.  
So this week I have a menu plan!

Monday - Chicken (organic whole chicken that I bought at Ingles for $4.75), rice, and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Tuna Pasta Salad, Celery with peanut butter, and Toast

Wednesday - Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots

Thursday - Soft Tacos with ground turkey

Friday - Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy

Saturday - leftovers

Our lunches will include chicken salad sandwiches, tomato pie, roast beef on pita, and leftovers.

$10/$25 at Yankee Candle

Save $10 on your next purchase of $25 or more at Yankee Candle by using code AUG11.  I bought a Yankee candle earlier this summer, Vanilla Lime, and it is going to be one of my new favorites!  This code expires on August 7, 2011.  Shipping is a flat $5.  There are some great items on clearance....think birthday and Christmas presents!

Raspberry Blondies Recipe

Oh My Goodness!  As soon as I saw this recipe in a magazine, I knew I had to try it!  It's one of those desserts you could seriously eat the entire pan by yourself.  You must try these delicious Raspberry Blondies!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/ cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving at least 1 inch overhang on all sides.
  • In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Stir in brown sugar until moistened.  Let cool slightly.  Off heat, whisk in egg and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in almonds.
  • Scrape batter into baking pan, smoothing top with spatula.  Scatter raspberries over batter.  Bake until blondies are set in center, about 30-40 minutes.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  
  • Grasping overhanging foil on opposite sides of pan, lift out blondies and place on cutting board.  Cut into 16 squares and serve.
Tip:  For easier cutting, cover and refrigerate blondies for at least an hour before slicing into bars.

Monday, August 1, 2011

How to Save Money when Buying New Tires

Our old tires sold for $50.
This past weekend we had to buy new tires for our Toyota Camry.  One of the tires had a slow leak in it and they were overall getting pretty worn.  We are headed to Iowa next month for my brother's wedding so we knew we couldn't put it off much longer.  New tires can be very expensive but there are a couple ways to help with the cost.

First, be willing to negotiate with two companies.  We recently had a Firestone open up and they had their Grand Opening this weekend where they were offering $100 off 4 new tires.  We got a quote from them on what it would cost for 4 tires with a 70,000 mile warranty.  Then we took that quote across the street to Discount Tire where they gave us a lower quote for comparable tires.  The boys were getting cranky so Mike brought us home and then went back to Firestone just to see if they would match what Discount Tire gave us.  Not only did they match the price, they even took another $50 off!

Secondly, ask for your tires to be put in your trunk and you will dispose of them.  This will save you anywhere from $8-$10 depending on their disposal fee.

Thirdly, sell those used tires.  We listed our used tires on Craig's List and within 15 minutes we had a buyer. He gave us $50 for all 4 tires.  Even if your tires aren't in great condition, ours were 3 years old with moderate wear on them, they are still worth something to someone. 

Walgreens Deals - Saved $27.96

My favorite sale at Walgreens this week was definitely the cereal!  Select Kellogg's Cereal are on sale 4/$10 with $5 back in Register Rewards.  I used a $2.25/3 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost 68 cents a box!!  I'm hoping to find some more coupons and make another trip to stock up on this great sale.

My freebie of the day was Goody's hair clips for $2 with $2 back in Register Rewards.

My total was $10.65 with a savings of $27.96 and I received $8 back in Register Rewards!

One can of Mandarin oranges on sale 2/$1 is missing since Ty inhaled almost the entire can!

CVS Deals - Saved $37.79!

I bought the following at CVS this week:

Two Gillette Men's Body Wash - on sale $3.49 and I used a BOGO coupon to make my final cost $1.74 each. 

Christophe Styling Gel - on clearance for $4.99 and I used a $3 CVS kiosk coupon to make my final cost $1.99.  This normally retails at $9.79.

One Gillette Fusion Power Razor - on sale $9.99 with $5 back in ECB's.  I used $4 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost 99 cents.

Two Covergirl Face Powder - on sale Buy one get on 50% off.  One was $7.99 and the other was $3.99.  I used a $3/$10 CVS kiosk coupon combined with $2.50/2 manufacturer's coupon to make my final cost $3.24 each.

My total before sales and coupons was $49.40 but I paid $11.61 for a total savings of $37.79! I also received $5 back in ECB's to be used on my next purchase.

There were a couple other items I really wanted they were already out of stock on so maybe later in the week I'll try to stop by again.