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'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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Earth Fare, Happy Cow, Ingles, and CVS Sales Week of May 25-31

I can't tell you how excited I was about two great deals at Earth Fare this week!  First of all, organic grapes are on sale for $2.49/lb and hormone & antibiotic free chicken is on sale for $2.99/lb.  The sale on the chicken ends on Sunday and the grapes will end on Tuesday. 
 
CVS - I spent a total of $4.10, saved $37.17 and received $3.75 back in ECB's.  I used several of my expiring ECB's to keep my out of pocket cost low. 

Earth Fare Trip #1 - I spent $50.53 and saved $28.15!  A couple splurges were Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato and Organic Pork Sausage.  My sister and her family will be in town this weekend so buttermilk pancakes and sausage is on the Saturday breakfast menu!  The chocolate peanut butter gelato only lasted about 4 hours in my freezer.  We had it for dessert last night with Dad & Mama G.  It was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!
 
Earth Fare Trip #2 - I spent a total of $24.70 and saved $23.07.  The pasta was free with $5 purchase and I bought another 6 pounds of chicken.  The grapes were so good that I had to get another pound and the organic blueberries are for pancakes on Saturday.  I should have added a couple more filler items to make my total $30 and I could have used my
$7/$30 coupon.  I didn't get much sleep last night so my mind wasn't thinking clearly.

Happy Cow Creamery - My total was $54.23.  I loved that they had organic zucchini and squash this week!  A full gallon of chocolate milk for my nephews and niece that will be visiting this weekend!  And Bradley is thrilled that we have cottage cheese again in the refrigerator.  It's been almost a week since we've had any and he's been in withdrawal.

Ingles - My total was $21.73 and can you believe that I didn't save one penny??!!  None of the items were on sale and I didn't have a coupon for any of it either.  That is so unlike me that I felt awful walking out of the store.
 
My total spent this week was $155.29.  I knew the splurge on the Gelato would totally send me over the budget.  LOL  Splurges are great every once in a while and since last week I was under budget, the extra $5 didn't really affect the budget this week.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cinnamon Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins are super moist, delicious, filling, and best of all....we all loved them!  You can easily add in a chopped apple to the batter for extra filling and sweetness and pecans or walnuts to the topping for extra crunch.
 
Ingredients
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups cooking oats or quick oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
Topping
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
1/4 cup cooking oats or quick oats
 
Directions
Combine the oil, egg, milk, and brown sugar until well combined.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix until moistened.  Fill muffin cups until 3/4 full.  Sprinkle topping onto the muffin batter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes.  Makes one dozen muffins.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Whole Wheat Biscuits Recipe

I'll admit that I'm a huge Pillsbury Frozen Biscuit kind of girl.  You can get a huge bag at Costco for under $5 and they will last our family at least a month or longer.  They are so convenient to just pop in the oven and they pull off the "I woke up at 5 am to make these biscuits" homemade taste.  However, there are several unnecessary ingredients in those biscuits that we don't need to be eating.  So thanks to my sister, Heather for sending me this new recipe of her all time favorite biscuits.  I love how you can adapt the flour in the recipe by using whole wheat, all-purpose, or half whole wheat, and half all-purpose.  And I have to admit, they are pretty simple to make.
 
Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour (or your choice of flour)
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 
Directions
I just use my blender to mix everything.  It's easy and less messy than using a pastry cutter to cut the butter in.  Mix dry ingredients and then add cold, chopped butter.  Add milk and continue to blend until dough is formed.  Roll out dough and use a biscuit cutter (or a cup like I do) and make biscuits.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 
 



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Boston Red Sox play Atlanta Braves at Turner Field

 
Our family loves the Boston Red Sox!  I'm pretty sure if a job opportunity for Mike opened in Boston, we would move there tomorrow.  They played the Atlanta Braves on Memorial Day at Turner Field in Atlanta so we knew we couldn't miss this chance to see them play.  Dad and Mama G went with us which made the trip even more special.  It was Mama G's and Bradley's first MLB game experience.  We had a blast despite the heat, rain, and raw throats from screaming.  It was incredible to see a home run from Big Papi (our favorite) and very special to have Martinez throw a ball from the bull pen to Bradley.  It was definitely a day with lots of wonderful memories!
 
"I love my family" pictures
 



 
 

 
 
 
 
"I can't capture enough of Bradley's cuteness" pictures!


 
 
 
 
 
 


"I may or may not have a crush on Big Papi" pictures!

 


 



  "I suppose there are other Red Sox players besides Big Papi" pictures.











 
Boston wins 8-6!!!
 








Our Weekend Recap

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!  We started it off with seeing Phantom of the Opera at the Peace Center on Friday night.  It was our first time seeing the Broadway play.  We had seen the movie and sing to the music all the time so we were excited to see what the play would be like.  I was very impressed with the music and stage props but I was disappointed with some of the acting.  You could feel the passion with Christine and Raoul more in the movie than you could in the play.  And of course, I'm partial to Gerard Butler so  the Phantom couldn't be beat in my world.  Either way, I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to see the play and have a date with my husband!
 
It was chaos inside The Peace Center and we didn't get the chance to have our picture with any of the inside signage so we chose to go with the semi truck!  :)
 
We slept in on Saturday and then went for a bike ride at the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  We lasted 15 minutes longer than last week and weren't nearly as sore.  I had a massage on Saturday afternoon.  DeAnna is the best!!  We invited some friends over on Saturday night and ended up playing Compatibility which is a hilarious game for couples.  A very fun evening with lots of laughter!
 
I had nursery duty at church on Sunday and it was a piece of cake with just one 15 month old girl.  Lots of people were out of town with the holiday weekend.  Sunday afternoon was super relaxing with naps and mowing the yard (yes, I'm weird with thinking mowing is relaxing).  We ended the night with surfing the TV and not finding ANYTHING to watch.  I'm so glad we don't spend money on cable because there is seriously nothing worth watching anymore these days.
 
On Monday, we went with Dad and Mom Genovese to Turner Field in Atlanta, GA where the Red Sox were playing.  It was such an amazing day that I'll save details and pictures for another blog post!
 



Friday, May 23, 2014

Earth Fare, Costco, Walmart and Dollar General Shopping Week of May 18-24

Earth Fare Trip #1 - I spent a total of $61.49 and saved $15.31.  I was really disappointed in the corn that was on sale 5/$1.  I thought the corn was a little tough and didn't have much flavor.  Grass-fed ground beef was on sale for $4/lb so I picked up two pounds.  At the end of my receipt, there was a survey and once I completed the online survey, I would get a coupon for $7 off $30.  Which came in handy for my 2nd trip.
 
Earth Fare Trip #2 - My total was $27.07 and I saved $13.47.  I used the $7 off $30 coupon from trip #1 and the sunscreen lotion was free with $10 purchase.  I bought some Jazz apples today.  It was my first time trying that kind since I normally stick to Gala.  But the Jazz were from USA and the Gala were from Chile so I went with the Jazz.  Both Bradley and I loved them and were very happy with the flavor and crispness.
 
Costco - I used up most of my sugar this morning making strawberry jelly so I ran into Costco to grab more sugar and picked up a bag of Chicago Mix popcorn.  The popcorn is for game night with friends tomorrow night.  My total was $14.38.
 
Walmart - I was given a gift card from Moms Meet to try out a new brand of chicken.  It's from NatureRaised Farms and their chickens are cage-free, and raised with no antibiotics or added hormones and steroids.  The chicken was fantastic!  I made BBQ chicken last night with it and it was so tender and juicy.  My total spent out of pocket was $4.86.

I rarely stop at the Dollar General store.  But I was completely out of garbage bags and dishwasher detergent.  I didn't have my ECB's with me to stop at CVS so I figured the next cheapest place would be Dollar General.  My total spent was $4.24.


So my grand total for groceries and household items this week was $112.04.




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Menu for May 22-25

I didn't post our menu earlier since I knew we were going out of town.  I didn't go to the grocery store until this morning so I'm just now planning the rest of the week.  Since we ate out on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we'll eat at home this weekend.  On Monday night we cleaned out the fridge...literally.  I made a buffet style of just about everything possible.  It's a great way to not let anything go to waste and makes it easier to wash the shelves in my fridge.
 
Breakfast
Waffles
Cheesy Eggs
Biscuits
Cereal
 
Lunch
Egg Salad Sandwiches & carrot sticks
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches & apple slices
Pasta Salad
Leftovers
 
Supper
BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Seasoned Rice
Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob
Beef Taco Salad
 


Charleston & Folly Beach

I love it when Mike has work meetings in Charleston! 
 
We left on Tuesday afternoon and arrived in time to have a nice evening walk on the Battery, grabbed some dinner at New York City Pizza, had the most delicious Gelato at Belgian Gelato, and ended the night watching Bradley play in the fountains at Battery Park.
 
I love this pathway in Battery Park with all these gorgeous trees.

Or course he had to stop and climb the cannon balls.
 
Love this kid!!

Charleston makes us very happy and giddy!
 
Bradley loved riding his bike by the water and watching the sailboats.
 
I love spending time with these two!
 
It was almost 7 pm before we ate so this guy was very excited about pizza!

He just had to play in the water!

He managed to convince Daddy to come with him.


Nothing is better than peanut butter gelato in a waffle cone!
 
On Wednesday, we dropped Mike off at his meeting and then we drove 20 minutes to Folly Beach.  It was perfect!  The entire morning just made me so happy to have this time with Bradley at the beach.  I'm so thankful for Mike's job and him allowing me to be a SAHM.  These moments are priceless and I'm so blessed to have these special times with Bradley.  He loved every minute at the beach and it was very hard to get him to come with me when it was time to leave.  We stopped at the hotel for quick showers and then we went downtown. We went to the City Market and then just walked pretty much everywhere else downtown.  I can't get enough of Charleston and it's beauty.  Each house intrigues me and my only regret is not bringing my camera to take pictures.  Mike was finished with his meetings by 2:45 pm and we loaded up and headed back home.  On the way home, Bradley says "can we go to the beach tomorrow?".  If only we could baby boy....
 
His happiness was so contagious!

The tide was coming in this morning.

I loved when he would just stop playing and look out in the ocean.
He's such a deep thinker.

The shovel was his favorite toy all morning. 

He was so persistent on covering up his plastic beach toys.

I'm pretty sure a smile didn't leave his face for a full 2 hours.

Trying out the water.

Beach cutie!

 
Totally wiped out when we got back to the car from walking downtown Charleston.
 
Still passed out when I buckled him into the car.

And the dazed look after 3 hours in the car.
 
What an awesome 27 hours away from home!  I would totally be ok with Mike having weekly meetings in Charleston as long as I can keep coming with him!