Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday

I know I skipped last week ... think I am only going to weigh in every 2 weeks .. maybe every month. The larger the number lost the better I feel about myself!

So .. its been 2 weeks.

My running is going great! Now. It was going pretty badly. If I had once piece of advice (not that chub like me should be offering running advice) but .. it would be to speak up when something hurts!! First it was shin splints ... for which my running coach gave me KT tape. It works amazing by the way! But... at 20 bucks a roll, roughly a dollar a strip ... wearing 2 strips a week it would start to add up! Then the calf pain started ... calf cramps that last week actually caused me to fall down in tears! So I started taping my calves. 4 more strips each week ... 6 strips total .. this is going to cost me. My running coach's weekly emailed mentioned Zensah compression sleeves .... so I researched them. They claimed to help with shin splints and calf cramps as well as recovery. They are 40 bucks a pair ... that's deeper into my pockets .. BUT, they are washable ... reusable ... so more of a 1 time purchase.

So I bought a pair. Neon Pink. And I ran in them Monday.

AMAZING

I finished my run, and cried again .. this time because my run was so perfect! My legs were tired yes, but I had no pain. NONE.

AND... I finished my 2 miles 4 minutes faster then the week before! 4 minutes! That's a lot in running time.

My point? If you try and sell me something, I am pretty sure I will bite. No, my point is.. if running is painful, SPEAK UP! There are tons of products out there .. one might help. (another gal having the same pain as me bought a pair too .. she hates them. To each their own)

My weigh in??

I lost 2.6 lbs!! That's huge for me! I am pretty stoked! 2.6 lbs in 2 weeks .. Ill take it!

See ya next week!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Fabulous coupon trip -- you can do this too all week!!

I went to Tops today to do the amazing Kraft deal! This deal is valid until Saturday ... print your coupons and RUN! Check out Coupons For Your Family for deal details!

Right now each time you buy 6 Kraft items you get 200 bonus gas points, AND there is a catalina deal for $5.00 back when you buy 6 items AND printable coupons for each item in the deal!!

I have 3 computers so I was to print 6 of each coupon.

12 Kraft Shredded Cheese
12 Kraft Singles
6 Mayo
4 Maxwell House Coffee
2 Crystal Light
6 Capri Sun



I paid $58.49 ($1.39 per item) and earned $1.90 in gas points! $1.90 will save me $57.00 on 30 gallons ... so basically my trip today minus gas savings was $1.49

And combined with my shopping for the last 6 weeks, after today I have $5.10 in gas points!
That's MORE then a FREE TANK of gas folks!

I also stopped at Aldi and they had fresh chicken tender half price! I grabbed all 6 packs they had, they were $1.50 average price per pack!


This trip was from late Saturday, so these deals are not valid anymore .. but I will share anyway!

38 Cottage Cheese Doubles, all free (.10 in overage on each one $3.80 in total)
26 Zone Bars, all free
2 Yoplait Simplait, all free
11 Kleenex $.47 each (used overage to pay for them)

I paid $1.37 for everything pictured!! (and earned another .70 in gas points!)



Friday, August 24, 2012

Thrifty Friday!

Another great day for garage sales!

I spent $32.50 on everything pictures.

It was more then I typically spend on so little .. the Milk Glass threw me over! I went to this one sale because they listed Milk Glass .. I love it .. I want to collect it .. now I have 10 pieces of it. Typically I only pay a buck or 2 for it, but this lady had her Grandson "googling" her items .. he knew what to price things at ... so I paid 4 bucks each for 3 pieces of milk glass. Still a good deal, just not as good as a buck a piece from people who don't know its real value :)

I was excited to find shoes for my girls .. fabulous tennis shoes for 5 bucks a pair! Another pair of tennis shoes slightly more beat up but still with lots of life for just a buck!

3 summer outfits for M5, shes growing faster then I thought she would, all my 6-9 month clothing is to warm for this weather!

Scored a few odds and ends, picture frames, a helmet for A4 and a new piggy bank for B3.

2 pairs of shorts ... a friend of mine mentioned she wanted plaid shorts for her son in size 7 .. well for .50 cents a pair I snagged them for her!

I am hoping to strip all the paint off that iced tea jar .. I have a plan for it!

The bracelets and plastic cups were free from the lady who I bought the baby cloths from, my daughter is sleeping the bracelets right now :)

And my favorite item of the day.. the 3 drawer chest! 2 whole bucks!


Do you yard sale? How did you make out this week??

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'll take my mornings to go, please!

As a mom of 5 I need to be organized, or things around here will fall apart and FEMA will knock on my door offering disaster relief.

This morning we are going to the zoo with my MOPS playgroup. I am also running at 5:30 am. I also have to feed my family dinner ... and attend a MOPS meeting in the evening.

Tonight after all my housework was done I quickly filled my dining room table again.



I set out clothing for all 5 kids.

My running gear and energy bar for breakfast.

Sunscreen so I remember to put it on the kids.

The packed up diaper bag.

My purse.

Our lunch box for the zoo. It is already packed with shelf foods and our cold food is in the fridge. Our water bottles and sippys are in the freezer half full of water.

I also have out cereal bowls and cereal.

I don't do this daily .. although sometimes I think I should. But I do it on school days, days when we have lots of plans, Sundays .... wow, ok, I do this everyday but Saturday! Not always to this extent though. Diaper bag and purse almost always. Clothes are typically left on the dressers, breakfast dishes I pretty much always set out.

It really makes a HUGE difference in our mornings!

Not only are we heading to the zoo, but I have a MOPS event in the evening .. busy day! I know we wont be home from the zoo until around 2pm, and dinner sneaks up pretty quick at 5:30 .. and back out the door at 6:45 for a MOPS meeting at 7! So on an already busy day I need to make dinner AND a snack!

I wanted to make a 7 layer dip for my MOPS meeting and while I was planning for that a fabulous idea popped into my head!

I made 2.



One is a "dip" beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes meant to be scooped up with chips.

The other one is dinner. Beans, TACO MEAT, sour cream, salsa, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes ... see how I did that... turned a snack into dinner :) I am going to call it "one dish tacos"

When it was time for dinner I set 1 dish on the table and let everyone scoop out a spoonful and shove it into a taco shell! Can I get a Woohoo for easy dinners!??!?! This actually worked out great for my family, mainly because we LOVE tacos and some of my kids are bad "passers" ... we end up with all the dishes around their plate because they forget to pass! Tacos typically have 7ish bowls to pass! Tonight we had 1 !!

I also had less dishes .. easier clean up .. my snack for MOPS was already ready to and all I had to do after dinner was nurse M5 and go!

I was on time to the zoo, enjoyed a 1.5 hour nap after the zoo (hey, running at 5:30am makes you sleepy at 3pm!) still make a great dinner for my family and be on time to MOPS with a snack in hand!

Do you have a plan to make your mornings/ whole day go smoother?


Monday, August 20, 2012

Sharing my hang-ups with everyone!

I started my dining room / kitchen redo before I started blogging ... so pardon me for sharing projects with you that are almost finished!

My dining room was not awful, per say, the walls were white with a super pretty rose wallpaper boarder, my 65 year old windows had so much dirt on I hardly needed curtains since you could barely see in! But in my defense, I could not wash the windows either, since the calk was so old the panes of glass would bow when I tried to wipe them and I was worried I would break the glass. Oh .. and my light fixture .. while ugly was old enough to be back in style again! Sorry to say I did not keep it either, in style or not, it was UGLY.

It all started with new windows! The whole house got new windows actually, my husband did them him self! Then I found some great fabric that I used to make Roman Shades. (more on those soon!) Then I painted the walls, at night in the dark, then the sun shined in my windows and my walls lite up PINK, so I painted again. Oh, and I scored this new light at a yard sale for 12 bucks!

So that brings you up to date on my dining room ... things left to do: new flooring, paint my kitchen table, maybe build bench seating, finish my roman shades and hang something on the walls!

I am uber excited to cross "hang something on the walls" off my list TODAY!

I have always wanted a plate wall, and for the last year I have had a stack of thrift store plates waiting to become a plate wall ... and now the wait is over!

I picked up these plates on 50% off day at Goodwill, paying between .25 and 1.00 each for them. I spent $6.25 on all 11 plates.



Next I allowed them to sit in my basement for 11 months. This step is very important, don't skip it!

Then I gave them all several light coats of glossy white spray paint, which I picked up at Micheal's with a 40% off coupon spending $3.59

Then I let them dry.



I wanted to make sure they were super sturdy and child proof .. so I used these very safe wall hanging hooks. Yes, I hot-glued paper clips to the back. Classy.


I was going to use these, but at 2 bucks a pop it would have blown my budget for this whole project tacking on 22 bucks worth of hardware .. good news paper clips and hot glue are FREE. And when it comes to child proofing .. well I tend to lean towards the "hey you, don't touch" method rather then the "oh hey, they sell a locking toilet seat so my kids don't drink toilet water" method which resulted in a "mooom, I peed my pants because I cant unlock the toilet" moment ... trust me.

I randomly planned how I wanted them on my 2 walls. It was sort of hard since I had 11 plates and wanted two groupings, guess I did not plan this out very well.

I used these hooks from Micheal's, they were $1.49 for 6 and I used a coupon on 1 of my 2 packs so they cost me $2.38.


I simply nailed the hooks to the wall and hung my plates. That's it!


I really love it. Mostly because this is really the first room in my house that I have done from start to almost finish .. and I really love how it turned out! And so far my "don't touch" method is working, I have only had to say it 3 times!

This whole project was $12.22 !!!

I really want to paint my kitchen table .. but I am pretty scared to.. if I don't get the guts to do it soon .. it will have to wait until next spring .. snow is coming!



I am linking up to these amazing parties:

Tuesday: Back 4 Seconds, A Diamond in the Stuff, Real Housewives of Riverton, Elizabeth & Co, Romance on a Dime Simply Done Wright, The DIY Dreamer, Coastal Charm, Creating a House of Grace, Today's Creative Blog, Not JUST a Housewife, Just a Girl, Chef in Training, Sugarbee Crafts, Bowl Full of Lemons



Friday, August 17, 2012

Coupon Shopping 8/17

Quick trip to Tops and Wegmens

I spend $34.19 and saved $182.48!!

These deals are still good through Saturday! If you missed the deals ... here they are!


Thrifty Friday!



Today was yard sale day!!

Before I get to my goodies .. I wanted to talk about yard sales.

I am no expert, in fact this time last year I was going to yard sales with a friend ... to scared to go alone! Whispering to my friend what price I wanted to pay so she could haggle for me! I have come a long way in my frugal ways!

I yard sale on Friday. Weekends are for family time, and not everyone in my family (read: husband) enjoys yard sales. I use Craigs List to find my sales and I use this site to plan my driving route.

Because I yard sale on Friday's .. I take all 5 kids. Yep. But I am about to let you in on a HUGE secret of mine! First off, lets talk about M5, my youngest. Shes only 5 months old and nursing! I knew I needed mornings free for things like grocery shopping and yard sales so from early on in her life I sort of guided her to eating a big breakfast and taking a loooong morning nap :) Shes pretty good about sleeping from 9 until noon which gives me lots of time for running around.

The other 4? Here is my secret ... DVD players and snacks. Really. I dont actually take my kids out of the car while I yard sale! Dont judge. I pack a few movies, the portable DVD player and sippys and snacks and off we go! I park right in front of the houses .. its not like I cant see the kids.. if its cold or warm I leave the heat/AC running. M1, my oldest, well shes 12 and sits in the front seat with the doors locked while I am out. And its a yard sale people, not Walmart .. I am gone maybe 10 mins each stop! That's my secret .. leave'em in the car! This is also awesome when it comes to finding things for Christmas or Birthdays!

Lets get to today's deals!



I spent 18 bucks total! I saved at least $200 bucks! Some of these things will be put away for gifts, Christmas and Birthdays and such. The ugly frame, circle mirrors, clock and necklaces will soon be craft projects .. so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Easy Freezer Cooking - Minestrone Soup

It really takes no more effort to make 2 of the same meal as it does to make just 1, so quite often I do just that!

We are having Minestrone Soup for dinner tonight, mainly because I still have a ton of zucchini to use up! This soup is also full of summer veggies that are all in season right now. It also freezes very well!

Typically I will make a HUGE batch of soup and freeze half already cooked .. but I am trying something different tonight.


I set out my soup pot and one of my large 12 cup freezer bowls.

I use this recipe for my soup, leaving out the green beans, no one in my family eats them!


I also dont take them time to pre-cook the carrots, I just shred them along with the zucchini and celery, so they all cook evenly.


Each time I dumped something into the soup pot, I also dumped it into my freezer bowl!! I dont use chicken broth, I use water and bullion cubes (its cheaper!) Everything for a batch of this soup fit in my freezer bowl, minus the water! I always leave the pasta out when I freeze soup.. it absorbs all the water when you freeze pasta and ends up mushy.


So now in January when we are buried under 15 feet of snow .. I can thaw this soup on the counter all day, add water, simmer for a while and add the pasta for a super fresh summer soup!


This recipe is pretty easy as it is, but it only took me about 10 minutes to put together both pots! Not to shabby.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday

Well its Wednesday again...

Lets just cut to the chase .. I lost 1 pound this past week.

*one is better then none*

*one is better then none*

*one is better then none*

*one is better then none*

*one is better then none*

Monday in running class we went 2 miles, now I have been doing 2 miles at home for 3 weeks, but for whatever reason it was 10 times harder Monday that it ever was at home! We also ran 3 minutes and only walked 1 minute .. that shorter recovery time was hard.

I ran my 2 miles in 32:47 ... now I have a time to beat next week!

My first 5k is less then a month away now!

One of my running coaches said last week "running is a game, that you can beat"

Not sure what else to say ... so I will leave you with this.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How my son saves the world

B3 is 4 years old .. perfect super hero age! He loves all things super hero. He and the boys at church run around yelling "pachewwww pachewww pachewww" and chasing each other .. its super cute! And since B3 is out-numbered 4:1 in our house, I figured it was time for him to have some super hero toys!

I followed her directions to make these, they were pretty easy. Super Hero Masks Templets



I did not make all of hers because well my son only knew 3 of them, so I only made those 3!

I already had the felt and elastic, so once again these were FREE! I bought the felt last fall when Micheal's craft store had their 5.00 off 5.00 coupon, I scored 18 pieces of felt with each coupon for FREE.

Although my son loves these .. hes camera shy! Good thing my daughter, I mean Bat Girl, was not so shy!


I am linking up to these parties!

Monday: Alderberry Hill, Etcetorize, The Gunny Sack, The Dedicated House, Adventures of a DIY Mom, Home Stories A to Z, Tip Junkie, Making the World Cuter, The Girl Creative, Mad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou, C.R.A.F.T., Keeping it Simple, Me and my Boys, Made By You Mondays, Its So Very Cheri, Craft-O-Maniac, Lines Across, Polish The Stars,

Tuesday: Back 4 Seconds, A Diamond in the Stuff, Real Housewives of Riverton, Elizabeth & Co, Romance on a Dime, The NY Melrose Family, Simply Done Wright, The DIY Dreamer, Coastal Charm, Creating a House of Grace, Today's Creative Blog, Not JUST a Housewife, Just a Girl, Chef in Training, Sugarbee Crafts, Bowl Full of Lemons

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thrifty Friday!

I stopped by Wegmans for a few coupon deals:

4 Yoplait with Granola
4 Smoothies
4 Gerber Grabbers
4 Organic Gerber Grabbers
4 Cascanada Farms Cereal
4 Gerber Yogurt Melts
2 Bar Keepers Friend



I also stopped by 8 Tops's and another Wegmans:
16 Mikly Way Bars
4 Marinade
8 Gerber Puffs
40 Pasta
15 Pop Tarts
10 Nutri-Grain Bars
42 Snack Crackers
40 Cereals
2 Gerber Grabbers
14 Kraft Fresh-Take
4 Yoplait with Granola
2 Smoothies
1 International Delights



I did 12 transactions and spent $151.62 I saved $424.65!!

Lots of what I bought was free, and the rest was cheap, all together I bought 224 items which averages out to be $0.67 each!! That's a crazy awesome price!

I wait for this sale each year! I always stock up like crazy for back to school. I feel like I should mention that Pop Tarts are NOT a breakfast food in our house, they are a snack ... don't panic :)


I also went to both office stores for a few on sale school supplies!
30 blue folders (these are for MOPS) a penny each
12 Comp Notebooks .25 cents each
2 bottles of glue free
2 packs of erasers free
4 packs of note cards 1.00 each
2 packs of 4 glue sticks .50 cents each

I spent $9.02 and saved $23.78

Thrifty Friday!!

I picked up a few things at Tops this week!

40 Zone bars, all free
15 packs of bacon, buy 2 get 3 free, -6 coupons = 35.94 for 15 lbs of bacon or 2.39lb!
(if you do the bacon deal, you can use a 1.00/1 coupon on the first 2 packs, the last 3 are free)
2 Bic Razors, .69 each after 3.00 off coupon
1 Apple Sauce (needed it for a recipe, I will blog about it soon!)

Total Spent $40.65 and saved $144.97 !!

I am also up to 1.80 off a gallon of gas, which when I fill up with 30 gallons will save me $54 bucks!



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday

Time to see if all my hard work this past week has paid off!

I told you guys about my running class .. but I did not mention changes in my eating that I have also made.

I love food. Duh. I cook from scratch daily .. we eat out maybe every 6 weeks.. that's not a lot. So why am I fat? Portion control and snacking .. pretty sure that's why.

I have been trying to watch what I eat for a few weeks now, not a diet .. not even close .. just watching!

I had friend recommend that I cut high fructose corn syrup from my diet .. so I am working on it. Its not all cut out .. but its down, A LOT.

Here is what I gave up: pop, coffee creamer, condiments other then salad dressing, sweet treats, crap like cereal and other things I'm sure.

Here is what I am eating now: organic granola cereal, water, salad, water, fruits and veggies, water, nuts and cheese, water, more whole grains, water, grilled chicken with more salad, water, water and more water ... things like that.

I guess its time to weigh in!

Today I weigh 243 with a BMI of 40% That's down 2 lbs from last week! WooHoo!! I am only being happy about that 2 lbs so my readers don't think I am debbie downer .. inside I am pretty disappointed. Oh well, its better then nothing!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More giving less green...

My husband and I have worked very hard over the last 4 years following Uncle Dave's plan to become debt free. Today we are debt free but out house!

We follow Dave's "save, spend, give" rule when it comes to money. I regularly tithe at Church and give in others areas as well, like MOPS, our Church's Food Pantry and VBS. I love coupons, and from time to time coupons allow me to stretch my giving budget for our food pantry even farther!

This week at Target is a perfect example of how I stretch my giving budget!

Roseart crayons, colored pencils and markers are typically $1.50 each at Target, so all 3 would cost me $4.50 on any given day.

This week colored pencils are markers are both .49 each, a great price, and when you buy 1 of those two things you receive a free box of crayons.

But wait, there's more!

In the 7/28 Red Plum there was a coupon for 1.00 off when you buy 3 Roseart school supplies!

So it looks like this:
Buy 3 markers or pencils for 1.47 and get 3 boxes of crayons for free
-1.00 for the coupon
= all 6 items for .47 cents or .07 cents each!! WOW!

Best of all there is no limit on the coupon or the sale!

Today I picked up 24 boxes of pencils/markers and 22 boxes of crayons (my store was short 2 boxes, oh well!)



I spent $3.76 total for all 46 items!

Basically, for less the then regular shelf price of 3 items I picked up 46 items!!

I will be donating all of this to our Church food pantry for local needy families.

It took me no more time or effort to use coupons and save money, but it will make a huge difference in the lives of some family's in my own neighborhood.

God is Good!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Whats in your trunk?

You know the deal, you are running late, where ever is it you are going requires your kids to look less like bums and more like well taken care of kids .. and someone poops, or pees, or vomits, or spills their juice box .. you get the idea.

You have 3 options, never leave your house, pack a body bag size diaper bag with enough stuff for all your kids and suffer back aches forever since it will be so dang heavy, or one of these!

Help, I have kids and they are messy, Emergency Bag for your trunk!


Any old bag will work, even a reusable shopping bag, heck, even a plastic shopping bag really, but I wanted something cute! After all, poop in a bag is much nicer to deal with when its adorned with ruffles!

I received this very nice tote bag from my OBGYN upon getting pregnant with M5. Yep, 9 months of not sleeping and heartburn mixed with 8 hours of labor and 30 minutes of pushing and all I got was this bag .. I mean baby!

The bag is actually crazy nice, it zippers shut and has a smaller zipper pocket inside! BUT .. stamped right on the front of the name of my OBGYN, fabulous. If you are starting with a blank bag, or maybe a bag with a logo you want to cover, I am going to show you how to create this super cute ruffle!

Measure the space you want to cover, for me it was the white stripe on the front with the name on it. Add 1 inch to the top and bottom for the hem, and double the length for a nice full ruffle!

Iron all your seams.


Normally I would sew this .. but since the bag is not going to get a lot of use, it basically sits in the minivan waiting for a blow out, I went with hot glue! Yep, this is a NO SEW project!

I actually glued the hems, all 4 of them.



Then you want to glue the short ends first, ends, both of them. This way your ruffle will be centered on the bag.


I just eye balled the center point of the bag and the center point of the fabric and tacked it with some glue. At this point your ruffle is glued on each side and once in the middle, now your fabric will be ruffled evenly.



Working about 2 inches at a time, spread on some glue and pinch on the fabric and glue it down. As you work along you will see it start to look ruffled.

I did the whole top first. You could stop here if you want to .. it looks cute as a ruffle! Or you can glue down the bottom of the bag, which is what I did.



Following the same steps as the top, I glued the bottom, the only difference was making sure the fabric was straight before I glued it on.

That's it! Check out how cute it is!


How about what I keep inside?



I have extra diapers and wipes, a change of clothing for my 3 youngest kids, a fold-able potty seat and a first aid kit. Oh .. ask me why the clothing are in bags?!?!


Ah .. I am glad you asked that! If the kids need their extra change of clothing, its because something went very wrong .. poop or food .. either way I am sure its going to be messy. The ziploc bag serves 2 purposes, it keeps the clothing neat and together and gives me a spot for the nasty clothing!


So there ya have it. This bag stays in the minivan, and if I have to use something out of it I make sure to replace it! And twice a year I swap out the clothes, cant carry extra shorts in January! Oh, and the best part? This whole project was FREE! I already had the bag, the fabric and the hot glue. If you had to buy fabric, 1/8th of a yard would be enough, and with a coupon that would not be more then a few bucks!



Do you carry something like this in your car? Have you had to use it?


I'm linking up to these parties:
Home Stories A2Z
PhotobucketTip Junkie handmade projects</span></div><div>http://www.thethriftyhome.com
Beyond The Picket Fence shabby creek cottageHookingupwithHoH
http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/
Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingThe Shabby Nest
Catch a Glimpse Button