Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun Fall Craft

 I had my three year old niece today and the 19 month old girl that I keep regularly so I thought it would be fun to do a craft! We went outside and picked some pretty leaves and then I had them put their hand prints in the middle of the paper. Then we painted in the trunks and once everything was dry we taped on the leaves! I'm pretty proud that we had no stained clothes at the end of it! :) And of course I had to make one too:

Anyway, this was a simple and cheap craft that the girls had a lot of fun doing! 

What are your Fall craft ideas?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Parmesan Chicken

We had this at my mom's yesterday and I thought I'd share the recipe.
 It's simple, really moist, and tastes great!

Parmesan Chicken

3 Large Chicken Breasts (or any piece of chicken you like)
1/2 C. Miracle Whip (or mayo)
3/4 C. Italian Style Bread Crumbs (or what you prefer)
1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and grease baking dish
Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan in bowl
Put miracle whip in separate bowl
Dip chicken in Miracle Whip and then in bread crumb mixture
Place chicken in baking dish and bake for 1 hour

Serves 3-6 (We cut chicken breasts in half)

Growing Home

Monday, September 26, 2011

Introducing: A NEW SERIES!!

As women God has blessed us with a huge array of talents and abilities to effectively care for our families and run our homes. We have an enormous amount of influence over our family's well being. How are you using that influence today? Let's put it to good use and explore how we can effectively be a blessing to our families! Every Monday in October I will be discussing a different area that woman can utilize to bless their families:

October 3rd : Spiritual Blessings
October 10th: Financial Blessings
October 17th: Organizational Blessings
October 24th: Physical Blessings

I'd love for you all to follow along and join in on the discussion!

Growing Home

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Couponin' At K-Mart!

So I went to K-Mart to buy some hand towels and wash cloths because the ones I had were bleached and I just sold them in the garage sale. Anyway, I remembered that K-Mart had fairly inexpensive, but really nice and soft towels. Well they were on sale AND I ended up getting some great coupon deals as well. (*K-Mart has a new program where if you sign up for a points card which is free you get coupon booklets with store coupons that you can stack with manufacturer coupons.) Here is what I got:

2 Country Living Wash Cloths - Reg 6.99 on sale for 4.50
2 Country Living Hand Towels - Reg 7.99 on sale for 4.50
2 Johnson's Natural Lotions - Reg 4.69 on sale for 2/$6 I used 2 $1.50 off coupons so they were $1.50 ea.
2 Poise Liners - Reg 3.79 I used 2 $2 coupons and 2 $1 off store coupons so they were .79 ea.

That means I saved 52%! Woohoo! 
Has anyone else done any coupon deals at K-Mart?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Spending Fast (Updated!)

When I evaluate how I'm doing as the "manager of our home" I can see a few areas where I've become weak. Especially in the category of eating out. I'd say we eat out on average about 1-2 times during the week and 2-3 times on the weekends. AHH!! Talk about a leak in our $25 a week entertainment budget! While this may not seem extravagant I know we can save lots more money if we simply limit our eating out.

Anyway, in an effort to redirect my priorities and get myself back on track with our budget I've decided to go on a four day spending fast. Four days doesn't sound like much, but it will be a good amount of time for me to evaluate my goals and set up a game plan going forward. This spending fast has no exceptions. I'm not allowed to spend money AT ALL. My gas tank is full, my recent bills have been paid and there's food in my kitchen, therefore I see no reason to add any loopholes. I might even consider implementing this on a weekly basis for Mon-Thurs just to keep my eating out in check and myself on track.

What do you think? Have you ever gone on a spending fast? If so, why and for how long?

*UPDATE: My fast went pretty well. I ended up ending it Thursday night though instead of Friday morning, but I do believe it served it's purpose! I think it would be a good thing for me to implement a few "no spend days" per week just to keep my priorities in view and keep my spending in check.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Save $ on Gift Wrap and Cards!

I don't know if anyone else does this, but I buy almost all of my greeting cards and gift bags from the thrift store for .25 a piece. This saves me lots of money because new they cost around $3 each (or more)! I also found two rolls of brown paper today for .10 a piece! Anyway, I just thought I'd pass this tip along just in case some people hadn't thought to look at thrift stores for these items. They are great to stock up on and keep on hand so you don't have to run to the store every time a holiday or birthday comes along! 

*If you can't find a thrift store in your area with a good selection of these items the dollar store is a great place to get a good deal. Dollar Tree and Dollar General both sell greeting cards for 2/$1 and they sell lots of gift bags for $1 a piece.

Where do you buy your gift wrap and cards? 
What do you buy from the thrift store that saves you money?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another Coupon Trip!

I did another "mini" coupon trip at Wal-Mart today. I'm sorry if this is boring for some, but it's exciting to get things for really cheap or free! Plus I think it's good to show a small coupon trip as it can be easier to understand for those just starting out (like me). Here's what I got:

1 bag Earthbound carrots - priced .88 I used this $1 off coupon so they were FREE + overage!
1 Aquafresh toothpaste - priced $2.99 I used a $1 coupon from the paper and a $1.50 target coupon so it was .49
1 Crest Complete toothpaste - on sale for $2.47 I used a $2 off coupon from the paper so I paid .47 (This also came with $13 in coupons, a floss sample, and a travel size scope!)

 I can see how couponing could become addicting, but I need to keep reminding myself to only buy things that I think are REALLY good deals and also not to buy anything I wouldn't use just because it's really cheap. I'm learning you have to practice lots of self control when you find a really good deal! :)

Any other couponers out there? If so, do you have advice for those just starting out?

**UPDATE: Apparently I was wrong about Wal-Mart taking competitors coupons. My cashier gave it to me though so I guess we were both misinformed. They will take a coupon if it has a specific price in it not a dollar off amount.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Coupon Trip!!

I finally decided to try my coupon skills! Here's what I got:

2 tubes toothpaste - on sale for 2.99 w/coupons I got them for .49 each
2 bags candy - regular price .79 with coupon .29 each
Maternity tank top - regular price 9.99 on clearance for 6.98
with $3 off coupon I paid 3.98

That means I got over 70% off with my coupons!! Woohoo!!

 Do you coupon? If so, do you have any advice/tips?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grace and Homemaking in the First Trimester

Even though I didn't have a horrible time in my first trimester, I still spent a lot of it resting and feeling nauseous. I definitely wasn't feeling normal and I had to accept the fact that my body was (is) working overtime in creating a new life! During this time (and still as I continue this journey) I've had to give myself grace in the little things, such as keeping up with the dishes and making sure a meal is made every night. I'm not gonna lie we've eaten out more in the last few months than normal, but I've grown to accept that as part of this journey. I beat myself up over it a few times, but I've come to learn that I need to extend grace to myself. I need to relax and let myself rest even if the laundry gets put off and my husband has to fend for himself for dinner. I want to encourage other mothers in this stage of pregnancy to remember that our work is unseen at this point, but it still is work! We need to remember that God sees and knows and allow ourselves the rest and grace we need in order to grow a healthy baby. It truly is a struggle just to get the important things done some days, but praise God He gives me the strength to do it! I rely a lot on Lamentations 3:22:23 which states:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."

This verse has helped me look for and find God's mercies everyday and I've realized that they truly are new every morning! I always have something to be thankful for and some place that God has been merciful to me in my day! So as I continue this blessed journey and come to a less difficult place (the second trimester! yay! which by the way still has it's own struggles) I hope that what I've learned can encourage others on their wonderful journey into motherhood!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Announcement

As some of you have probably noticed I've been pretty absent from here the past few months, but I have a pretty good excuse: I'm 14 weeks pregnant! About the time we found out I was expecting I took a break from the blog because most of the things I wanted to post about were pregnancy related! Also there's that little thing called morning sickness and fatigue. I'm in my second trimester now though and feeling pretty good as long as I can keep my tummy full! We are so excited about this and so grateful because we know that each child is a blessing from God! I don't know how regularly I will be posting in the future as I am praying about the direction of this blog, but I will try to keep posting occasionally for now.
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