Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last chance to enter Low Carb Giveaway Contest

Don't miss out on some great LC books for your kitchen! Contest is open through April 24! You only have 2 more days to enter :) Good luck!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The deaths of April

I always thought Fall was a time of death and least personally. This year Spring has shown me differently. There have been numerous "deaths"...physically and metaphorically for me this April that have affected me personally. First there was the untimely demise of eBay for me. eBay has been a huge part of my for many years and I have slowly watched it become less and less of an auction site. All of the changes starting with the increase of fees to the changes in feedback and made the site go downhill. I clung with all my might to the last little strings of hope...pushing the naysayers negativity away. I wanted to believe that eBay wouldn't fail me. I wanted to believe that my way of extra income would continue to support me for years to come. However this month I have learned it's finally time to let go. I have never had such horrible sales as I have had recently. I had two refunds which I couldn't argue about in fear of negative feedback. I had one person claim they never rec'd their package. Half of my stuff sold for not even close to what I could have sold it for on Craigslist...and I have never had so many buyers with so little feedback buy from me. I have one person who never paid. Since they have no fear of retaliation from me, they flat out told me they couldn't afford to pay and would just pay me my ebay fees. WTF??? Damn, I wish I could do this...just bid like crazy and then tell people..opps I am a little low on cash this about I pay you next week? Goodbye my friend. I am ready to move on.

Myspace ~ At one point in time I was changing my background like crazy....adding friends..pimping my music player but then I discovered Facebook! I still have my page up and I still log in occassionally but I am now updating facebook from my blackberry daily.

Francie Billotti Wood and her three children in Middletown,MD ~just breaks my heart. I knew Francie from freecycle and she had shared some clothing with me once upon a time. My prayers are with the family and I hope they have peace. And since no one else is going to say it..I guess I will ~ Chris Wood - I don't care whether your job sucked ass or not. I don't care whether you were depressed and banging some whore on your many business trips. We can sit here and blame it on your antidepressants, your hard life, your recent job change..but in the end, there is no excuse for what you did. You didn't even give your children a chance to experience fall in dream of have their own children. You beat them, you stabbed them, you shot them, you cut them...Chris, you were a pussy...not a man.

Monday, April 13, 2009

California Tortilla ~ April 14th only!

The password this week is "FACE" to receive your FREE taco at California Tortilla.

April 14th ONLY!!

NO purchase necessary!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Homemade Easter

By choice this year we opted to have a very intimate Easter. Sometimes by doing things out of habit, a special moment becomes dulled by routine. We even made Kylie's Easter basket about 10 times smaller than usual. With only a few pieces of candy, one LPS bunny. a handmade doll to treasure for a lifetime, playdough and stickers...she was a happy camper. It was nice for once to not go overboard

I went to Martin's yesterday and got everything I needed for our quaint meal for $30. I did skimp on getting flowers for our table so Kylie and I decided to make our own. Using cardstock, glue, and straws we created flowers from tracing our hands.

Then we made the peach tart!

The ham turned out fantastic and I am sad to say that we were so hungry that we totally forgot to take pics of it. We used an amazing recipe found here . Kylie and I had so much fun slathering on the preserves and brown sugar. I got a 7 lb ham..the smallest one I could find which of course could have fed 3 more families. To say the least, we have mad amounts of leftovers which I shared with family. We put 2 cans of pineapple slices in the bottom of the roasting pan and then smeared the whole ham (and under the slices) pineapple preserves and peach preserves. To finish it off we covered the whole thing with packed on brown sugar. It was simply divine! After 1.5 hours, the ham was just falling off the bone!

We finished it off with warmed Peach tart with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!

To end the day, we had an outdoor easter egg hunt where Kylie was the princess of the whole show!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baking Soda Rocks!

And here's why ~ there are over 20 different uses for baking soda! Not only is it 'green" but it's insanely cheap! Here are 20 uses for baking soda taken from the latest issue of All You magazine~

1. To put out a grease fire, scatter baking soda over by the handful to extinquish flames.

2. Stash an open box of backing soda in the fridge to absorb odors (replace every two months).

3. Clean the dishwasher and coffeemaker by running an empty cycle with baking soda.

4. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your bath for an at-home spa treatment.

5. Polish jewelry with a paste made of water and baking soda. It’s safe on both silver and gold.

6. Scatter baking soda in the kitty box, then add litter on top to keep smells to a minimum.

7. For instant relief from bug bites, sunburn and poison ivy, mix baking soda with a little water and apply it directly to the sore.

8. Make a fluffier omelet by adding 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for every three eggs.

9. Pour in one cup baking soda followed by one cup hot vinegar to quickly unclog the kitchen drain.

10. Fight dandruff by tabling the shampoo for a few weeks and massaging your wet scalp with a handful of baking soda instead.

11. Gargle with baking soda or use as a mouthwash.

12. Soak toothbrushes in a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water; let brushes stand overnight for a thorough cleaning.

13. Make DIY kitty litter; Mix a small box of baking soda with 3 inches of sandy clay.

14. Use baking soda to brush your pets’ teeth.

15. Scatter baking soda on icy sidewalks - it’s not as corrosive as salt.

16. Discourage weeds by sprinkling baking soda into the cracks on your driveway and walkways.

17. Surround Fido’s food bowls with baking soda to keep pests away.

18. Sprinkle baking soda on the sink and tub, and scrub with a sponge.

19. Have heartburn? Create an antacid by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 cup of water.

20. To clean a toilet, add 1/4 cup baking soda to the bowl, swirl, then scrub.

Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses Youve Probably Never Thought Of (Lansky, Vicki) (Paperback)Want 500 more uses for sodium bicarbonate? Vicki Lansky wrote the book “Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of” available from, $8.95.

Friday Frugality

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Get a free sample of Natrol Carb Intercept Sprinkles to Go, click here

Get a free sample of Huggies Pure & Natural, click here

Get a $1 coupon on V8 Juice, click here

Get a $1 coupon on V8 V-Fusion, click here (we love this stuff)

Get free samples of Aveeno Nourish+ Hair Care.

Buy 1, get 1/2 off one on select Xbox 360, Wii, & PS3 video games at though this link

My lack of posting lately

I apologize for my lack of posting lately. Kylie has been sick all week and it's been a struggle to get much of anything accomplished. I promise to be back on track starting today :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another one of my sister's creations~!

We love this handmade bag my sister made for us! I have an infatuation with tote bags..I guess because of how handy they are. There's nothing like stuffing a tote bag with library books and going along on your merry way! My sister made this bag for Kylie and we think it totally ROCKS!

Ribbon bag

New creation hot off the press except this one is from my momma! She even made the flower out of ribbon!

My sister loves me!

I received an awesome package from my sister yesterday full of fun goodies. She knows how I love Philosophy so each year I get a new yummy product. This one is Waffle Cone and I can't wait to use it. I also can't wait to use my reuseable shopping bag :) My sister is a raw foodie and the only thing I have really attached myself with that she makes are dehydrated strawberries. I love how they taste! She sent me a bag full of them and some strawberry fruit roll-ups she made. My sister loves me......

Sunday, April 5, 2009

If you are broke and need to make fast cash ~the pro's and con's ~ HOW TO MAKE MONEY FAST

I am so sick and tired of hearing people complain that they are sooo broke yet they live in a house full of CRAP! Yes, I said it...CRAP! People's houses are being repossessed, their car's are being taken in the night and they can't afford to pay for groceries.....I for one have been in this situation and I know how it feels to want to do something but you feel limited. Sure, starting a business, selling handmade items or investing in a money-making scheme sounds good but it takes MONEY which when you are really down and out, you don't have. Sometimes you barely have cash for gas and milk. I personally know people who would rather have something repossessed than go without their cable tv and their cell phones. As a mother, losing a cell phone would be really crappy for me but definitely not the end of the world. I also would rather have food for myself and my child as well be able to afford clothing for her than have bill collectors chasing me. Electric is pretty darn important too but of course, we can all rationalize what means more to us than others and our lists would look pretty varied to be honest.

For those of you out there that are struggling to make ends meet and you can't get a second job to do so....this article is for you. This ain't your momma's go make a lemonade stand and squeeze those lemons till your hands hurt article...and it's not going to tell you to be unethical and steal either. It's for real people who need real money really fast. And it all starts right in your own home. No need to buy anything....

1. REASSES YOUR BELONGINGS ~ Being a pat-rack is a illness and it's a sign of some pretty serious pyschological issues. Sure, your mother left you some family china and some beautiful quilts...totally understandable. BUT if you save everything little thing even if it's broken, out of date and hasn't been used in 5 years just because you can't let go of anything...that's a problem. What you need to ask yourself is: do I lose my house OR do I decide to lose things in my house that I could probably do without? Remember, we only THINK material things make us happy and if we are spiritually evolved, we will know the truth that they don't. When we die, we can't take our collection of cars with us and we can't take a closest full of clothes from 10 years ago that we are hoping we will one day fit into.

And let me say this....I know that getting rid of something to pay a credit card bill is just giving into the man or whatever else you might think but sadly, until you can be totally free of debt and own your house outright, you have to play their game. We ARE caught in a never-ending cycle of work, pay bills, shop and do it all over again but until you get out from under it, it will consume you entirely. This plan is for paying your bills and making extra cash to get out of the holes we are in..not for buying a big screen tv or putting a down payment on a car. THINK about how much longer you will be scrapping by to get those payments under control too. Trust me, I know first hand how this viscious cycle works and I don't want to play the game anymore.

If you are seriously starving and can't pay your bills, you need to sell your stuff. No questions, no hemming and hawwing. This starts with toys your children don't play with anymore, clothes you and your family can't fit into anymore, furniture that is taking up space in the basement, insane collections, ..anything. If you can LIVE without, sell it.

You clean this stuff up, photograph it with a camera (borrow one if you don't have one), and you post this stuff online. I prefer as it's totally free. Ebay is another method however you need to research your items before you put them and see if they are selling. Ebay charges a fee but you don't have to pay it upfront which is good because you can take your profit and pay afterwards. Also, the buyer pays for shipping so other than packaging supplies which be obtained from the post office for free, there isn't much you need except pictures and a free Ebay account. There are also numerous yahoo groups for classifieds that you can sell just need to research them online and sign up. They are free as well and you can reach a lot of local sellers that might become regular buyers. A little bit of googling and researching and you can have hundreds of dollars in one week. You can sell almost anything using any of these sites.

2. There are free websites out there that are legit ways to earn money. The only one I have had any success with personally is Treasure Trooper. I like the way the site is set up and they make it kind of fun. You can do small offers where you can earn money for surveys and such and then you can do trials which will earn you more money. From there, you can start referring other people to sign up. I spent a lot of time on this site last year and made quite a bit of money. It helped me pay some important bills. The only thing I recommend is writing down the dates of when to cancel the free trials as some of them might try to bill you afterwards. I never had this never cost me a penny for any of the money I got except I did spend $10 on business cards with my referral info on it. I then passed them around and left them in public places which was good because that $10 turned into over $300 without much effort.

So by this point, you will have a super clean house and will have sold almost everything you have to pay your bills. You will also have made some extra cash online at Treasure Trooper.

In the meantime, here are some other great resources for getting by until the money comes in.

Angel Food Ministries ~ provides food relief to those in need

Freecycle~ Get rid of and get things passed on from others in an effort to keep things out of the dump

Start Sampling ~ free samples

And on a last note, think of something you can offer to others. Do you know how to work on cars? Are you the cleanest person around who loves to make thing shine? Do you know how to sew? Use a skill you already have to make money. Off to help someone do something for a small fee. Advertise for free on Craigslist that you can repair small engines.....sell the baskets you have made but are sitting around collecting dust. Chances are, you have a valuable skill that you just aren't putting to use..NOW IS THE TIME!

My project today

This is what Kylie and I made today...we quickly stuffed it with library books after making it. I can't wait to use it next week :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

My very small Aldi complaint list

So far I have been just amazed with the prices and the quality of the items from my weekly Aldi trips. Occasionally I will go to Martin's or Weis just to grab a few quick things since they are closer for me. When I do, I get so mad at myself for not planning my meals well enough. I go in these "other" stores and I am just astounded by the prices. One small plastic bag of groceries and some drinks can cost me $30!!!!! I try to use coupons when I go but most of the items I don't have coupons for OR I do and it still doesn't make a difference.

My last trip to Weis ~ the girl said, "Thank you! You saved 99 cents today." Damn, I wasn't sure if I should do cart wheels or hug her! I mean...really 99 cents...holy shit! I even asked her to repeat the figure cuz I wasn't really sure I was comprehending the incredible savings...."99 cents" she repeated. Woo-hoo!

What's even better than that was the trip PRIOR to that one...the one where I waited in the customer service line for 15 mins to get my super special one of a kind club cards. Ya know, the one that gives me just orgasmic savings....the one that if I don't have, causes a massive mayday at the check out counter..sends everyone scurrying for a club the point of even asking the person behind me in line if the cashier can use theirs just so I can save 99 cents~! My time waiting for you find the card isn't even worth 99 cents my friend....

So I finally check out and the cashier tells me..."thanks for shopping at weis. you saved 2 cents today." Like why even bother telling me this?? you should have a holding you can't tell someone they saved unless they saved over $5. this DOES not make me want to be a Weis shopper. I am convinced they make money solely on people going OH crap..I forget something for dinner or potluck emergencies. not to mention, this store is open 24 hours so I am sure they get a lot of condom sales and whip-it cans flying off the shelves. I dunno who in their right mind would make a conscious decision to shop there. And this is just my personal opinion...I hope I don't offend anyone.

Back to Aldi's......I have really pleased for the most part. I have not had anything spoiled or anything like. I have just made a few purchases that didn't agree with my family's taste buds. Here is that list ~

Lumberjack smoked sausage ~ I was prompted to buy this from a very nice man with a whole row of gold teeth. he said he drove all the way from across town to buy this ONE thing. I think it was a combination of being blinded by his bling-bling and agreeing to buy for fear he would try to engage any further convo, but I politely said " oh sounds great..we will try them. thanks!" Us scorpio's are never blatently rude...only in our minds lol. These things are HUGE and I am sure to any single girl, they might conjure up nice "sausage" images but they weren't as tasty as I hoped they would be. Then again, I am no smoked sausage conniesour.

Kirkwood Teriakyi Chicken ~ My daughter and I made this meal together. In essence, all you do is microwave or heat up this frozen mix of chicken and this sauce however it was so much more than that. I made rice to go with it and some veggies...the front of the box looked sooo good. I heated it up in the microwave which was no biggie however what emerged looked NOTHING like the box. Even Ky said "uh mom, where's the chicken?" There were about 2 pieces of chicken in the whole thing and a strange thick sauce that was way darker than in the pics. It didn't even taste like teriakyi to them. Wasn't bad enough to return but we decided we wouldn't purchase it again.

Canned mushrooms ~ there were a no-go...take it from someone who knows canned mushrooms...not good at all.

I am halfway torn on their pre-made wings..we have the BBQ and the Buffalo...they are OK but probably not a fave of ours.

FAVE things thus far that I will continue to buy ~

butter, milk, eggs, cheese, sour cream, garlic, onions...basic staple items
granger beef crumble bag ~ we get about 3 meals out of one bag
kids snacks like fruit roll-ups, cookies
the frozen pb&j loves these
frozen veggies esp the green beans
we also like the line of fit (low-fat items) they carry

Dedicated or just plain crazy?

I walked my 2 miles in the pouring rain today. I told myself to think of it like "walking the dog." If the dog has to go out, you gotta go ~ rain, snow, ice...whatever the weather. Now I can officially cross "raining" off of my list of excuses. I didn't melt and it didn't even slow me down. I even have the soaking wet running shoes drying in my house to prove it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Do you want to win yummy cupcakes??

Hop on over and enter to win Yummy Cupcakes at Mommy Googles. Very cool site and delicious giveaway! These cupcakes are tasty and adorable!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Awesome Contest!

Enter to win a JVC camcorder @Mommasreview - new chances to win every day!

Hurry! Contest ends Friday!

Foreign Stamps are being added to shop


My foreign stamp magnets are being added to my etsy shop. These are a lot of fun...and I have sprinkled them from my mother's fridge, to Boston and back. I love these magnets and I think you will too. You can visit my shop to purchase them.

Family Circle April 2009 knocks my socks off!

Have you seen this cover yet? I have to say I am insanely impressed with Family Circle this April. I get this magazine as a freebie from OLS but rarely ever read it. This month spiced things up totally for me. I am MADLY in love with the pastel cupcakes on the front. I am going to have to make some of these for the preschool at Easter time.

Also in this issue I found a fantastic burger recipe that I am dying to try (sans the bun)!

Southern Pimento Cheese Burgers

If the title alone doesn't conjour up dreamy smells of summer barbeques and ice cold margaritas..I dunno what will!

Makes: 4 servings Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 5 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
View Nutrition Facts

* Pimento Cheese:
* 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature
* 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, at room temperature
* 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
* 2 ounces jarred diced pimento peppers, drained
* 1 tablespoon bread and butter pickle juice
* 1/2 tablespoon creamy horseradish sauce
* 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
* Honey Slaw:
* 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1-1/4 cups shredded cabbage
* 8 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
* Burgers:
* 1-1/4 pounds ground chuck
* 1/4 pound cured and smoked country ham, finely chopped (or chopped in a food processor)
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 4 potato hamburger buns, split
* 1/2 cup crushed kettle-cooked potato chips


1. Heat oven to 375°.

2. Pimento Cheese: In a medium bowl, combine cheddar, Monterey Jack, mayonnaise, cream cheese, pimento peppers, pickle juice, horseradish sauce and mustard; mix until well-combined.

3. Honey Slaw: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, honey and cabbage; mix until well-combined.

4. Heat a 12-inch nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp, flipping once. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off almost all of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving a very thin layer.

5. Burgers: Combine the beef, country ham, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties to fit the buns.

6. Using the same grill pan, cook the hamburgers over medium-high heat for 8 to 12 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature registers 145° on an instant- read thermometer for medium-rare.

7. Meanwhile, place buns on a rack in the oven. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

8. Assembly suggestions: Spread a generous amount of Pimento Cheese on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a thin layer of Honey Slaw. Top the slaw with a burger, 2 slices of bacon and crushed potato chips. Add the bun tops. Place the completed hamburgers on a nonstick baking sheet and bake in the oven for 1 minute. Serve burgers on warm plates.

Chaos ~ french film

My brother recommended that I watch this movie called Chaos. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first. I am not into foreign movies and I don't get down with subtitles. I am glad I caved because it was a very interesting thriller. The acting was great and it kept my interest from the start. I would give it 3 1/2 to 4 stars out of 5..that doesn't sound great but it's still a worthwhile look. There were parts of it that reminded me of Crash which I really really liked.


I love winning days :) It's so much fun reading all of the posts and watching picking the winner. The best part is sending out the YOU WON email! We have tentaive winners for the contests that ended last night. They have already been notified.

Rock n' Rags Giveaway ~ MAC MOM
Lush bath bomb and angel delight giveaway ~ AngelaH

Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered...I love the comments, suggestions and anecdotes. You guys are awesome! There will be more contests coming so please stay tuned.

There are 2 days left to enter my 15 Min Low Carb Giveaway!

Also, my other current running giveaway can be located here! It's a crazy kooky chance to win a huge lot of Low Carb items :)
Don't forget the additional methods of entry! Almost all of my contest winners have won from additional posts of either following, subscribing or tweeting about the contest. These give you a one-up on winning!