Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Enjoy EVERY moment in your wedding gown. You can't stay in it forever...SO UNFAIR!!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Plans For The New Year -


Ah yesss...another person waxing poetic about their plans for the New Year.  Don't worry about reading this.  Like so many others, I need to make changes and the best thing to do is have someone hold you accountable.  The internet and anyone who may stumble upon this are part of that accountability.  I am actually going to work on this upcoming year on another blog which I called Room For Improvement - Project Me.  Most of my working on myself will be documented there.  I really thought that was the best thing for me to do.  Kind of another way to keep my focus.

I have spent the past several weeks really trying to nail down the goals I have for the upcoming year.  I have been planning on making some fairly significant changes this year.  I don't expect to be 100 percent perfect when it comes to making these changes, but I could surprise myself.  Here is my list.

1 - I will get back up.  When I find myself missing the mark, I will get back up and continue on.  I will not fail, I will move on.  I put this first because I know how things can go for me.  I can start my race at a pure sprint of excitement and somehow get distracted and trip, stumble and fall flat on my face.  This can cause me to have a "what is the point?" attitude.  I plan to not give in to that nonsense. 

2 -  Read the Word.  Even if I just get a chapter in, I will read my Bible more and get into His word.  Some days this is very easy.  I can get into scriptures and time just flies.  Then there are those times where it is a little more difficult, but it is still important.  My goal is to get more out of my reading of the word.  So it is all good if that means that some days I am getting the most by reading one chapter.  Do I hope to read the Bible in a year?  No.  It would be nice, but I really want to study the word.  I really want to memorize and be able to hold God's word in my heart.  That will take more time.

3 -  Save money.  This is a huge need.  I have been fairly good about saving money, but not overly consistent.  There are several things that I plan to employ to do this. 

3A -  Coupon.  Couponing is a given.  I am moderately okay with that.  I will never be a stockpiling kind of gal due to the fact that I simply do not have the space to do so, and because I just do not see the need to go beyond my little pantry closet.  I do plan to take advantage of the sales that I find to the best of my ability. 

3B -  Write down what I spend.  When I keep track of what I eat, I eat less.  When I write down what I spend, I spend less. 

3C -  Make more foods from scratch and buy less convenience foods.  I can go so far with this.  I am dreaming of a  new KitchenAid stand up mixer (I am part of the way there financially), and that little item should help me on my way to making more foods from scratch.

3D -  Menu plan.  I hope to get more involved with posting and linking with Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.  I was soooooo good at that for a while.  I really need to get back to that.  Not only was this a great way to keep my budget in control, but it was also an amazing way to keep my life in control. 

4 -  Weight loss.  I was very fortunate to go on the HCG diet and lose 28 pounds.  I still have a long way to go, and I plan to continue that journey into this new year.  My husband and I will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary this year, and I would like to get back into that dress.  I had struggles with this because about six months after we got married my thyroid went kabloom.  My metabolism slowed, and my weight began to rise.  I plan to work on keeping track of what I eat and drink more water.  It isn't like drinking water is hard to do, but man if you don't think about it, it can really get away from you.  I also plan to stick with the gym at least five days a week. 

5 - Read more.  This is fairly simple.  I used to be a crazy reader.  That kind of slipped to the wayside a while back, and I am tired of not giving myself the joy that I used to get from a good book.  I would like to tackle a book a week.  Considering my other goals, this may not be possible, but I am certainly going to give it a try.  I figure I can get a lot of reading done on my Nook while I am hitting the gym anyway.  My husband and I have started reading together too.  That is pretty fun.  He reads a chapter to me and I read a chapter to him.  Right now we are working our way through "Book Of Days" by James L Rubart

6 -  Blog more.  I was once pretty awesome at blogging.  I am not saying I was an amazing blogger.  I just kept up with it.  I suppose that I am really just hoping to be more on target with everything.  I suffer from distraction at times. I would like to blog daily.  Even if I am just checking in briefly, I want to do that.  I don't plan on blogging while I am on my second honeymoon though.  My husband and I will be back in Carmel, and I have no intention on focusing on anything other than loving life with my husband during that time away.  :)

So those are my goals.  All in all, I am working and praying and focusing on getting my life in a  new order.  :)  I am really looking forward to the ride.  :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thrifty Tips Before 2012 Hits


The new year is almost here.  Wouldn't it be a lovely time to start fresh with some new financial plans?  Now is the perfect time to start keeping track of expenses and work on polishing up your budget.  Do you need some budget pointers?  It is nothing to be ashamed up.  Follow this link to Christian PF's article called "How To Make A Budget."  It is a perfect baby step to getting everything in line.  While you're there, check out the other awesome articles at Christian PF. 

One thing that really helped me stay on task and on budget was following Menu Plan Monday (a fabulous little stop at I'm An Organizing Junkie's website).  Every Monday meet up with other bloggers and plan your dinners for the week.  Some people go all out and even plan lunches and breakfasts too.  That is a little more than I can handle, though with my son always eating peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, I am not too far off.  :)  Even if you do not have a blog, you can still take advantage of  Menu Plan Monday by following the blog, getting dinner ideas, and still plan your own and write them in on your calendar.  Really, I cannot stress enough how helpful this can be for staying in your budget.


Yesterday in our office kitchen, a food question got me to thinking.  Dave had half a grapefruit in the refrigerator and wondered if it was still good.  I followed my old standby..."Is it slimy?"  Yes...not terribly scientific, but it is my go-to response, BUT...really what we could have done is look it up at  If you are unsure about whether you have food that is still good to eat, this is the stop for you.  The question of what to keep or toss will be answered easily which will limit waste and upset tummies.  Oh and the grapefruit?  When cut up you should wrap it and then put it in the refrigerator.  Cut up wrapped grapefruit will still be good for 3-4 days.  Frozen grapefruit will last while keeping its quality for 10-12 months.  Though why you would freeze grapefruit is truly a mystery to me, but another good thing about is they have a recipe for you to do just that right there at the website.



If you haven't seen the movie Courageous yet, head on over to Sedona on December 31st for the Courageous movie night which will be held at Christ's Center Wesleyan Church in Sedona.  There will be two showings of this awesome movie.  One at 4 pm and one at 7 pm.  You will need a ticket in order to attend so drop them an email at or call 928-282-9767. 


With the new year around the corner, you might like to download One Year Alone With God : 366 Devotionals on the Names of God by Ava Pennington.  You can download it now at

Have a Bible at your fingertips if you have a smart phone or reader and download The Holy Bible English Standard Version available at and Barnes & Noble.

I don't know about you, but winter is the right time for soups and chilis.  Amazon has Gooseberry Patch Chili Cookbook eBook.  Get it while it's hot (oh how bad was that pun?).

Walgreen's is one of my favorite photo printing places.  I love that I can upload pictures online, set them up to print in the sizes I want, and then I can pop over to my local Walgreen's and pick up my fabulous prints rather than wait, wait, wait for them to arrive.  I also like how they give you amazing deals.  For example, right now you can upload your pics, click on "prints" and you can order 25 4x6" prints and pick them up for free at the Walgreen's you pick.  Just be sure to use the code PRINTNOW at check out and choose the in-store pick up!  :)  This is good through Saturday, December 31st!  Don't wait on this one.  I'm sure you have pictures from Christmas that you would love to print!

LINK:  Walgreen's   

PictureMe Portrait Studios has a coupon on their website right now for a free Going In Circles portrait collage.  This coupon expires on January 31, 2012.

LINK:  PictureMe Portrait Studio Collage

FREE MUSIC free Christian music downloads this week include "Reflection of You" by The Revolution and "Saving Grace" by the Jason Eaton band.

LINK:  iTickets Free Christian Music


You can get one free issue of Ladies Home Journal (March 2012).  I do not have any idea why it is March's issue, but either way, it is free, and it just might give you some lovely ideas.  Sign up while supplies last.

LINK:  Ladies Home Journal Free Issue

Kmart has a huge pile of free samples that you can order.  There are even free magazine subscriptions for American Baby and Baby Talk. 

LINK:  Kmart free samples



Boneless Pork Loin $1.99 lb (limit 2)
Roma Tomatoes 2 lbs $1.00
Campbell's Soup 51 varieties 10/$10
Dole Salad Blends Or Kits 5-12oz $1.00
Fry's Bottled Water 24 pack 16.9 oz 4/$8.88 (FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY ONLY)
Mangoes $1.00 each
Green Bell Peppers Or Cucumbers 2/$1.00


Fresh Express Garden Salad 12 oz 99 cents
Boneless Skinless chicken Breasts $1.57 lb
Fresh Blueberries or Blackberries 6oz 99 cents each
Albertsons Ruby Red Grapefruit, Apples Juice or Cider 64 oz $1.49 with flier coupon (limit 4)
USA Gold Virginia Ham or Jennie O' Turkey Breast (deli) $4.99 lb
Bar S Bacon 12 oz $2.99
Healthy Choice complete Meals or Steaming Entrees 4/$10
Red, Orange or Yellow Bell Peppers 99 cents each
Grape Tomatoes 2/$3.00
Collard, Mustard, Turnip or Kale 99 cents each
Fresh Broccoli Crowns 99 cents lb
Bunch Radishes or Green Onions 2/$1.00
Large Navel Oranges 99 cents lb


Hass Avocados 68 cents each
Buy 1 get 2 Free when you buy  Everybody's Nuts or POM Wonderful Pistachios 7-8 oz packages select varieties
Eating Right Or Safeway Select Meals 5/$10 Select Varieties
Fresh Safeway Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks Bone-in 99 cents lb
Prego Pasta  Sauce 23.25-24 oz 2/$3
Campbell's Select Harvest Soup Select Varieties 2/$3.00
Crisp Celery 99 cents each
On The Vine  Cluster tomatoes $1.99 lb
Green Onion or Red  Radish bunches 2/$1.00
Kiwi Fruit 3/$1.00
Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit 2/$1.00

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some Quick Tips Before Christmas



 you miss out on the newspaper?  Would you like a quick one-stop place to see ALL the sales in your area?  Check out will show you all the sales, coupons and deals in your area.  Just put in your zip code and wait on the deals to pop up.



All You and The Celebration Shoppe have a wonderful set of printables available for Christmas.  These are very cute.  It is always nice to have some extra printables on hand when doing last minute wrapping.

LINK:  Printable Gift Tags and Recipe Cards

If you are into business and finance, you may want to sign up for the free 26 week subscription to the Wall Street Journal via Rewards Gold.  You refer a few friends, take a business lunch survey and complete four simple reviews.  You have  to do a little, but still Rewards Gold is one of THE best places for free magazine subscriptions.

LINK:  The Wall Street Journal


Amazon has a great subscription sale going on right now.  There are 19 different magazines that qualify.  Each one is a year for $5.  They are autorenew subscriptions so be sure to cancel that renewal before it comes up (unless of course you want to autorenew).  Amazon is a great place for magazines.  The magazines included in this deal are:

Popular Mechanics
Popular Science
New York Magazine
Good Housekeeping
Country Living
Woman's Day
Car And Driver
Smart Money
Marie Claire
Road And Track
Town & Country

Follow the LINK:  Amazon $5 year subscriptions

There is also a deal right now on Readers Digest for a year subscription (10 issues) with autorenew for $5 or $10 for a year subscription with no autorenew.  LINK:  Readers  Digest Amazon Deal


The Everything Family Christmas Book by Yvonne Jeffrey (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble)

A Texan's Promise (Heart of a Hero) by Shelley Gray (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble)

FREE MUSIC has a free download available for the Newsboys song "God's Not Dead (Like A Lion).

LINK:  iTickets Free Song Download

FreeCCM has Todd Agnew's song "No Room" as well as songs by Phillips, Craig & Dean, 33Miles, Stellar Kart, and Decypher Down.

LINK:  FreeCCM Free Song Downloads


Michaels has a printable coupon available for 50% off the purchase of one item.  It is good until 12/24/2011.  Head over to the link below to print your coupon now.

LINK:  Michaels Coupon

Don't forget to stop by  If you haven't registered with them still, really you should get on it.  Register your store loyalty cards and then click on the items that you would buy.  The amount listed is not deducted from your grocery bill but it is is added into an account.  When the amount saved adds up to $5, you can cash it in for an Amazon gift card, Paypal, deposit it into your bank account or donate to charity.  It is a great way to get a little extra money for things you already do.  I save everything just in case.  I wont say that I am raking in the extra money, but I have been adding steadily to my account.



There is something about the holidays that make me want to make a yummy breakfast.  Now don't get me wrong, because I love a yummy breakfast any time, but during the holidays, it is just that more special, and when that holiday is Christmas...really it is a must.  Here are a couple recipes that came my way that I thought I'd share with you.

From check out the link below for delightful pumpkin pancakes.  Eggs will be on sale at Safeway on Saturday (88 cents for a dozen - limit of 2), canned pumpkin is very reasonably priced right now, and I imagine you will have lots of the other ingredients on hand.  This does call for buttermilk, but you can make buttermilk substitute by adding one teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of milk.  Now on to that recipe link.

LINK:  Pumpkin Pancakes

If you are looking for something more savory than sweet, check out the CrockPot Morning Casserole from Recipe4Living.  As I have said many times before, I love utilizing my crock pot for cooking.  Talk about making Christmas morning a breeze.  :)

LINK: CrockPot Morning Casserole

The Christmas Breakfast casserole says it all.  The colorful peppers and Italian sausage will make this a wonderful dish to wake up to!  I'm actually torn between the pancakes and this gem from Taste of Home.

LINK:  Christmas Casserole

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Land O'Lakes Giveaway

Mom Spotted

For many years I have trusted in Land O'Lakes for our creamer, butter and our deli cheese (I swear that their cheeses make THE best grilled cheese sandwiches).  One thing I have never tried by Land O'Lakes is their eggs.  I hadn't really thought about it which is funny, because not only do I love their other products, but they also have four different types of eggs:  Farm Fresh All-Natural Eggs, Cage Free All-Natural Eggs, Omega 3 All-Natural Eggs, and Organic All-Natural Eggs (I am especially interested in these).

How did I find out all about this?  Jennifer at Mom Spotted did a wonderful review and is hosting a giveaway on her blog.  Did you know that Land O'Lakes has awesome recipes on their site?  I didn't.  I will definitely be making their site a go-to resource in the upcoming year.   Especially now that I am really trying to make menu plans for the upcoming year.

Head on over to Mom Spotted and get your chance at not just a coupon for a Land O'Lakes product but also....a $50 Visa gift card.  That will definitely be a nice way to make a dent in the ole grocer budget!

This giveaway ends on January 2nd, and Jennifer has lots of ways for you to get extra entries.

LINK:  Land O'Lakes Giveaway at Mom Spotted

Saturday, December 17, 2011

KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway at Mom Spotted

Mom Spotted

All I want for Christmas is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  My refrigerator drew its last frosty breath unfortunately, and so the dreams of making yummy breads, cookies, cakes and pastas will have to go unfulfilled for now.  Okay...I can totally still do some of these things.  After all, I have a little hand model that has been my constant assistant since I got married five years ago, but I was dreaming of a helper to make those baking pastimes more fun.  :)  Fresh food is a priority though so we had to go down the practical lane for now.  I hold on to those dreams and currently am attempting to win one, and my friends, I will not give up!

Thankfully, Jennifer at Mom Spotted is hosting a giveaway for a top of the line KitchenAid 7-Quart Bowl-lift Residential Stand Mixer.  This little baby will make someone VERY happy.  If it isn't me, I'll be happy if someone stops by here, learns about it and wins.  It will give us all the warm fuzzies that way too.  Though I'd be fibbing if I didn't say I am still hoping to be the big winner.

There are lots of ways to get entries (love that!).  You don't need to have a blog to enter, but if you do, writing a  nice post could pick a couple more shots for you!

This giveaway runs until December 23rd.  :)  Good luck to us all!!!!

LINK:  KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway at Mom Spotted

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thrifty Thursday



It has been a while since I have shared a cool website.  Well, a cool website to me.  Hopefully you have enjoyed them as well.  I thought you might like to check out  GreenUPGRADER is a do-it-yourself GREEN style.  They will show you simple alternatives that you can incorporate into your own life to live a greener and really more frugal lifestyle.  I love having alternative uses for items, and GreenUPGRADER makes it easy and fun.  Check them out.



I do not know how long this will last, but while supplies last, you can join Rewards Gold and get a subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine.  Martha is definitely a talented woman who knows how to get the most out of her garden, her home, and a recipe.  I have been often intimidated by this magazine, but I love it anyway.  I had a free subscription last time thanks to Rewards Gold.  All I had to do this round was recommend Rewards God to two friends and review four breakfast products.  Super easy!  These go fast.  Hopefully you'll get a chance.

LINK:  Rewards Gold Martha Stewart Living Magazine 

Don't forget to pick up your own free Burger King french fries this Friday.  Yes, they are french fries...meaning ugh...fried, but maybe you can take a nice walk afterward to work them off or take advantage of a free week at a local gym.  Check around.  There has to be someone offering a free week.  No?

LINK: Burger King Free Fries

Yay!!!!  24 Hour Fitness is offering a free 7-day pass.  There are plenty in the Phoenix area.  Follow the link below to check out details and then look up locations for one near you.  Sorry Quad Cities area.

LINK:  24 Hour Fitness Free 7 Day Pass

YAY Part Deux!  Check it out ladies!  Curves also has a free one-week guest pass.  Wouldn't it be nice to kick in the end of the year with a new workout plan?

LINK:  Curves One-Week Guest Pass

Snap Fitness is also offering a 7 Day pass.  Check them out at one of their many location.  Follow the link below to see if there is one near you offering this great chance.  When you go to the page, click on your city.  This will open up the map and to the right will be the city.  Click on that link and it will show you a link to their website as well as if they are having any deals.

LINK:  Snap Fitness 7 Day Pass


Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic for Saturday, December 17th is a wooden train engine.  If you haven't signed up yet, get your kids in on it now.

LINK:  Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic


If you have been pondering making some fabulous gingerbread  housing for your Christmas spread, then you definitely want to download the free eBook from Recipe Lion and (note that they will ask you if you want to sign up for their is not required).  I have bought kits in the past, but making your own fabulous house trumps that every time.

LINK:  23 Gingerbread House Designs and Recipes

If you neglected to download it the last time it was available, now is the time to download A Simple Amish Christmas via or Barnes & Noble online for your Kindle, Kindle application or Nook or Nook apps.

LINK:  A Simple Amish Christmas by Vanetta Chapman (AMAZON) (BARNES & NOBLE)


Get a free Blockbuster $1 rental by entering the code DOLLARDAYS.  This code expires today (12/15) so get your free movie while you can.


Amazon has 25 different Christmas music downloads.  You can pretty much please anyone with this line up.  The 12th is Laura Story's "Emmanuel."

LINK:  Amazon 25 Free Christmas Song Downloads

iTickets free music download this week is Brad & Rebekah's song "Ever Wonder" and "Timing Is Everything" by The Homecoming.

LINK: Free Christian Music Downloads

Members of New Release Tuesday can download some great songs today.  If you haven't signed up yet, don't hesitate.  Not only do I get great reviews and free downloads through New Release Tuesday, they also have great contests.  Follow the link below to sing up and check out this weeks' download offerings which include Hawk Nelson's "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," "This is Christmas" by Courtni, "What Child Is This" by Plumb (love this one!!!!) and "The Heart Of Christmas" by Josh Caterer.  Such great tunes.  Don't miss out.  Some downloads expire on December 19th.

LINK:  New Release Tuesday Free Music Downloads

FREECCM has free music downloads from Phillips, Craig & Dean, 33Miles, Stellar Kart, Decyfer Down, Mike Farris, Addison Road and Chasen.  And of course that great set of ten songs too!  If you aren't a member yet, sign up right away.

LINK:  FreeCCM free Christian Music


This will be the last week that I will share gifts that you can make and give.  There will be a collection of several types to cover almost anyone you have on your list.

Crayon Monogram - I think this adorable monogram is really a great gift for any teacher or perhaps even something that would be fun for a child's wall.  This can be quite inexpensive as well as you just use simple crayons.  There are tutorials everywhere so if you forget to look here, just hunt one down.  This link will take you to Chic & Cheap Nursery's tutorial.  Follow the link, you're going to love it!

Teachers come ups with some of the best ideas for simple gifty crafts.  This one for a five finger snowman candle holder or Christmas ornament is a great gift to give to family or even a great activity to measure how your child grows and changes through the years.  Check out the simple tutorial at Full of Great Ideas or check out the ornament using a take on the same idea at That's What {Che} Said.

Snow globes are captivating.  They are also incredibly easy to make and versatile.  Martha Stewart has a very simple tutorial that you can use to make your  own very pretty snow globe gifts with simple jars that you can pick up anywhere.  My son made these when he was little, and the teachers always used baby oil.  According to Martha and other crafters, the key is glycerin (and just a wee bit of it too).  Check out all the details at Martha's website snow globe tutorial.

Snowball Surprise Soap is another dual gift.  I shared the directions for this gift a few years ago.  These cute little snowballs make great stockings stuffers and when the kids use them in the tub, the snowballs will melt and reveal the toy you hide inside.  Follow the ridiculously simple tutorial at Escapade Direct

I have seen book marks and cards that have seeds in them.  You can plant them and in no time, you have a beautiful garden of wild flowers.  Wouldn't it be cool to be able to give this blooming gift to someone else?  Check out Val's blog for simple and awesome directions on how to make seed bombs.  This is the coolest recycling gift I have seen in a long time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Countdown & A Few Thrifty Ideas



Michaels has some wonderful in-store events for kids.  Many of their events are Make It Take It events.  They will have sand art, dough shaping and more.  Click on the link below for details about events near you.

LINK:  Michaels Events

Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic will involve teaching the kids to build a coal car for a fun toy train.  The clinic is this Saturday.  Follow the link below to sign up for the clinic this weekend and also to check out the train engine that the kids can make on December 17th.

LINK:  Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic

Saturday, December 10th from 4 to 9 pm bring the kids to Tempe for the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade at Tempe Beach Park!  This is a free family event that is bound to be delightful.

LINK:  Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

From 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Friday the 9th, enjoy Acker Night in Prescott and be entertained by fabulous musicians all over the downtown Prescott area.  This is a great way to support the local music community and it is also a huge fundraising event for performing arts scholarships for local youth.  Follow the link below for event venue schedules.

LINK:  Acker Night Program

This Saturday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, bring the family to Prescott Valley Christian Church and enjoy their portrayal of "A Night In Bethlehem."  This free family event will truly bring the Nativity to life.  They are located at 7655 East Long Look Drive in Prescott Valley.


Amazon  has a new free Christmas song download every day until Christmas.  Follow the link below and check in daily to see the next song.

LINK:  Amazon free Christmas song download

FreeCCM is always my first stop for free Christian music.  This week's newest addition is 33Miles "Hark The Herald Angels Sing."  You can also still download songs from Stellar Kart, Decyfer Down, Mike Farris, Addison Road, and Chasen.  

LINK:  FreeCCM free Christian Music

Don't forget you can also still download ten awesome songs from FreeCCM as a Christmas gift from them to you!

LINK:  FreeCCM Ten Songs For Christmas


O' Little Town by Don Reid (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble)

The Holiness Of God by  RC Sproul (Amazon)

A Victorian Christmas Anthology by Catherine Palmer (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble) (ChristianBook)

Sweet Baklava by Debby Mayne (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble)(ChristianBook)

One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble) (ChristianBook)

A Hearth In Candlewood by Delia Parr (Amazon) (Barnes & Noble) (ChristianBook)

The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh (ChristianBook)


I haven't given up on the homemade gifts.  There are still many, many more that you can make to bless family and friends. 


One of my favorite sites Organized Christmas has a very easy and pretty Peach Bath Salts gift in a jar recipe.  You can find it here.  There is even a printable gift tag.


Organized Christmas also has the perfect holiday appropriate Candy Cane  Bath Salts gift in a jar recipe here.  And again, you can print labels for these great gifts.  Is it any wonder why I love this site?

GREEN TEA BATH SALTS has a great Green Tea Bath Salts gift in a jar recipe.  It calls for very simple ingredients.  Though they do suggest dried flower petals or potpourri...I would probably  not jump on the potpourri and go with simple flowers.  Check it out here.


Brown sugar body scrub also makes a great gift in a jar, and it is super easy plus really feels amazing.  Here is the recipe:

2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Olive Oil

Heat Olive oil on the stove in a pot and slowly add brown sugar and stir until well blended.  That is it!  Add to a jar and you are all set.  Sugar scrubs feel absolutely amazing and are great for the skin.  


Domino's also has two great sugar scrub recipes on their site for gifting.  Head on over here to check out recipes for a Brown Sugar Body Scrub and Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Body Scrub.  Oh, and do they have gift tags too?  Yes they do right here.  They are just pretty and generic so you can really use them for just about any beauty gift jar recipe.


Here is a very simple and basic salt scrub recipe.  You can change it up by simply adding different essential oils which you can get at most health food stores.

2 Cups Epsom Salt

1 Cup Oil (grape seed, olive, almond, jojoba, almond or sesame seed)
10 Drops of essential oil

Mix everything together (I know...hard right)  You can also do the same with sugar to make a fine sugar scrub too.  Grated ginger is a really nice item to add to these rubs too.

Special note:  When making body scrubs and bath salts, it can be tempting to add food coloring.  I prefer natural looks but if going with food coloring always start with small amounts as you mix. 


I repeatedly ran into recipes for oatmeal cookie bath gifts.  The one that I found at A Delightful Home was my favorite, because it also suggested giving a gift of homemade oatmeal cookies as well.  What a delightful treat.  A nice bath and yummy cookies to go with!  Check it all out here.  Or head on over to The Motherload and get another yummy oatmeal cookie bath recipe here.  She also has the Candy Cane bath salts recipe.


Lastly, check out Susan's recipe for Coffee Cinnamon bath salts.  I literally use used coffee as a scrub.  It is absolutely amazing and makes my skin crazy soft, but let's face it...a jar of used coffee is not going to wow the gift recipient, but this recipe will knock it out of the park.  Check out the recipe and even the cute packaging Susan did here.



Rib Roast, large end, bone-in limit one at $3.97 lb
Sanderson Farms Small Pack Boneless Chicken Breasts or Tenders 1/2 FREE
Dole Bananas 39 cents pound
Doritoes Tortilla Chips 11-11.5 oz 11/1 free $4.29
Smithfield Bacon 16 oz 1/1 free $6.99
Atlantic Salmon Fillet $4.88 lb
Newcrop Blackberries 6 oz $1
Natures Own Butter Top Bread 20 oz $1
Progresso  Vegetable Classics  Soup 18-19 oz $1
DaVinci Pasta 16 oz $1
Hunts Spaghetti Sauce 26 to 26.5 oz $1
Hunts Diced Gtomatoes 14.5 oz $1
Daisy 8 oz Sour Cream $1
Albertsons Large Eggs 1  doz $1
Chiobani Greek Yogurt 6 oz $1
Cook's Shank Portion Ham Bone-In $1.29 lb
Bottom Round, London Broil,  Sirloin Tip, Top Round, Chuck, or Cross Rib 1/1 Free $5.99 lb
Bar S Jumbo Meat Franks 16 oz 4/$5
Albertsons 32 oz yogurt 2/$4


Red Delicious, Gala or Granny Smith Apples 75 cents lb
Ragu  Pasta Sauce 16 to 24 oz 4/$5
Three Day Sale Friday through Sunday (12/9 to 12/11)
Safeway Turkey 10-22 lb Frozen (While Supplies Last NO RAINCHECKS)
Progresso  Rich & Hearty Soup $1.11 18.5 to 19 oz select varieties
Eating Right or Safeway Select Meals 6/$10 6-12.4 oz
Farmer John Sliced Bacon 12 oz 1/1 Free up to $5.49 (limit 2)
Quaker Life Cereal 13 oz Cap'N Crunch 14 oz $1.88
Pistachios 20 oz $5 each 


Hot House or Red Tomatoes on the Vione 99 cents lb
Cooks Spiral Sliced Ham $1.37 lb
Kroger Canned Vegetables 11.5 to 15.25 oz 2/$1 (limit 12)
Fry's Gallon Milk D, 2%, 1% Low Fat, or Non Fat $1.57
Hunts Tomatoes, Paste or Sauce 12-15oz 88 cents
Kroger Saltines 88 cents
Foster Farms Whole Chicken 67 cents lb
Barrilla Pasta Select Varieties 12-16 oz 10/$10
Hunts Pasta Sauce 26-26.5 oz 10/$10
Navel Oranges 99 cents lb
Dole Salad Blends or Kits 5-12 oz 2/$3
Yellow or Zucchini Squash 99 cents lb
Kroger Canned Fruit 15-15.25 cans select varieties 10/$10

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Thriftiness



Don't forget that this weekend is 50% off at Goodwill! Keep tabs on Goodwill because as Christmas shopping takes place things will be coming and going like crazy there. Also be sure to head there after Christmas too!


Check out this amazing link to Family Fun. There are lots of awesome printables that will delight the whole family. The kids can put together printable Christmas villages, Christmas ornaments, Tree toppers and lots of activities.

LINK: Printable Christmas Activities

LINK: Printable Christmas Coloring Pages

LINK: More Printable Christmas Cards and Activities


This will go fast. Fancy Feast has a lovely Christmas ornament available right now for free on their site. When they are gone, they are gone. Head to their Facebook page now.

LINK: Fancy Feast Ornament

On December 16th Burger King will be giving away free $1 value sizes of their brand new french fries.

LINK: Burger King Free Fries

Free therapeutic sulfur mask sample at Acne Free's Facebook page.

LINK: Acne Free


Like Coffee-Mate on Facebook, and you can print a coupon for 75 cents off a purchase. I am not a coupon printer which is why I am happy to say that if you aren't either, you can ask them to mail it to you. You do this by hitting the help button on the print page. They are only giving out I think 1000 coupons so hurry.

LINK: Coffee-Mate Coupon


Free pdf of Paula Deen's Holiday Hosting Guide

LINK: Paula Deen

Free pdf from of 18 Homemade Christmas Decorations.

LINK: 18 Homemade Christmas Decorations

The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare (Amazon Kindle)

Mary's Son - A Tale Of Christmas by Darryl Nyznyk (Amazon Kindle)

Book of Days by James Rubart (Amazon Kindle)

Lie Down In Green Pastures by Debbie Viguie (Amazon Kindle) Throughout the months the other two books in this series have been offered for free. I hope you picked them up. This is the third in the series.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin (Amazon Kindle)

Eye Of The God by Ariel Allison (Amazon Kindle)

A Measure Of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling (Nook) (Amazon Kindle)

Daughter of Joy by Kathleen Morgan (Amazon Kindle)

Stuck In The Middle by Virginia Smith (Amazon Kindle)

Hide In Plain Sight by Marta Perry (Amazon Kindle)

Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series book 1) by Lorena McCourtney (Amazon Kindle)


Snow Globe by Matt Wertz is available at

Stellar Kart "Rescue," Decyfer Down "Over My Head," Mike Farris "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," Addison Road "Show Me Life," Chasen "Airplanes," The Choir "Word Inside The Word," Andy Cherry "Revival's Fire," and Sara Groves "Obsolete" are all available for free download now at FreeCCM. Also if you haven't noticed on our blog, FreeCCM also has ten free songs for you for Christmas! The songs include: Laura Story "Faithful God" and "Emmanuel," MercyMe "The Generous Mr. Lovewll" and "Gloria," Phil Wickham "God Of Our Salvation" and "The First Noel," Sara Groves "Obsolete" and "Silent Night," and Shane & Shane "Lift Up The Light" and "Oh Holy Night." Follow this link for those downloads.

Get free music samplers from Tooth & Nail, Solid State and BEC. All you have to do is head over to the website and like the label of your choice via Facebook (pick all if you like). After that you can download a zip file of all of their summer samplers for 2011. Artists include The Almost, Emery, I Am Empire, Thousand Foot Krutch, Underoath, Haste The Day, Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Bebo Norman and more.

LINK: Tooth & Nail Free Music


I have been trying to share gifts that you can make each week. This week for the cook, I will share some rub recipes. Be sure to check back next week for vinegar and oil recipes.

World Market has great magnet storage tins and regular tins. Check them our here. These make a great container for a fabulous rub. has an awesome recipe for All-Purpose Spice Rub.

I found a great Shoarma Spice Mix recipe at You definitely will want to check it out. You can use this with so many different meats. also has an unbelievable Gyro Spice Mix recipe. Hot and spicy but SOOOOOO good!

I love Cajun blackened fish and chicken. This Cajun Blackened Spice Mix recipe from CD Kitchen would actually make a great gift for myself. :)

This Carolina BBQ Rub from will definitely please a BBQ enthusiast.

I have a Jamaican Jerk Rub recipe that is amazing, but I do not have a perfect way to figure out how to make it in a jar. After hunting around, I found a fabulous Jamaican Jerk Rub jar recipe at Better Homes and Gardens.

Lastly be sure to check out this Smokey Spice Rub recipe at Woman's Day.



Blackberries 6 oz $1.00
Fry's Milk 1/2 Gallon. Whole, 2%, Reduced Fat, 1% Low Fat or Skim - 88 cents (limit 4)
Fry's Large AA eggs 12 ct 99 cents (limit 2)
Kroger Value Boneless Skinless chicken Breasts or Tenderloins $1.67 lb
Oroweat Bread 24 oz 2/$4.00
Kellogg's Cereal Select Varieties 10-17 oz $1.88
Chef Boyardee Pasta 88 cents
Hunt's Tomatoes, Past or Sauce 12-15 oz 88 cents
Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars 8 count or Pap Tarts 12 count $1.99
T-bone Steak $4.77 lb
Boneless Beef Roast Sale USDA Choice Bottom Round, Eye of Round, Top Round Sirloin Tip, Chuck or Shoulder 50% off
Fry's Sandwich Bread 24 oz 4/$5.00
Kroger cottage Cheese, Sour Cream or Dip 24 oz $1.99 (the onion dip is amazing!)
Roma Tomatoes 99 cents pound (Roma tomatoes actually have more tomato and less water so you really get more for your money with these)
Bartlett or Anjou Pears 99 cents lb
Romaine, Green or Red Leaf Lettuce or Bunch Spinach 99 cents each
Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red or Golden Delicious Apples 99 cents pound
Organic Gala or Fuji 99 cents pound


Whole Pork Shoulder Blade Roast $1.29 lb
Hass Avocados 2/$1.oo
Navel Oranges 8 lb bag $3.99 each
Chobani Greek Yogurt 10/$10 6 oz
Dairy Essentials or Dairy Glen Milk Gallon Whole, 2%, 1%, or Fat Free $1.57 (limit 2)
Whole or Sliced Mushrooms 8 oz 99 cents each
Green Zucchini 99 cents lb
Kiwi Fruit 3/99 cents
Cucumbers 2/$99 cents
Yellow OInions 2 lbs 99 cents
Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit 2/99 cents
Red Seedless Grapes 99 cents lb
Roma Red Tomatoes 99 cents lb


Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.77 lb
Cuties Clementine Tangerines 5 lb box $2.99
Albertsons Gallon Milk Select Varieties $1.57 (limit 2)
Petite Sirloin Steak 1/2 free $7.99 lb
Assorted Pork Chops $1.77 lb
USDA Shoulder Roast Boneless $5.99 lb 1/1 Free
USDA London Broil Boneless $5.99 lb 1/1 Free
Pork Loin chops Bone in $4.29 lb 1/1 Free
Large California Navel Oranges 99 cents lb
Purple Eggplant 99 cents lb (recipe for eggplant parmigiana)
Zucchini, Yellow or Grey Squash 99 cents lb

There is also a great buy 8 and save $4.00 sale
When you buy 8 participating items you can pay these low prices
Kraft Handi Snacks Pudding 49 cents
Cool Whip Topping 12 oz $1.49
Kraft Deluxe, Velveeta Cheesy Skillets or dinners 10.8 or 15.5 oz $1.49
General Mills Cereal Select Varieties 8.9 to 12 oz $1.49
Nature Valley Granola Bars 6 count $1.49
Stove Top Stuffing Mix 99 cents 6 oz
Coffee Mate Flavored Crfeamer 32 oz $2.79 (you can print out that printable coupon above too)
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa 8 count 99 cents