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Monday, December 27, 2010

Shake up your happiness!



2004

2005
2006
2007
2008
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2010

As Christmas comes to an end (in our house it's totally gone!) one always looks back and takes in the year that has almost past.  Wiser mothers always have told me as I am lugging around 4 little ones, that time always goes by to fast. Hold on to it as long as you can. Cherish every minute because you know it will all soon be gone. And then there is that country song..."You're going to miss this, you're gonna want this back, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast! These are the good times, take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you're gonna miss this." So I try to take it all in, breath it all up, enjoy the tantrums, the whining, the fighting, and all the silliness...and look back at 2010 and wonder where it all went. How is my Niko 8 years old? How is Zoe peeing in a toilet and wearing panties like she's done it all her life? And I look at John and think, wow, we will be married for ten years! It does go by fast, I am trying to keep up! So in the meantime we are going to do what the song by Train says and "Shake up the happiness, Wake up the happiness, Shake up the happiness...before we forget about it, let's December it!"


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Red and Aqua Birthday Party



 I have been missing these past few days because I have been very busy and had NO internet!!! I am so happy to be back on...so here is a glimpse of what I have been up to these last few days...I just finished this past weekend an amazing birthday party for a 7 year old little girl! She invited 43 girls, and all of them came. I transformed her garage into a winter wonderland using the colors from the infamous TomKat red and aqua snowflake line. Love this color scheme!!! I purchased a lot of fabric which I found at our local Home Fabrics in Fresno.  And I made the tissue balls from tissue purchased from Target! The giant aqua ornaments hanging over the dessert bar were from Home Goods.  The snowflakes you see hanging from the ceiling were all from the dollar store. Most all crafts were from Michaels, and the candy leis idea I found on the internet.  Those were the girls favorite station-well that and the cookie decorating one! They made ornaments and goodie bags at the other two stations. The cupcake tags and the invite were from TomKat.  I made the dessert bar labels to match the invite and TomKat's cupcake tags.  Ribbon was from JoAnns Fabrics! I just loved how I was able to fin aqua ribbon with red polka dots!!! Perfect! Enjoy the pics below!!!




Birthday girl in front of her dessert bar!

Swirly Pops were from the dollar section of Target this year!

The BEST oreos ever!!!! Sweeties by Kim thank you!!!

Candy Leis Station






Love this cupcake stand!!! From Home Goods












Food area

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Bowl

At first glance you might be wondering how much does this bowl cost and how much did Nina pay for it? Or you might be thinking that Nina is about to tell you the wonderful dessert she made in this bowl and how you totally need to get one too! However, today I am going to tell you the meaning behind this bowl and how it led me to tears the other day.  You see, not too long ago, I used to work in the classroom and my mother used to take care of my children all day. She was amazing! She would arrive at my house at 6:30am and I would head off to school. Then I had the second child and went part time and she would come everyday around 11:30 and watch my two kids for the afternoon. I used to love the weekends during this time as my mother would take me shopping with the kids. Even though she had them all day every day, she still wanted to hang out with them. She loves her grand babies. I remember one particular Saturday afternoon when we went out to Old Town Clovis. It's a street downtown with lots of mom & pop shops. We went to our favorite that day, a gift shop opened by a retired couple. I loved everything in there! But there was this bowl in the back that was a part of a collection that Martha Stewart had on her show that week. I so wanted the collection! But it was too much. My mother so gently whispered, "hey, I'll buy you one and every month we'll come back and add to the collection." I took her up on her offer and life continued. Five years and four kids later, I only have this one bowl. My mother began suffering from Dementia and she doesn't watch my kids anymore. I don't work anymore (outside of the home that is). And now my sister and I take care of her. I pulled this bowl out the other day as I normally do, and remembered this moment in life and tears filled up my eyes as they are now. My mother is physically with us, but SHE is not here. The kids get too loud for her, baking and cooking is too difficult a task. Folding laundry (which she ALWAYS helped me do) is something she cannot do. I miss my mother, the way she loved life and everything in it. This is a horrible disease and I pray one day they figure out a cure. But for now, I will continue baking with my very special bowl and one day look up the collection and make it a part of my kitchen. Enjoy this Christmas and all your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making Whoopie...Pies!


So I needed to make a dessert for my Bunco Christmas Party tonight, so I thought I would make some whoopie pies. They are so cute and I've wanted to make them since I read the post from Bakerella. So I used the recipe she posted for the cookies and then found a Vanilla filling instead of the peanut butter one she has posted. Overall, easy, simple, and if I had some Christmas sprinkles, they would of looked super cute:) But here is a taste of what happened in my kitchen today!
Taste tester #1...that;s my thumb holding the pie...my first ones were a little too big!

Taste tester #2

Taste tester #3

Taste tester #3 got a little messy!

Now go make some whoopie...pies!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bath & Body Works

Click on this link for a free signature collection travel size item with any purchase! This makes for great stocking stuffers!!! Stay tuned for more, I am back-the holidays have been taking over my life!!!! So sorry I haven't posted for SO long!!!!
 Free Signature Collection Travel Size Item with any purchase.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free Sample!

Get your free Sample of Welch's Fruit Snacks!!!! Click Here

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Gifts=Money Savers....Thank you TARGET!!!

Okay, so I went back to Target today to use some of the toy coupons I have burning a hole in my pocket. I left the store paying $10.73 when I should of paid $51.27, and it was all Christmas Gifts!!!

Leapfrog Tag Book BOGO=$9.99
Minus $5.00/1 Online
Minus $5.00/1 Online
TOTAL=$0.00 (it worked, thanks Thrifty Couple)

Fashion Barbie BOGO=$10.09
Minus $5.00 Barbie Coupon from Target (I'm thinking you probably could've use 2 and gotten this free)
TOTAL=$5.09 for two Barbies!!!

1 Disney Princess Barbie=$8.99
(I just found my 50% off any Disney Princess Item from Ad-don't know if Doll would count for Barbie, I am going to go back and see) Technically you could get this for $4.49 if it does!

Minus my $5.00 giftcard from some purchase a while back
Minus Redcard savings .46 (every penny counts!)

TOTAL=$10.73, a $40.54 dollar savings!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Deals at Target

'Tis the season to shop...and get the deals!!!! Went to Target tonight and bought what came out to be
$74.00, but I paid $30...yes $30!!! That included a Christmas present (DVD/Blue Ray Combo) Beauty and the Beast!!!! Here is the breakdown...

2 Wheat Thin Boxes=$4.00
Minus $1.00 off Target Coupon
Minus $1.00 off Nabisco Coupon from Safeway(on a display)x2
TOTAL=$1.00 for 2 boxes!

2 Doz Eggs=$2.00
Minus .55/1 (online coupon)
Minus .55/1 Safeway Coupon Book
TOTAL= .90 for 2!!!!

2 Land O Lakes Butter= $5.00
Minus $1.00/2 Target coupon
Minus $1.00 (in box)x2
TOTAL=$3.00 for 2!!!(these are usually $3.98 for 1)

2 Coffee Mates=$3.00
Minus $1.00/2 Target
Minus $1.50/2 Thanksgiving Book of savings
TOTAL=$.50 for 2!!!

Beauty and the Beast DVD/Blue Ray Combo=$24.99
Minus $5.00 Target Coupon
Minus $9.99 Disney Coupon
TOTAL=$9.00!!!!

1 Cream Cheese=$1.19

2 Wishbone Italian Dressing=$3.40
Minus $1.00/2
Minus .75/2
TOTAL=$1.65 for 2!!!

2 Eggos =$1.92
Minus $1.00/2
TOTAL=$.92 for 2!!!

2 Cool Whip=$1.78
Minus .55/2 from Target
TOTAL=$1.23

Cuponk game=$7.00
Minus $5.00/1
TOTAL=$2.00

2 Skippy Smooth Peanut butter=$3.70
Minus .75 Target Coupon
Minus $1.00/2 Safeway book coupon
TOTAL=$1.95 for 2!!!

And then I used my Red Card for another $1.51 off

Bill=$75.28
Minus Coupons/Red Card/Sales $44.47
Paid=$30.81!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Menu Thanksgiving week...

This year I am not making a Thanksgiving feast, nor am I hosting it, so that means no leftovers to have fun with...I did do a turkey dinner last Thursday, but no leftovers!!!! Oh well, it has begun to rain and it is a lot colder, so I am going to be making two soups that sound super yummy. Taking the day off on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but back on dinner for Saturday and Sunday! Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Monday:
Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup with fresh bread

Tuesday:
BBQ Chili with corn and some cornbread

Wednesday:
Take it easy Noodle Dinner

Thursday:
Thanksgiving

Friday:
Leftovers

Saturday:
Minestrone Soup

Sunday:
More Minestrone Soup

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Plan at Target

So, with my new found love...the Thanksgiving book of coupons, I plan to do some serious savings...now I did take a couple of books when I found the goldmine, but I did leave plenty for my fellow friends...always follow the coupon rule! Anyways, with their sales this week and a few added coupons from Target, this is what I plan to save tomorrow...I am so excited I kinda want to go right now!


Swanson Chicken Broth on sale for $.50
Buy 8 cans=$4.00
$1.00/4cans(from the Book)x2=Minus $2.00
Plus Target coupon (from register from previous visit)=Minus $1.00
TOTAL=8 cans for $1.00

Wesson Canola Oil on sale for $2.00
Buy 2=$4.00
Minus 2 coupons @$1.00=$2.00
TOTAL for 2=$2.00

Digiorno Pizza 2 for $9.00
Buy 2=$9.00
Coupon $1.00/1 (use 2 from Ads this week)=Minus $2.00
TOTAL=$7.00 for two pizzas!

Carnation Evaporated Milk on sale $.89
Buy 2=$1.78
Use $.50/2 from ads this week=$1.28
TOTAL=$1.28

Glade candles 2 for $5.00 Plus receive a $5.00 giftcard if you buy 5 products
Buy 5 candles=$12.50
The Book has $1.00/1 (use 3 or more if you get your hands on more)=Minus $3.00
Manufacterer's coupon $1.50/2=Minus $1.50
TOTAL=$8.00 for 5+$5.00 giftcard=it's like paying $3.00 for 5!!!!

Parhcment Paper 2 for $5.00
Buy 3=$7.00
Vons had coupons for $1.00/1=Minus $1.00
Land O Lakes Butter boxes have $1.00/1 (I have 2 of those)=Minus $2.00
TOTAL=$4.00 for 3!!!!

TOTAL before tax=$23.28
PLUS 5% off using my Target Debit card=$22.12
+$5.00 giftcard
It's like I paid $17.12...for 22 items!!!! Have fun!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekly Menu

This week is SO nice and calm:) compared to last week that is, so here is our week in food:) Enjoy and feel free to share your great dinner ideas:)

Sunday
Roasted Chicken, BBQ Beans, Clam Chowder with Dutch Crunch Bread
(Did my big shopping for the week and picked up dinner at Vons:))
Monday:
Stuffed Pasta Shells

Tuesday:
Cream Cheese Chicken

Wednesday:
Left Overs

Thursday:
Turkey ($5.00 on sale at Vons...early Thanksgiving), Mashed Potatoes (the box-they were on sale $1.50 at Rite Aid with coupons) Broccoli (.99 at Vons) Talk about a CHEAP meal!!!

Friday:
Turkey leftovers...I'm thinking Turkey Tacos??? Turkey Quesadillas???

Saturday:
Going out...pizza for the kiddos-love Papou! (Grandpa)

Have a super week!!!!

40th Bash Part 2: Candy Bar

So for my husband's 40th he wanted a candy bar, since I do them for other people all the time, he wanted a really good one. So I did my best to do the best for this monumental birthday.  I had Posh Pixels do my labels and invitations. I asked for the labels that she had done for The Hollywod CAndy Girls...love how they put together candy bars:) So I did a little copying with the lolipops (which I found at the Dollar Store for only a dollar!!!!) Since it was a 40th party I used the boy's pictures from when they were 4yr old.; which I blew up at Kinkos for only $3.00 each! I simply used the candy that both boys liked the most.  I even added some Kettle Corn for my brother-in-law...he LOVES that stuff and so did everyone else! The cakes were from Eddie's Bakery, we kept that part simple. I later added some lights throughout the jars to add a little more spark to the candy bar! Over all I think this was a huge hit at the party! Thanks Posh Pixels and The Hollywood CAndy Girls for your creations and inpirations! This was my take on it:)
I borrowed these martini glasses from a friend who purchased them from Home Goods...they have come in VERY handy these days!



I purchased all this jars from Home Goods and they took about 2 and a half bags of candy from Costco.  The lollipop sticks weren't long enough to stay upright in the jar, so I taped them to a longer dowl that I purchased from Michaels...I think I lived there during this candy bar!

I LOVE this slim conatiner I found at Home Goods...I have used this one the most to hold the  treat bags for all my candy bars...so nice!

Close-up of the snow cones used.

Licorice is one of my husband's FAVORITE candy!!!

Kettle Korn was from a local guy here is Fresno starting out a side businesss, Scott Brown, he even delivered it to the site!!! It was great!!! I used snow cone cups for serving.

I attempted to to create a 40 sign out of tissue by following the directions from Prudent Baby, but I think their's was cuter:) It took FOREVER!!!! But it was fun!