Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Or email me at: TJsSweetHome@hotmail.com
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
If you're feeling up to making these deee-luscious dinner rolls, prepare yourself, they will go fast. They do take a little time and effort, but are sooo worth it! And as with most of my recipes that have been gathered over the years from hither and yon, I don't know where these originate to give credit where credit is due.
Get the butter ready y'all...
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit on lowest oven rack until golden brown. You may brush with butter when they come out of the oven.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
And, with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I thought I would do a series these upcoming days of all the Thanksgiving family favorites we've enjoyed over the years. Some recipes show up year after year. Every year. Some make an appearance occasionally. But often. Today I thought I would start off with the star of our dessert lineup. This creamy, luscious, fruity pie makes an appearance every Thanksgiving and Christmas. There would be an uprising if it didn't. The kids start talking and asking about it well before the holiday, just to be sure it's not forgotten in the hustle & bustle of things. My sister Cindy has taken on the role of making several of these pies each holiday for the past few years. (Yes. Several. They go fast and furiously. We need several to satisfy the masses.) Thanks for always coming through Aunt Cindy!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Anyway... here is what I spent the second week on food and personal care items at grocery stores and drug stores: $121.12. And since I've gotten a bit behind (thanks for bearing with me *blush*) in my reporting, here is the grand total for weeks 3 and 4:
week 3- $91.65
week 4 -$70.98
Any tips you would like to share?
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, October 18, 2010
I do plan on gathering my money spending/saving adventures soon to share. Hopefully later today! (And YES I do consider it an adventure...I find myself being more creative with my cooking endeavors, which makes for some tasty meals and breaks up the "what should I cook?" boredom syndrome that I can oh-so-easily fall into.
Soooo...see ya soon!
But for now I will leave you with this...
1) We had some dinner rolls that I made that turned out not so tasty so, I made them into bread pudding. Oh yeah! That did the trick. And I didn't have to throw them out! Thing is, I didn't have raisins but I did have some prunes on hand. I chopped 'em up & used them instead~tasty! And of cours, I used the rolls in place of the bread...I think any bread item would work.
2) I spied out a box of frozen spinach and searched for spinach recipes online. I found one that sounded good and that I already had all the few ingredients that it called for on hand. Eureka! And it was good too. Hubby kept saying how good it was. A winner!
3) While watching a sales demo on natural skin care products that were pretty pricey and being tempted to BUY them, I stopped, took a deep breath and decided that I could probably make some sweet skin care products in my own kitchen. So I did. FOR PENNIES! I treated my face last night to a honey egg masque and this morning, I indulged in a vanilla brown sugar body scrub. Luscious. Want the recipes? Here they are...
Honey Egg Face Masque
1 egg yolk (dry/normal skin) or 1 egg white (oily skin)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. milk
mix thoroughly & apply to your face, neck & de'collete'. Let dry & rinse off with cool water OR use a warm damp wash cloth for a few minutes on your face before rinsing. Decadent!
Vanilla Brown Sugar Body Scrub
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. olive or coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
rub all over your body while in the shower then rinse off. CAUTION! Be careful~this will make your shower or tub slippery!!!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
My daughter has stomach problems which have not been diagnosed yet (we are seeing a GI doc in a few weeks so hopefully, we will find out something), in the meantime, we have found that drinking lactose free milk, taking Lactaid before eating dairy, taking Align supplements an adding fiber seem to help. All of which add expense to our grocery budget.
We have pets. A cat and a dog. They can be costly as well.
AND then there are the unexpected expenses. Just this past week, I had to take dd to the doctor since she had been running a high fever. Another expense, unplanned. The juice, the soup, the crackers, Dayquil/Nyquil, prescriptions, a second doctor's office visit when the fever had not come down and more prescriptions. Totally unplanned. And many of those things were not stocked on our pantry shelves or medicine cabinet. In fact most of them weren't.
But such is life. And these will be the challenges I face during this challenge to myself. We all face them so, if you have any tips & tricks up your sleeve, please share!
Anyway, off the top of my head:
1) I scan the weekly ads to my nearby grocery stores, write down the best deals and plan our meals around them. I make a loose/flexible menu plan. I shop at more than one store as long as I'm a) in the area and b) I have the time (I don't go out of my way wasting time & gas).
2) I use coupons but I try not to pay for them. I don't normally buy a Sunday paper. I'm not a "coupon queen".
3) I use less shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, laundry detergent & fabric softener than "they" recommended. (But I probably use more dish soap than I ought to-I need to work on that.)
4) I do practice the proverbial washing of the ziploc bags. But not if they're greasy & gross. I just won't go there. They have to be fairly easy to swish in bleachy, soapy hot water or I toss'em. After all, time is money & I don't want to wast too much time on jobs that will only save me a couple of pennies. I want my "hourly wage" so to speak, to count for something!
5) I try to improvise when cooking. For instance, while making a cake one day, I didn't have the applesauce it called for but I did have a bit of apple butter but still, not enough!) and some fresh apples on hand. I ground enough of the apple in my blender with a bit of water & added it to the apple butter to equal the amount of applesauce called for in the recipe. It turned out great! I was able to use up the apple butter that might have otherwise gone bad and some of the apples no one was beating down the kitchen door to eat.
6) I try not to waste. Anything. If I can help it. Fruits threatening to go bad? I freeze 'em and use them for my fruit smoothies. And frozen bananas are great in banana bread & pancakes. Veggies on the verge? A spoonful of veggie leftover at dinner? I save 'em for soup (in the freezer as well). We invested in a Food Saver a couple of years back and I believe that thing has paid for itself many times over in preventing food waste! Meat bones (chicken, beef & the like make delicious, hearty stocks that can be used in many recipes) are saved in the freezer as well.
7) I've learned to listen to my inner mama that says "no" to most of the impulse purchases I'm tempted by. (most!)
8) I try to do any shopping that needs to be done without my daughter. That alone saves me not only money but stress. Speaking of my daughter, I have also told her what I'm doing and have asked for her cooperation in this endeavor before we step foot in any store together. This way, I hopefully, she will be more accepting of her mama saying "NO".
9) I try to use what I have on hand and make do with what I've got before running to the store to buy whatever it is I "think" I need.
10) I try to guard my eyes & ears against the constant onslaught of advertising by cutting down tv time, staying out of stores & malls as much as possible and being careful of the publications I browse. (Have you noticed you can barely walk three feet in WalMart without those nuisance tv thingys loudly blasting us with advertising?! And they aren't the only ones. We are constantly bombarded with sly, ingenious-dare I say subliminal?-advertising tactics these days everywhere we go.)
11) I'm not afraid to ask for discount or reduction in price. And more times than not, I get it. (If you notice a cheaper price elsewhere or on the company's website or if you want to buy something that has a minor defect...ask! The worst that can happen is that they say no...don't take it personally.)
12) This ties in with #11. Ask, ask, ask! Knowledge is power! (and can save you money!) For instance, (and I'm sure many of you know this...what can I say?) I just found out I can use more than one JoAnn's coupon per transaction as long as the numbers at the bottom of the coupons are all different. I just used 6 at one time the last time I was there! (This is embarrassing but in the past, I would have my daughter check out an item, I would check out an item and use the other coupons during other visits. Oh the time and trips I wasted! P.S.-my mom informs me that not all JoAnn's will let you do this so I would ask first to save any embarrassement or hassle at checkout.)
So there. Just a few.
What do YOU do to save money?
Thanks for visiting!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I had left several scoby's tucked safely away in my fridge hibernating, or so I thought, for the day I would inevitably be ready to make a batch. Well, I don't know if I just left them in there too long or what but one day, I decided I would try buying a bottle of kombucha at the store and attempt to grow a scoby from it. After a couple of stores that I knew I had seen carry it with no luck in finding any, the helpful worker at the health food store told me that it had been pulled off the shelves for some reason. The FDA would be stepping in because of it. Oh, great. So, I went home and "Swagbucked" the situation (Swagbucks is my friend...yeah buddy! Don't know about Swagbucks yet? Click on the button on the right under my etsy shop listings-it's FREE & painless to use & they have lotsa cool stuff you can earn!). Yep, for sure what he told me was true. I then began my search for another scoby. And I found one for free (but I did have to pay shipping & handling-totally understandable.) So in honor of that, and paying it forward, and the fact that I am beginning to now have a surplus of scoby's that I'm almost sure my hubby doesn't want taking over our home (again...don't ask!). I am offering a free scoby (with starter) to anyone willing to pay the s&h, which I am setting at $10 since I send via priority mail so it gets to you quickly and for the time, materials and gas associated with sending it off to it's new owner.
Do you, or someone you know, need a SCOBY?
Now if I could just find some free kefir starter!
Thanks for stopping by!
Now for the update on my first week of challenging myself to see if I could get by without paying full price on items we need/want:
I did extremely well but didn't wuite hit my target. I had a birthday that I needed to buy a card for and since it was last minute, I grabbed the card while I was at the grocery store...and paid full price. The only other item I had to buy that wasn't on sale and I didn't have a coupon for was cat food. And I did pay full price for a few tacos at Jack in the Box when my mom was visiting and she and my DD were having cravings for them (their favorite!). But all in all, I feel I did pretty well for my first week trying this experiment.
The highlights of my shopping week:
*I got several items free when I bought the Lean Cuisine meals I was going to buy anyway at HEB. They usually offer several deals like this each week. Some of the free items were: a bag of prewashed spinach, a pound of bananas, a theatre box of Butterfinger candy, and a six pack of bottled water.
*I had coupons for free eggs & a free Tony's frozen pizza at Kroger.
*I had a $3 off $10 worth of produce coupon which I was going to buy anyway and all of which was on sale!
*I got 10 pounds of shrimp for $20. We love shrimp!
Besides the coupons I have already mentioned, I had an additional coupon savings of
$6.99 for the week!
In total, I spent $91.24 for grocery and non grocery items this week. (Not including the Jack in the Box tacos!) I would like to lower that total and will work on doing so in the upcoming weeks. I'm not quite sure what a good average for three adults (I'm counting my fifteen year old as an adult here!) grocery bill should be but I will keep tweaking as time goes by.
Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Since I lost my part time job back in June, and considering some very expensive recent events, I have been trying to watch how I spend money and doing what I can to bring in extra money but yesterday, I began wondering if I could go a year without paying full price for anything. So, I thought I'd challenge myself to a year of seeing if I could truly get by without spending full price for anything. Most everything goes on sale at one time or another, and if I can stock up on said item when it does, I will.
Now to be fair and honest, this challenge is for me, not my hubby who can be a little spendthrifty at times. He has been known to pop into a store & bring home things to surprise us or just because he thinks/knows we need something. But my frugal ways have begun to rub off on him so, he tries. Also, we are by no means in dire straits because I lost my job but, we did count on that money and I don't want my job loss to become a burden financially to my husband if it doesn't need to be. So I am committed to doing what I can to stretching our dollars to go as far as possible.
I am also taking into account that some things rarely, if ever, go on sale. Things like milk (we buy lactose free) for instance. Yes, I find markdown milk. And veggies and meat do go on sale but, I won't beat myself up if I absolutely need something and can't find it on sale. I am determined to buy in bulk when items are on sale and use coupons for things I would buy anyway if I have them. I am going to do my best and we will see.
I will probably update weekly to see my progress. If this can help someone that may be having hard times or is just interested in saving a buck or two, then that would make me so happy!
I will share some things I do on a regular basis to save money another time.
Thanks for stopping by! (and wish me luck!)
*I would love to hear about YOUR frugal tips! Or maybe you would like to join me in challenging yourself?!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
And I'm SO excited to share that Amanda at bigDAYpartyshop just featured my Polka Dot Half Apron - "Barbara" in her rick rack themed treasury!!! Thanks Amanda! Go see her cute party ribbons and banners! You might find just the thing there for your next celebration!
Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend~thanks for stopping by!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Quick & easy & ohhh so yummy...
made even better by wearing just the right CUPCAKE apron!
My cupcake apron?~I didn't make this one, I got it in my AVON shop for a price that can't be licked!
Hostess Apron~product #632630
And some other cute as a cupcake cupcake makin' accessories:
Multi Tier Cupcake Stand~product #635850
Cupcake Decorator Tool Set~product #635864
Get 'em before they're gone!
The right tools can make a big difference no matter what job you're doing.
(if you love AVON, you can sign up on my website to receive regular emails about the latest products & specials! And orders of $30 or more receive FREE shipping! Thanks for shopping with me and spreading the word!)Thanks, as always, for stopping by! I treasure your sweet comments!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
She's so proud of her Morning Glory!
Glad you were able to visit today!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
this little Dollface.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for visiting!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Tex-Mex is something I could eat everyday so I present to you...
Friday, August 27, 2010
I have begun feeling the thrill of anticipation as I look forward to, probably my favorite season of the year, Autumn! We have experienced a couple of days of lower temperatures and less humidity recently! I love it! I'm ready for the inviting aroma of apples, cinnamon, pumpkin and freshly baked bread! The sounds of family gatherings! And the deep, beautiful colors of the leaves on the trees as they prepare for their winters rest. I long for that golden glow that graces the afternoon sky as I turn the corner into my quiet neighborhood heading home after a long day or a quick errand.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I was out back one day and got to admiring my "free" plants and thought I'd share a few of them with you...
This ficus was just a little sprout not very long ago that I took from it's big mama (like me!) plant, dipped in rooting hormone, and placed into potting soil. Poor thing lived in a pot the size of a thimble and through much neglect while rooting. I finally had mercy on it and put it in a proper pot. And look how it rewards me. I am ashamed. = (
And see the little spider plant peekeing out from behind Ficus? I had it's mama sitting near this spot and it sent out a baby who promptly rooted in the dirt in the crack. I guess I should dig it out and give it a nice little home to wiggle it's toes in. My plants have to be survivors to make it around here. It's sorta like a boot camp.
I have other "free" plants around here (african violets, ivies, lots and lots of spider plants, etc.) and am experimenting with another branch that I confiscated from a recent bouquet. It isn't looking too good, but we'll see...it doesn't hurt to try.
What have I eaten lately? Don't ask. Really. You don't want to know. I will just say, I've been a bad, bad girl. (No, that's not a twinkle in my eye (; )
Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!!!
Monday, May 3, 2010
And then the rain begins.
First it's just a sprinkle, and then...
Ohhhh, it's not really all that bad but life has thrown us for a loop and created some challenges lately.
Hubby's back began acting up again and then he had a bad reaction to one of his medications. And then Saturday, he had a terrible reaction to something and he broke out in hives all over his body! Oh my!!! Sunday, he's not any better so we head to the emergency room where they promptly give him a shot of benadryl. He's still polka dotty and his back still hurts and my foot isn't totally healed yet but...it's not death or life threatening so, as far as I'm concerned, we are still highly blessed!
I hope that in whatever circumstances you find yourself today, that you can consider yourself blessed!
Feel better my love!!!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Yesterday I hobbled outside to find...