If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Friday, October 31, 2014

some of this weeks cooking

we were out of our favorite homemade sauce  so I made an extra large batch.
I don't use an exact recipe.  It is pretty simple and I just mix it up until it tastes right.
it uses lots of tomatoes,  a little olive oil and onions.
spices are oregano, basil, garlic and just a little sugar.
first the onions get sauteed-   then the tomatoes and spices are added
after it simmers a while,  it gets divided into meal size containers and put in the freezer for future meals.
while the sauce simmered,  I mixed up and baked a loaf of Raisin Bread
Raisin Walnut bread - mixed in the bread machine and baked in the regular oven.  I used  my grandparents bread recipe but increased the sugar and added nuts and raisins when the machine beeps time to add stir ins.

Raisin bread

1 cup water
2 T butter in cubes
1 t salt
1/3 C sugar
2 t cinnamon
3 cups flour- bread flour is nice but all purpose or your favorite would be fine
2 t yeast
put all ingredients in a bread machine on the dough cycle, then add
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 3/4 cup raisins ( I like to chop them a little too) when the bread machine beeps for the add in time.
When it is finished rising, punch down and form into a loaf and put in a well greased loaf pan.
I think I used an 8 inch loaf pan but it would work in a 9 inch loaf pan too.
Let rise again and then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

My grandmother made raisin bread and she always topped her loaves with white frosting.
I don't add frosting as we like our raisin bread lightly buttered and toasted.
either way raisin bread is Yum!

my husband's work lunch and breaktime box - I packed a turkey and cheese sandwich on a homemade bun, Popchips and olives.  Also grapes, a jar of fresh pineapple chunks, cashews and jalapeno string cheese.  Beverages are coffee and a bottle of water.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fun weekend food

Hello everyone
I knew my grandchildren would be for several meals over the weekend so first thing Saturday morning,  I got out the fruit I had bought at great prices at Aldi on Friday-  I cut it up bite size and put it in  covered serving dish in the fridge.
I think we all ate some of this fruit at 3 different meals.  It was so easy and convenient to have it all ready.
Their sale ends Tuesday night but right now,  Aldi has whole pineapples for just 99 cents and I think the red grapes are less than $2 for a 2 pound bag.  Ours were all fresh and delicous and a very thrifty fruit tray.

For fun,  the grands made something from Pinterest- edible acorns.
They are Hersheys kisses,  Mini Vanilla wafers and chocolate chips stuck together with a bit of homemade chocolate frosting.  They look a little like acorns but taste a lot better.

I gave each child a plate with 4 wafers, kisses, chocolate chips, a dab of frosting and a small plastic knife.  
5 year old Gavin ate his acorns about as fast as he made them.

4 year old Elizabeth worked very seriously as she made hers.  She ate a little but she mostly enjoying the crafting part of it.  She also made extras to take home to her dad who was busy with his moonlighting yardcare business.  

1 year old JJ didn't craft much- I think he mostly just got frosting all over his face.  

if you look in their hands, you can see some of the finished acorns.  

2 year old Braeden was not interested in crafting.  He only wanted to eat Kisses.  He worked so hard unwrapping each one and kept all his wrappers in a pile.  

The acorns were fun and get a thumbs up from all of us!  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Last minute costume

My daughter had bought an Olaf the snowman costume for little JJ. It is a very cute costume but he doesn't like it at all, I think it limits his movement too much.  Since his sister will either be Elsa or Anna, JJ also needs to be a Frozen character.
She sent me this link and asked if I could sew this tunic.

Some online tutorials are good and some are not but I give this one a big thumbs up!
It had an easy to print free pattern and a list of exactly what to buy and where she bought it.

So yesterday, I spent $7.49 at Joann's and 80 minutes constructing this tunic from start to finish.

I also think this blogger, Neka at Thrive is genius! She and her 6 children made and modeled 100 costumes with mostly things in their wardrobes.

I must say that I don't like Halloween and I don't celebrate it  And    I'm not much of a Disney fan either.  I do help with costumes when asked by my children.
And I do pass out candy and compliments to children when they knock on our front door.  

And about the candy, I don't buy it early as we tend to eat it and then need to rebuy :) 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A jumbled up post about what I've been up to


I don't buy much at Walmart but I do seem to need to go there once a week or so for something we can't buy other places.  I always look at their clearance aisle when I do go. 
Last week, I found these children socks for $1 a package
And today, I found more little girl socks for 50 cents a package! These all have 6 pairs in each bundle
Aren't the owl ones so cute?


My husband picked out this Butterball oven ready turkey breast a few weeks ago.
It sure came in handy when I needed to cook a meal for seven with not much notice.

In the package is a whole turkey breast on the bone wrapped in an oven bag and a bag of gravy mix.
It was so quick and easy to just put that turkey in the oven to bake.  It baked for about 3 hours while I cooked a few simple sides and played with my grandsons. 
I don't have a photo of the cooked turkey but it turned out great! It was moist and delicious and so easy.  I will be buying this again! 

I helped my grandsons make these acorn inspired crafts. Their mother sent the photo above for inspiration and their other grandmother sent some tiny acorns.
So, we found some ribbon and Pom poms in the craft room and started crafting.
After separating the acorn caps from the we used fabric-tac glue to adhere the pompoms and ribbon to the acorn caps. 
Cute and fun! 
Here are the boys busy with crafts last week.

My son wears suits every weekday and he just got 3 new ones. One was mail ordered, one is from Nordstrom Rack and the other one, a Ralph Lauren pinstripe, is from a local salvage store and was just $40.  All the coats fit but the pants needed hemmed and I was happy to do that. 
Suits can cost a bundle and I think he ended up with 3 nice ones at much less than retail.

This is a terrible photo of 2 denim aprons I sewed for myself, the necks and pockets are finished with some vintage bias tape. One is blue polka dots and the other is red checks and yellow calico.

This little guy kept me busy most of today. Who needs toys when there is a big box to play in?

About the wipes, I have changed many diapers in the last 5 years and used many brands of wipes.  Huggies wipes are thick and moist and by far my favorite brand. 
I get them by subscription from Amazon- that big box comes every 2 months for about $9-$10. 
The shipping box is really fun too. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CVS last week and this week

Actually, I am so behind in blog updates. These purchase are 2 weeks and 1 week ago. None of these items are currently in the CVS ads and I am showing them as examples. We all have different stores available to us. I think to get good deals on a sort of consistent basis, it is best to pick one store and be familiar with them. 

So, this is my CVS purchases when we took a quick trip to Texas to visit our parents. 
Everything was on sale and had manufacturer coupons, plus I had a CVS scanner coupon for the hair products and 2 CVS ECBs from the previous week. 
The cash total spent was about $9 and that Texas sales tax was a lot lower than it would of been in Oklahoma.  And I got $6 ECBs back. 

Last week, the deals were good but it didn't go quite like I planned. 
My local CVS had a shopping buggy full of assorted Dawn, 4/$1. This was not in the national ad. So, I got 8. Instead of ringing them up at .25 each, he said they scanned 1 for every 4 bought so they actually only cost 4/.99.

I had $2 coupons on all the Colgate products, plus a 25% off any oral care products and last weeks ECBs. 
The wrong part is, I thought I would get back a $10 ECB for buying $20 in Colgate but the twin packs were not included.
Even still, $11 for 6 tubes of toothpaste, 1 big mouthwash and 8 Dawn is a good deal to me. 

I thought about going back and purchasing more of the correct Colgate products to get that $10 ECB but I realized our home was stocked enough. 
I didn't see anything in this weeks CVS that we needed so I won't be going this week. 

That is the benefit of shopping this way- I spend less and we have extras on hand and I don't have to shop every week. 

2 product reviews

We took a quick trip to Texas and we wanted a snack on the drive back. We got this box of Pepperidge Farm cheese crisps at a travel stop. They taste very good but they sure don't look like the picture on the box.

Mess-free fingerpaint by Crayola is something my 4 year old granddaughter brought here. She had a day off from school so we happily spent the day together and did lots of crafty things.
The mess free paint squirts out of the tube as a beige looking substance. Then it gets smeared onto the special paper that goes with the paint. The paper has a hidden design that shows up when the paint touches it.
Elizabeth had a great time with this but I kept expecting the next sheet of paper to have a different  background design. All of her packet had rainbows. Rainbows are one of her favorite things and she likes them but I think the product would be more interesting with multiple design sheets.
After she did all these blob paintings, she started doing her handprints.
The paint really was mess free. It smells like play dough and I did have to help Elizabeth wash her hands as she had done a thorough job of covering her hands. 

2014 fall decorating

I didn't buy or make a single new thing- I just opened up the storage tub from previous years and put out the things that I still like and still look fresh. (Some stuff from the tub went in the trash)
Wreath on the front door
Dining room - oops, there are some the new things. The owl print vinyl tablecloths were purchased this month at Walmart. 

The patchwork pumpkins wall hanging was sewn by my mom. 
This is our first year to own the  hutch_we found it at our favorite thrift store this year and it was fun to decorate. 

I have a really nice Thankful banner made by Debby and will put it on the mantle when it gets closer to Thanksgiving. 

I like to have seasonal things out, I think they make a room look more cheerful. But I am just not going to do anything elaborate, I've decided everything for a holiday needs to be easy to put out and it all needs to store away in a single storage tub. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

CVS deals -last week and this week

No extreme couponing here but I do try to do deals at CVS when I can buy things we need at a very low cost.
The trick to consistent savings at CVS is to do a deal every week or so so that you can use the Extra Care Bucks earned one week on a different deal the next week that will also generate more Extra Care Bucks.

SuperMomOf3plus1 on Youtube

This YouTuber does a good job at CVS. She usually buys different things than I do but she spends very little and gets a lot of good stuff for her family.

Shopping at CVS regularly adds up as they pay quarterly bonuses, I think it is 1% of all your purchases every 3 months.
They also pay beauty bonuses, $5 for every $50 spent on beauty products and that is more that just cosmetics, it is also hair care, skin care and maybe other products that I just don't know. 

Last week 
Our laundry room has several containers of detergent already but I saw how cheap I could get Tide with coupons and an ECB from the previous week, I happily did this deal.
After coupons and sales, the 4 Tide and 3 Dawn were $8.10 and I got $5 ECB.

This week- I had a CVS scanner coupon for $5 off any $15 cosmetic purchase and I had $1 ECB when I filled a prescription last week.  So, I used those and the $5 ECB and 2 coupons on 2 mascaras. 
The 2 mascaras were $3.42 and I got a $5 ECB for next week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin Muffin Tops

Hello everyone! September was really a bust with not but the necessities done but I feel good again and am hoping October will be much better.   I have missed you all and plan to now be back blogging and reading your blogs with my pre-crash regularity. 

Here is a recipe I tried and baked the last part of September and they turned out great. 

I had less than a cupful of canned pumpkin in the refrigerator leftover from a pumpkin scone recipe I tried that was not wonderful.  But I saw this Pumpkin muffin recipe and thought it sounded like a good recipe and would use up the leftover.  

I mixed up half a recipe and changed it a bit.  They turned out great and I will be making them again. I think mashed Banana or applesauce could be used instead of the pumpkin.  The muffin tops bake up much faster than a whole loaf. 

My small batch version - I mixed it all up by hand with a fork and spatula

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Stir all these ingredients together until blended
1 cup flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/8 t cloves
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined and sort of smooth. 
Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans 
Use a large cookie scoop and put batter on a greased or parchment lined baking sheets. They won't spread much but they will rise a little. 
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 16 minutes until done. 

The original recipe has a topping but we liked them plain. 

In the photos, they do look like cookies but they really have a muffin taste and texture.