Showing posts from June, 2011

Albertsons Shopping Trip

Yesterday the little ones and I ran to Albertson's for milk (for the girls) and whipping cream (to make homemde ice cream) we also did some stocking up with coupons!  Here is our trip:
The breakdown: Kraft Ranch Dressing x 2 @ 1.00 each! ($1 off 2 coupon) Pillsbury Brownie Mix x 4 @ .49 each! (No coupons just a good price) Pillsbury Brownie Mix x 1 @ .09 each (had a coupon for 40 cents off one) French's Mustard x 2 @ .69 each! (30 cents off 1 coupon x 2) Crystal Light To Go Pack @ 1.50! (1.00 off 1 coupon) Mini Donuts x 2 @ .75 each! (no coupons) Gallon of Whole Milk @ 3.89 (ouch!) Heavy Whipping Cream @ 3.79 (bigger ouch!) Knudson Sour Cream @ 1.50 (no coupons) Breyers Ice Cream x 2 @ 2.29 each! (1.00 off 2 coupon) Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs x 2 @ .89 each! (1.00 off 2 coupon plus in add 1.39 each coupon) White Corn x 4 @ .25 each! Limes x 3 @ .25 each!
Total Before Coupons & Sales: 76.37 Total After Coupons & Sales: 26.18 (my out of pocket cost) Percent Savings: 66%
So while I may not be as…

Grocery Deals June 29 - July 5th

Amazing sales this week for the 4th! (and this is my second time typing this up as the first draft apparently went into oblivion)!
Bush's Baked Beans @ 1.67 = Stock Up Price Breyers Ice Cream @ 2.79 = Great Price (there is a 1.00 off 2 coupon out there) Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce @ .88 = Stock Up Price Hot Dogs @ 1.39 (w/in ad coupon) = Stock Up Price (there is also a $1/2 that you can stack) Knudsen Sour Cream @ 1.50 = Excellent Price Crystal Light @ 1.99 (w/10 items) = Great Price w/coupon $1.00 off 1  Hormel Chili @ 1.67 each = Stock Up Price Limes @ .25 = Excellent Price Sweet Corn on the Cob @ .25 = Excellent Price Cucumbers @ .79 = Excellent Price Capri Sun @ 1.49 = Stock Up Price (must buy 10 part. items) Pillsbury Brownie Mix @ .49 = Stock Up Price (must buy 10 part items) coupons avail. Green Giant Canned Veggies @ .49 = Stock Up Price (must buy 10 part items) Wheat Thins Assorted @ 1.99 = Great Price (must buy 10 part items) coupons avail. Heinz Ketchup @ 1.49 = Stock …

Theme Learning: Food!

As usual we started our week out with numerous books - many more than this but these were our favorite! We colored a food pyramid - I colored each label the appropriate color.

And she finished the pyramid. A lot of good info here.
Little C colored a picture of vegetables!
We used our play kitchen food to have Little C sort by color. I handed her something, told her the color, and to put it with like objects.
She is getting better at her colors - when she wants to.
Big C sorted the foods by food category per the food pyramid! We talked a lot about eating a balanced meal but um she doesn't really care.
They also spent a lot of time playing in their kitchen.

And helping mama cook.
Not a whole lot of activities theme learning wise but we had a blast with play dates and my canning party so it was definitely worth it!  More to follow next week!

Garden Update

.0625 lbs of strawberries
.3984 lbs of squash

1.782 lbs of squash & zucchini

.781 lbs of squash and zucchini x 2 because I forgot to photograph one set total:  1.563 lbs

.086 lbs of chilis
Total Weekly Weight: 3.892 lbs
Weight Year to Date: 22.622 lbs!

We get a ton of cayenne peppers on our little plant (the only pepper plant doing that well) and I threw them in an old Kerr canning jar at one point. They dried out perfectly and look cool - so I am trying to fill the jar as a decorative item - the hubs plans to crush them and make pepper flakes - we shall see who wins!

Menu Planning

Whew - so glad it is Monday and the busy weekend is behind us - although it was a great one!  Here are the meals I plan to make this week!

Breakfasts: French Toast, Nectarines, Sausage Pancakes, Scrambled Egg, Plums Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Strawberries Eggs, Toast (w/strawberry jam), Peanut Butter Smoothies, Toast, Hard Boiled Egg Cereal, Nectarines Waffles, Plums
Lunches: Quesadillas, Plums, Corn Grilled Cheese & Ham, Carrot Sticks, Nectarines Pasta with Sauce, Peas, Cherries Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Plums, Celery My Sister's Bday Lunch Bean, Rice, Cheese Burritos Ham Sandwiches, Godlfish Crackers, Strawberries
Dinners: Spaghetti, Salad, Bread Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Corn Ham & Cheese Pasta Bake, Broccoli, Bread (add ham don't do topping extra cheese) Pizza, Salad for Family Movie Night! Thai Grilled Chicken, White Rice, Broccoli BBQ Chicken, Pasta Roni, Brussels Sprouts Pollo Asada, Beans, Rice, Corn Okay I have Brussels sprouts on the menu but this will be my first time trying them - re…

House Party!

Today was my very first House Party and it was a ton of fun!  We enjoyed making and preserving Freezer Strawberry Jam and preserving Marinara Sauce.  My guests are all looking forward to canning again in the future and some neighbors and I plan to make a ton of different jams for Christmas presents!  Here are pictures from our day!

The Finished Product: Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam
Rinsing the most delicious strawberries ever!
Everyone hanging out and mashing berries!
The best gift ever from my super crafty friend and neighbor: Monica @
Patriotic decorations - flowers and flags - in all American Ball Jars!
Setting up the iced tea station.  Jars with bands, straws, and labels made perfect cups!
The goody bags!
Everyone munching on the: bruschetta, chips & salsa, cheese & crackers, cookies and fruit!
Mashing 12 lbs of strawberries!
Marinara Sauce Cooking
Filling jars with marinara for the hot water bath!
Getting the jars ready to be filled!

Book Reviews for June

Another Friday Freebie for my Nook this book was a humorous yet slightly serious book about an older teen going on a modern day scavenger hunt overseas.  This was a quick read taking only three days to get through partly because it was light comical reading and partly because it kept me intrigued enough to not put it down!  While I couldn't relate much to the character's actual experiences I could imagine myself doing many of the "touristy" things she did had I been in a foreign country at the same age (okay I would probably still do them today).  Definitely a keeper and I am looking forward to reading the sequel: The Last Little Blue Envelope

Boy am I loving the Friday freebies right now!  Let me preface this one by saying I didn't think I would use my Nook that often - uh yea right!  This novel is a big intense with some graphic imagery and some not so pleasant to think about topics - but these same topics are experienced by many around us.  While I had to …

A Bunch of Money Saving Ideas

We are going to skip theme learning this week since we all had the stomache flu last week and accomplished pretty much nothing other than sleeping and recouperating (which were much needed)!  So we take a break to bring a ton of money saving and money making ideas.  I will be upfront and tell you there are referral links below - if you do not feel comfortable clicking them you may always visit the sites directly however I encourage you to use them and also to create your own for future use!  I learned about this site approximately a year ago and have since earned over 75 dollars in giftcards.  You use the site to search (I downloaded the search bar to automatically remember to use it) and earn points, earn points for buying groupons, living social deals, etc.  You also earn points for taking a daily poll, trusted surveys, referring friends, and just having the toolbar whether you use it or not.  There is also a coupon section -  you get 10 points for each coup…

House Party!

Here is a fun opportunity I recently learned about. is a site that lets you sign up to host a party using tons of free stuff to try out new products!  You give the company free advertising to all of your friends and they give you free products and special money saving opportunities. 

I was recently chosen to host a Discover You Can House Party!
We will learn how to make freezer jam and marinara sauce!
I received a ton of cool items in the mail:
I have been working on the favors:

And working on decorations including my grandmother in laws original canning pot!

We are super excited to be hosting such a unique party and to have new options for preserving my garden!
 Happy learning about all the opportunities out there for you!

Grocery Deals June 22 through June 28th

Albertson's Minute Maid Juice @ 1.00 = Excellent Price BOGO Free Berries = Good Price BOGO Free Hotdogs = Could be great with coupons Farmer John Breakfast Sausage @ 1.25 = Great Price (coupons) Red Leaf, Green Leaf, Romaine @ .99 = Excellent Price Mangos @ .79 = Great Price BUY 10 SAVE $5: Kraft/Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce @ .79 = Excellent Price (stock up with coupons) BUY 10 SAVE $5: Pasta/Rice A Roni @ .79 = Stock up Price (coupons) BUY 10 SAVE $5: Wishbone Dressing @ .79 = Stock Up Price (coupons) BUY 10 SAVE $5: Bush's Beans @ 1.49 = Stock Up Price BUY 10 SAVE $5: Welch's Juice @ 2.49 = Great Price (coupons)
Ralphs: Personal Watermelon @ 1.88 each = Excellent Price (coupons) Cantaloupe @ 1.50 each = Excellent Price Nectarines/Peaches @ .88/lb = Excellent Price Tomatos on the Vine @ .88/lb = Excellent Price Ralphs Sour Cream @ 1.25 = Great Price Ralphs Cream Cheese @ 1.25 = Great Price Bush's Beans @ 1.67 = Excellent Price Tide Laundry Detergent @ 4.99 = Great Price (coupons) Goldfish Cra…

Garden Update

.867 lbs of yellow summer squash
.156 lbs of tomatoes and snap peas

.953 lbs of zucchini
Weekly Total: 1.976 lbs of produce!
Annual Total: 18.7301 lbs of Produce

Now some of you may be wondering what we do with so many squash and zucchini...we eat a lot of them... but we also freeze a lot of them - I chop them, lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze until hard.  Then baggie up and store until needed for a dinner side or in a soup/stew.  Another great idea is to bake muffins or breads with shredded zucchini.  Justin's Aunt is also sending over a zucchini salad recipe soon! FYI: I only have one zucchini plant and two squash - they grow a lot!
Happy Gardening!

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal!

Big C LOVES oatmeal - let me clarify - my picky eater loves maple and brown sugar oatmeal from the packet - Quaker Oats Brand.  Let me tell you even with coupons the kid could eat way too many dollars worth of packets.  So I tried to make my own and let's just say she eats it about 4 times a week either for breakfast or a snack - IT IS A HIT!
Start with the Big Tub of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats Syrup (I usually prefer real maple syrup but this was what I had this time) Brown Sugar Water
Place 1/4 of Oats in Bowl Add 1 Tbsp of Syrup 1 tsp of Brown Sugar (this feeds my 4 year old for me I would make double or triple but wouldn't need to double or triple the sugar and syrup)
Add water so all oats are covered and there is some water floating above the oats. Roughly 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water.
Microwave for 2.5 Minutes Let sit in microwave for 2 minutes Stir and serve with two ice cubes.
She eats every last lick!
Happy Eating, Ash of All Trades

Meal Plan & Oatmeal Recipe

Happy Monday All!  Hope you enjoyed the weekend celebrating all of the wonderful father's in your life.  We had a great time celebrating a grandfather's 90th birthday and three special dad's in our lives.
Here is my menu plan for this week (we are all healthy again -knock on wood) and will be presuming with regularly scheduled meals.  My oatmeal recipe is posting simultaneously to this one!
Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Raisins and Milk Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Cherries, Scrambled Egg French Toast, Watermelon, Sausage Cereal and Fruit Banana Bread, Peanut Butter, Grapes Scrambled Eggs, Toast, Watermelon Syrup Pancakes, Cherries, Egg
Lunches: Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Grapes, Baby Carrots Hatched Eggs, Cheese Grape Tomato Kabobs Bean & Cheese Burritos, Corn, Grapes Grilled Cheese, Salad, Watermelon Bologna Sandwiches, Carrots Sticks, Watermelon Chicken Quesadillas, Corn, Grapes French Bread Pizzas, Cherries Dinners: Steak Sandwiches, Baked Beans, Caesar Salad, Artic…

Firefly Cards

Here is a project we completed during our bug week as well!  Many thanks to I Can Teach My Child for her wonderful ideas (including this one)!
Didn't think to take a picture of me cutting an 8.5 x 11 piece of black construction paper in half and then folding it in half to make a card but that is the background for this project - so start there!

Using a high-lighter color in two mailing labels. Using a pencil color in two mailing labels.
Add to pencil mailing labels in a cross over fashion to the front of the card.
Place one of  the high lighted mailing labels centered over the pencil ones.
Glue on google eyes and use puffy paints for the mouth and antennae.
On the inside use two plain mailing labels and the other high lighted one to make the cute saying. We also used plain mailing labels to have the girls sign their names on the cards.
Add some star stickers.
Voila a completed card!

And yes we will be using these as Father's Day Cards!
Happy crafting! 

Dancing Spider Craft

Using the lid off a large container and some black paper.
Trace the circle using chalk.
Cut out the circle and trace a line from the edge up about 4 inches towards the center. Then cut along this line.
Start making legs by marking off every 1 to 2 inches with chalk on another black paper.
Do the same thing on the opposite side of paper.
Connect the lines so that you have eight strips.
Have your child cut each line to make a strip.
Add google eyes using glue.
Show your child how to accordion fold the leg strips.
Using glue add four legs to each side of the spider.
At the opening from the slit you cut - overlap the edges and staple together (it creates a three dimensional spider)
Take an extra large rubber band.  This one was about 9 inches in diameter.
Cut the rubber band.
Attach each end to the side of the spider* We ended up thinking it was better to staple to the tooshie end or where you overlapped the slit and making it hang rather than having a handle.