Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Minute Gifts

Every year we make our lists and check them twice.....but we always forget to buy a gift someone!  Or maybe you are looking for a budget friendly, heartfelt gift to give.  Nothing can beat a homemade gift!  Here are a few recipes for some quick and easy gifts:

BAVARIAN MINT FLAVORED COFFEE
1/4 C. Powdered Creamer
1/3 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Instant Coffee
2 T. Powdered Baking Cocoa
2 hard candy Peppermints
Process in a blender on liquefy until well blended.
*Store in an air tight/decorative container such as a mason jar.
*Attach directions to container: Use by tablespoonfuls according to taste.Spoon in cup and add hot water.

SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS
1 1/4 c. water
1 c. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
Heat water and salt together until salt slightly dissolves. Add to flour mixture.
Mix with hands until dough is smooth. Roll out. Cut with cookie cutter. Place on
foil lined baking sheets. Place in 300 degree oven for about 1 hour. Turn often.
Feel free to paint an decorate as you'd like!  This is fun for the kids and makes great gifts for grandparents!

INSTANT PEA SOUP MIX
Mix and pour into jar: -- (makes one soup mix)
1 cup green split pea flour -- (dried split peas ground to a fine flour)
2 tablespoons chicken broth powder
2 tablespoons dried onions
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups non fat dry milk powder
Attach to the jar:
To make soup: In medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisk soup mix into 6 cups
boiling water. Stir about 1 minute until mixture is incorporated. Turn heat to low, cover
and cook 2-5 minutes. Note: if desired, add 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
(mixed, peas & carrots, or carrots), grated potatoes, minced celery, or ham to
boiling water and proceed as above. This soup thickens upon cooling. To reheat, add
a little milk or water to soup & heat.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kid Friendly Truffles

During the holiday season, I try to do lots of baking with my kids.  My daughter is 7 this year, so she can start doing a lot more.  This recipe is super easy and cheap to make!  It's so easy that my 7 year old could roll these truffles out herself.

Brownie Truffles
1 box of brownie mix
1/4 cup of water
2 tbs. corn syrup
Your choice of toppings (I like toffee bits and powdered sugar)

-Mix together your brownie mix, water, and corn syrup. This will be a thick, dry looking mixture.
-Pour your toppings into separate bowls.
-Scoop about 1 tbs. of the mixture. Make sure your hands are damp because this will get sticky! Start rolling the scoops into balls then roll the balls into your topping of choice.
-Chill in the refrigerator. Place them on parchment paper to prevent sticking!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Makeup on a Budget

Ok, so most of us saw Cassandra Bankson on Good Morning America, or at least have seen her YouTube videos:




If you don't know, she is the teen who undergoes a remarkable makeup routine everyday to hide her acne.  I was stunned when I saw her video (and so was the hubby!)  What she does is amazing!  However, not everyone can afford to pay $59 for powder, so I compiled a list of less expensive products that I think would work well!  So here ya go!
Products Used:Price:Try This:Price:
Smashbox AntiShine       $27 Sephora "Trick of the Trade" Anti Shine$18
Hourglass Veil Primer                  $17 Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer$12.99
Makeup For Ever HD Foundation in 125 and 120  $40/eachRevlon Dream Liquid Mousse$9.79/each
Mac Studio Finish Concealer NC 30$17 Revlon Colorstay Blemish Concealer$9.99
Mac NC5$23 Covergirl Professional Loose Powder$5.29
Smashbox Halo in Light$59 Could not find a substitute.
Makeup For Ever Microfinish Setting Powder$30
$8.95
Mac Fix Plus Spray$10 Really no trade off here!$10
Total:$263 $84.80



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Cheer?

Christmas is just a few weeks away!  Holiday songs are playing on the radio, and everyone seems to be full of joy!  As a mom, it's our job to make sure all of our holiday plans go off smoothly.  We plan the get-togethers, cook the food, buy the presents, decorate, and try our very best to keep everyone happy while keeping a smile on our faces!  The most joyous time of year just so happens to be one of the most stressful times of year as well.  We are so focused on making everyone around us happy, that sometimes we forget about ourselves.  And sometimes, we get the feeling that we have been neglected.

Here are some tips to help get you through the holiday season in one piece (emotionally):

*Ask for help!  You are not super-human!  Everyone needs help sometimes!

*Create a holiday budget.  This will help relieve the financial stress.

*Take care of yourself!  Don't forget to eat right and exercise.

*Plan ahead.  You don't want to "over-book" yourself.

*Make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy relaxing with your family.  And don't forget to do some special relaxing with your significant other!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Couponing for Thanksgiving: Part 2

As you know.....my family is on a strict budget in order to keep us as stable as possible in this very unstable economy.  So my plan was to use coupons for Thanksgiving.  I gotta say....it worked better than I thought it would!  So here's how it went:

Originally I was only hosting a small group of people on Thanksgiving....but that changed rather quickly!  Now I am hosting for my husband's entire family!  EEEEK!  Along with getting enough food to feed the masses, I still had to shop for my own household (two weeks worth of shopping to be exact!).

My local store runs a special once a month: $10 off of $50 or more (this sales excludes milk and turkeys, don't know why...but it does!)  Now....since you can only get the $10 off once....I had to make two trips that day.  I stratigically bought items that would result in me getting catalina coupons good for my next trip (which would be about 20 minutes later)!  I would rather not get into details about everything I bought, but to sum it up, my first trip was $70.47 before coupons....after coupons, I only paid $19.78!  A 72% savings!

Now, for my second trip, I had to get the turkey.  I needed to get the biggest bird they had to feed everyone and have leftovers for me!  If you remember, I could not use the turkey with the $10 off deal, which only meant I had to get $50 worth of groceries plus the turkey.  My total before the turkey was $82.15 (no coupons scanned yet).  I got a 21.99 pound bird @ $1.39/lb which cost $30.57.  Now, my store was running a special....the turkey would be $.67/lb if I bought $50 worth of groceries with it!  This dropped $15.83 off of my bird!  Before coupons and before my turkey savings, my total was $96.89.  After the $15.83 turkey savings (biggest coupon EVER!) and my coupons, I only paid $35.47!  A 62% savings!

My store does not double coupons...but if they did....boy....I may have walked out of that store paying almost nothing!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Couponing For The Holidays!

It seems as though the one time of year it is vital to save money...we spend the most!  I love cooking for groups of people, so it's no surprise that I love Thanksgiving!  This year, my husband has to work, and my side of the family is going out of state.  So I have left an open invitation for family to come to my house for dinner!  Problem....we are living on a very strict budget!  One income is no joke!  My goal this year is to do "Thanksgiving with Coupons"!  Let's see if I can make a traditional dinner, with all the fixings, and spend as little as possible!  Now...what should be my target budget?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Art of Couponing

I have used coupons in the past.  For me, nothing special.  The savings weren't big enough to keep me interested.  Last week however, I watched TLC's Extreme Couponing for the first time!  Seeing the savings they had inspired me!  So last week I started clipping coupons.  I learned that in order for me to get the biggest savings, I have to match my coupon with sales as well as any store coupons.  I went through and printed up the coupon policy for all of my local stores.  That way I know what I can and can't do!  Week one proved to be a big week for me!  I got free product already and stocked up on bathroom cleaner for at least two years!  People are gonna start looking at me like I'm crazy.  But it's ok, cause I'm spending less and getting more!

My first time out and I think I did very well!  I left home with a $10 bill and some change in my pocket, and this is what I got:


ALL Detergent: Was $5, I got it for $3
Cover Girl Blush: Was $3.74 each, I got all 4 for FREE!
Fatastick Cleanser: Was $1.50 each, I got them for $.50 each
Ajax: Was $2, I got it for $1
Nivea Lip Treatment: Was $2.99 each, I got them for $.25 each
Suave Professionals Hair Care: Was $2 each, I got them for $.87 each
Playtex Sport: Was $3.97, I got it for $2.13
Old Spice Deodorant: Was $3, I got it for $1

Total before coupons: $41.41
Total after in store savings and coupons: $10.87

I saved $30.54 my first time!

Here is a site that I have found most helpful: http://www.hip2save.com/

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Table For Two

This past Sunday, I came across a coupon for $2 off of a new Bon Appetit frozen meal.  So of course I had to try it!  The original price was $8.  So I fed me and my husband for $3 per person!  I would like to see you spend that at any restaurant!  We got the Roasted Garlic Chicken!  (Great choice)  For those of you who love garlic as much as me, there are whole roasted garlic cloves in this!  YUMMY!


So here's what this is.  You open the bag and there are two individual parchment pouches in it (for 2!).  Now ladies, if your husband can't cook, or isn't that great at it, he can do this!  You can cook it in the microwave or oven.  All you do is put the parchment bags right side up on your baking sheet (for the oven), put it in at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, pull it out, cut the bags open, and slide them onto your plate!  HOW EASY IS THAT! 


The back also has suggestions on wine pairings and side dishes.  Ours came with this yummy, super easy salad recipe.  Again, so easy anyone can do it!  Makes you feel like you can cook gourmet food without having any kitchen skills!


Viola'!  Be jealous of my fancy paper plates, I didn't feel like doing any dishes, and I assure you, I didn't mess up a single dish for this, except my wine glass!  The chicken was tender, the sauce was amazing, the ravioli was super yummy, and I ate all of my veggies!  With Bon Appetit, you can create an amazing, romantic dinner for two!  Just tell him to follow all of the directions on the back of the package, and to use the nice plates!  PS.......I also got another $1 off coupon in the bag!

Find Bon Appetit on Facebook:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How-To Make a Lined Alligator Clip Bow

Making a custom clippie for you or your little one is easy!  You can create a custom piece for any outfit or occasion!  here is my tutorial to show you a basic clippie bow!



1. Cut your ribbon (3/8') to the length of your clip (remember, it must wrap around to the back of the clip as well).

2. Seal the ends of your ribbon to prevent fraying (use a lighter to seal the edges).

3. Put hot glue half way down your ribbon

4.  Wrap the glued ribbon around your clip.  Start underneath the top part of the clip as pictured.


5. Put glue on top part of clip, continue until the entire top portion is covered.

6. Put hot glue on the remainder of ribbon (bottom part of ribbon that will be toughing the clip).

7.  Continue to wrap your ribbon until you come to the end.  You now have a lined clip!  You can leave it as is, or decorate it!


8.  For a super simple bow, cut any ribbon (I used 5/8" satin/sheer) to approx. 2" in length.

9. Create a simple bow.  Make sure you secure your bow with a quick stitch.

10.  Now you can wrap the center of your bow to cover the thread and glue it to your clip!


You can now create and kind of clippie you'd like!  Attach bows, buttons, and any other embellishments you'd like!  Have fun!!!  These also make great party favors and gifts!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keeping Your Wallet Full

For us not so lucky people that have to work everyday, be frugal, and save money some how, there comes a time when you must pull all of your resources together just to get by.  For most of us, as we come closer to the end of the year, that is the time we struggle.  Here are some of my favorite tips that I have heard, read, or found online:

  • Have a garage sale!  Most of us have so much clutter it's not even funny!  If you haven't used an item in over a year, unless it a cherished family heirloom, you probably don't need it!
  • Necessities must come first!  Put your wants on hold!  When paying bills, home, transportation, insurance, and utilities are first!  Contact your cable, internet, cell, and credit card companies to see if there is any discount you can take advantage of!  Sometimes if you are in good standing they will let you skip a month or two (or in our case 3!).
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle!  So basic, yet so important!  Find ways to reuse items in your house that you may think are trash! 
  • Cook in bulk!  Instead of buying prepackaged foods liked mashed potatoes, buy a big bag of potatoes, cook them, mash them, and freeze them into small containers.  Not only are you saving money, but you are giving your family food that is better for them!  When you reheat, feel free to flavor them any way you'd like!
  • Skip the meat!  By omitting meat from your dinner plans 2-3 days per week, you will be saving a nice chunk of change.  Plus, read meats are meant to bulk you up, so you will also be watching your waist line without even trying!
  • Every 3 months, review your cell phone contract, cable contract, and auto insurance.  You should always be shopping around for a better rate.  Also, if you mention to your current company that you found a better rate, sometimes they'll compete to keep you and lower your rate!
  • Trim your dryer hose.  A longer hose can become obstructed causing your dryer to work harder.  A shorter, unobstructed hose will save you $25 per year on your electric bill!
  • Laundry detergent is super powerful!  Use half the recommended amount unless you have some serious stains!
  • Check out your cart once more before you check out.  Maybe that box of cookies or case of soda was an impulse purchase?  Cut out $10 per week of impulse purchases and put that money into savings!  Save money and your figure!
  • Shop at the end of season!  No need to explain why!
  • Shop clearance racks!  Most of the time you'll find shirts that were part of an outfit but have lost their bottoms.  Take advantage of some serious savings!  (My favorite clearance racks are at Target and Babies R' Us)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Key to Happiness.....

They say communication is the most important ting to a healthy relationship.  But what happens when communicating is the most difficult thing you could do?  Many of us let things bottle up inside, never releasing the built up tension, pain, anger, or emotion.  This can't be healthy!  My husband is my best friend, my lover, my rock, and the one person I can trust with anything.  So why is it that sometimes I find it hard to tell him exactly what's on my mind?  So many emotions and thoughts going through my mind everyday.  But how to share them?  So many emotions....envy, love, confusion....oh the human mind!  How do you tell the man you love that you long for romantic gestures, a relationship with your father, a dream wedding.  I hold my feelings in sometimes thinking that if I complained about what I don't have, what I do have could end.  Communication isn't the key to a healthy relationship, it's vital for a healthy heart and soul.  Even if it is between you and your keyboard......communication is the key to happiness.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Birthday!


Yesterday we celebrated my son's 1st birthday!  It seems just like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.  Now he's a little terror!  The past year has brought so much joy and excitement!  I can't wait to see what next year will bring!  I'm hoping we skip the terrible 2's!


Here is my little man Austin at 2 days old!  

Now my big man destroying whatever you put in his path!

Easy Strawberry Cupcake Recipe:

1 package yellow cake mix
1 package (3-oz.) strawberry gelatin
1 cup thawed frozen strawberries (with juice) 
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fareheit.  Line your cupcake pan with liners.

Combine the cake mix, gelatin, strawberries and juice, milk, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with a mixer at low speed.  Make sure to scrap any excess batter of the sides of the bowl.  Beat for 3 minutes until batter is mixed well.

Bake until cupcakes are lightly golden and spring back when pressed gently with a finger, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make sure to cool your cupcaks properly before decorating!

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That Old Chair

My grandmother has this old dining room chair (it is the last survivor of the set).  My sister uses it in her room for her desk (which also belonged to my great grandmother "The Gerken").  She just had her room painted purple.  The desk looks great in the room....but the chair....not so much.  It had been reupholstered twice and still had the original red faux leather on it!  This has to be circa 1960-1970.  It was gross!  My sister wanted to throw it out and buy a new one.  But why?  The chair is solid....it could last many more years!  So....I painted it for her....sanded it.....painted it some more....sanded it....rubbed some stain on it....and then a black wash.  We reupholstered it with a fabric that matched her room and added some extra color.  Here is what we got out of it:

Before

After

Now we have a new chair! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

6 Weeks to a New Body!

I was up late one night watching infomercials with the hubby.  We sat and watched an ad for Michael Thurmond's 6 Week Body Makeover kit.  For those of you who don't know what it does, you can read more about it at http://www.mybodymakeover.com/.  I started my kit yesterday.  What it did was tell me what foods to stay away from, and which ones to enjoy.  Because of my body type, sugars, dairy, breads, salt, and red meats are out of the picture!  For the duration of this diet, I have to get creative with my food!  I also have to eat 6 small meals a day.  Before, I was barely eating.  I always thought the less food I ate the more weight I could lose.  I was way wrong!  The less I ate, the slower my metabolism became.  My body thought I was starving and started storing more, and more fat.  I am on day 2.  It's hard to not to eat whatever I want, but I think it will get easier! 

I will share recipes as I come up with them and keep you updated on my progress!

August 23, 2011:
268 lbs.
Size 20

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Product Review: Sexy, Skinny, Healthy You

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you may know that I have been battling my weight since after baby #1.  I thought after my many, many visits to the chiropractor to fix my hips, losing weight would become easier.  When I began my diet, my waist measured at 54 inches.  While I commend any person who can drop pounds without any help or plan.....I have learned that I may not be one of those people.  I was asked by an It Works consultant, Jen Anderton of Sexy, Skinny, Healthy You, to sample one her her body wraps.  The wrap is infused with a botanically-based formula that continues to work even after you remove the wrap (up to 72 hours!). 

Before


After


I am in a size 22, after using this wrap, I lost 1 inch from my waist, and was able to fit into a size 20!
What is great about this product is that you can enroll in the Customer Loyalty Program which entitles you to a major discount on price!  Also, if you become a fan of Jen on Facebook, she is constantly having deals and sales on her products!  Allowing you to try them out for an even lower price!  For someone like me who is trying to lose 100+ lbs, this may not be the path that best suites me.  However, for fast results, I would recommend this product for those of you who need to drop a few inches quickly!

Contact info for Sexy, Skinny, Healthy You:

Jen Anderton


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Product Review: Sugar Mama's Sweet Bowtique

I think that this by far, is one of my favorite vendors!  Sugar Mama's Sweet Bowtique specializes in crocheted goods such as hats, shoes/slippers, and clothing!  If you follow my blog, you may remember that she was one of the vendors that donated a hat to the St. John's Mercy Pediatric Cancer Unit.  This is the hat she made!  She designed it after Captain America so one little boy could feel like a superhero!  Sugar Mama was also the reason I started my Facebook Page The Mommy Exchange!

(Captain America Hat ~ Donated to St. John's Mercy on 6/17/2011)

For my birthday, Sugar Mama sent me a pair of her super comfy Posh House Slippers!  I loved them so much, I had to order a pair for my daughter!  My little girl loves them!  I had to tear them off of her feet for this photo!  Since my daughter is in the in between sizes Sugar Mama offers, she took the time to edit her pattern to fit my daughters feet!  She has baby shoes starting at $6.99 all the way up to her adult slippers which run about $12.99.  You can customize your slippers with any of her yummy yarn color options!  For little feet, she also offer a skid resistant initial on the bottom of the shoes/slippers!

The owner, Amanda, has a heart of gold.  Her customer service is very personal, one on one.  She makes you feel as though her entire focus is on you (which it is when she starts on your items!)  Her products are very detailed and well made.  She has a constant flow of new orders coming in everyday!  This just means that there is a wait.  I ordered mine the beginning of June and received them the beginning of July!

When I say her products are very detailed, I mean she takes extra time to ensure that her products will last.  You won't be disappointed!

(My slippers were done in the Earth & Sky yarn options.  My daughter's slippers were done in Pretty 'n Pink & Spring Green with Lavender/Spring Green Soles to match her Tinkerbell Room!)

Make sure to check out her new website!  It is still under construction, but it's super fabulous!



How To Contact Sugar Mama:



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Here comes the bride......

My husband and I will be celebrating our 4 year anniversary this October!  One thing I have always been with my husband is honest.  He knows everything that has ever happened to me, every thought I have, and every feeling.......except for one.  Certain life and family situations didn't allow for my husband and I to have "wedding".  So my husband and I, and our families, went down to the courthouse.  No dress, no flowers, no reception....not even a single picture.  At the time...none of this mattered.  I was marrying my best friend and the love of my life.  Now, it seems as though anytime I see a bride, look at a bouquet of flowers, or think about weddings, I just want to cry!  As a little girl, you dream of a big wedding, being walked down the aisle by your daddy, and going off to a romantic honeymoon.  So for me, it just seems like a big chunk of my life that was supposed to happen, was taken away.  Now the question...should this bother me as much as it does?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Product Review: BFF Sweets

Like anyone else...I have a sweet tooth!  I am always on the hunt for the best tasting cake balls!  So when I saw that BFF Sweets had a sampler for only $6....I had to jump on that!!!

Normally, these samplers come with 1 chocolate covered oreo, 1 peanut butter ball, 1 coconut ball, and 2 cake balls of the seller's choice.  since I am not the biggest coconut fan....the owner gave me 2 peanut butter balls.  BFF Sweets has more though!  She also sells chocolate pops, chocolate covered pretzel rods, and even doggy treats! 

Here is what I got:

(Like a little present!)

I ordered these on Sunday and had them by Tuesday!  Very speedy service!  The owner, Liz, is very one on one.  I love the personalized service!


(PB Ball, Chocolate Cake Ball, and Strawberry Cake Ball)

The verdict......YUM!  Well worth the money!!!  I have had chocolate covered oreos before...so that didn't stand out for me....but the peanut butter ball......holy cow!  There is no other way to describe it!  The cake balls were moist and delicious as well!  I loved the strawberry with the white chocolate....I wish an extra one would have accidentally feel into my box!!!!
I opted for the lower cost shipping which meant I didn't get an ice pack (by all means....pay the extra bit for an ice pack if you have an issue with melting during hot weather or are ordering a large amount).  My items shipped well and had no melting to them!  They came wrapped up like a little present just for me (and I want to stress "JUST FOR ME!"  LOL!)

BFF Sweets






Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Dreaded Diet......

I have come to the conclusion, that no matter how determined you might be, the stress that comes from being a mommy of an infant and a six year old is enough to cause major set backs in a person's diet.  We are now 2 1/2 months into my diet.  I am down 3 pounds.  Not where I wanted to be, but I will take anything.  Before my pregnancy, I wore a size 16 (10 before my daughter).  Now, I am ashamed to say I am wearing a size 22 (although a 22 is pretty baggy, but my butt won't allow a 20 to fit over it!).  My goal for the end of this summer....to be able to fit into at least an 18.  I think this would help with some self confidence issues I am having right now, and will help push me to loose more weight. 
Now for the personal stuff....being the biggest I have ever been has put a lot on me.  It is harder for me to move around, I'm embarrassed, ashamed, and the biggest issue.....my husband.  When we first met, I was half the size I am today.  Everyday I have the same thoughts......Why is he still here?......Is he ashamed too?.....Is he looking at other women wishing he had a woman like that?  Being unhappy with your body opens up a whole world of issues.  For my sanity, my health, my confidence, and possibly my marriage......I will continue to watch what I eat, and possibly work harder at achieving my ultimate goal. 

3 down, 97 to go.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Product Review: CreaClip

Today I received my long awaited CreaClip!  I found out about this company through Facebook and was intrigued by it!

The CreaClip is a set of two clamps (a large white one and a smaller blue one).  These clamps hold your hair in place so you can cut/trim it on your own.  It works for straight bangs, long hair, layers, side bangs, and trimming your hair!


CreaClip was nominated as "The Best New Product of the Year" by The Stevie Awards for Women in Business!


My package arrived very quickly!  It came with two clips, one for the front and one for the back.

My camera isn't being nice, so I am not able to post before and after pictures as I would have liked to.  At first the larger clip wasn't holding my hair.  But after a few times, I got it!  I layered my hair.  I also decided to give myself side bangs!

The end result......LOVE IT!

I paid $30 (plus s&h) for a product that I can use over and over instead of paying $30 per haircut!  This product is well worth the price!  I plan to use this on my daughter.  Hopefully it will be easier!

To purchase CreaClip, visit them at:

Find CreaClip on Facebook:

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mommy Exchange Blog Hop Event


Motherhood and Money is one of many blog's participating in The Mommy Exchange Blog Hop Event!

Visit
or
for more info and to sign your blog up!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Product Review: April's Tasty Treats

I recently order a dozen cake balls from April's Tasty Treats.  Usually, when I do a review, the vendor contacts me and sends me a sample product free of charge, in return, I do a review and help promote their business.  However, I am a Fan of April's Tasty Treats on Facebook and wanted so badly to try some of her yummy creations!  April's Tasty Treats is a small business owned by April Ockerman.  She is a proud mama of two!  I am all about supporting small businesses owned by stay at home mom's!

(Here is a picture of some of the cake balls I received!)

Here is what I got: White Chocolate Rasberry, Red Velvet, Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper, Rocky Road, Caramel, Carrot, Mint, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Strawberry, and Banana Pudding.

When I got them, the instruction sheet had smudged from the ice packs!  I believe it was trying to tell me to put them in the fridge as soon as I got them, but between me and my daughter....we couldn't wait!!!!

All of her cake balls were moist and delicious!  But of course I had my favorites!  I am a huge fan of red velvet cake....but as many of you know, sometimes people don''t make it right.  April's red velvet was delicious.....period!  It was not my favorite though!  The chocolate cherry Dr. Pepper was another one worth mentioning!  It had tiny bits of cherry inside of it!  Yum!  But still....not my favorite!  I am not a fan of strawberry cake, although I love strawberries!  April's strawberry cake bits, however, did change my mind fast!  It was by far my favorite of them all!!!!!  Words can't describe it!  I must say, there was not one flavor that I turned my nose up at!  They were all so yummy!  My husband even loved the carrot cake, and he is not a fan of sweets at all!

If you are looking for delicious cake balls, maybe a custom order, and very fair prices....head on over to April's Tasty Treats!


Contact Info:
April's Tasty Treats
April Ockerman (owner)
aprilstastytreats@yahoo.com


Also check out her blog:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Dreaded Diet: The Start of the Second Month

Ok....so the scale is broke....so for now, we shall go on inches!  Sadly, I did not measure my waist before I started.  So this is somewhat of another start.  I measured around the largest part of my stomach.....54 inches.  :(  Maybe now that I have this number, I can become more motivated!  It's tough!  My 9 month old still has his sleepless nights, and not to mention his sleepless days.  It is exhausting trying to keep up with my 2 young children!  Maybe I should learn how to brew a cup of joe!  Yes, sadly I can brulee an custard and make coq au vin perfectly, but I can't make a cup of coffee!  We have eneterd mowing season!  I have taken this duty from my hubby in an attempt to shed more inches!  Speaking of which, it is in the 80's today, and the grass is long, so I think I will get to that now!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mommy's Favorite Things

As a mom, there are just some things you never want to leave the house without!  I asked some mommies on my Facebook pages, Motherhood and Money and The Mommy Exchange, what was one thing that they had to have as a mom, here is what they had to say:

  1. Butt wipes/wet wipes
  2. Planner/calendar
  3. Caffeine
  4. Diaper rash cream/ointment
  5. Extra clothes
  6. Baby powder
  7. Hand sanitizer

It's a mom's duty to always think one step ahead.  What could happen.  It's always best to be prepared!  With summer vacation here, many families will be going on vacations, day trips, and lots of family events!  So from one mom to another.....make sure you are ready for anything!

What is one thing you always need with you?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joplin, MO Tornado Relief

I live in St. Louis, MO.  On Good Friday we had tornadoes tear through parts of my area and destroying homes.  No lives were lost.  I have family that live around the Joplin area.  It is very sad to see the destruction of this storm.  Please take time to donate to the relief effort.  All proceeds will go to The United Way to help with the long term recovery process, helping people rebuild their lives one step at a time.




Saturday, May 14, 2011

Change can be good....

The hubby got a promotion at work (yay!), but this also means that his schedule is going to change.  Before our son was born, and I was still working, family time was scarce.  But we did what we had to to get where we wanted to be.  Things are finally starting to fall in place.  Even with one income, we are now more financially stable.  So does it make sense for me to be upset about the shift in his schedule, and him working longer hours?  Maybe not.  But I must say, I am proud of my hubby!  And he knows I stand behind every decision he makes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Dreaded Diet: The First Month

Studies show that people who multi-task on a daily basis tend to be overweight.  I guess this would explain a lot!  I am now one month into my diet.  It has taken me this long to realize I need to clear my mind and focus on one step at a time if this will work.  I have reduced my soda intake, and increased my water and fruit intake.  As of today.....my total weight loss has been only 1 lb.  My hubby tells me not to get discouraged.  In order for this to work for me....I need to first make sure I can resist temptation.  For the first time in a long time, I feel as I can do so.  The past two times I have been to the grocery store, I have stared down my favorite cookies, and passed them up.  Although a small feat, this is something that I can be proud of.  I have also taken the yard work duty off of my husband's shoulders.  Maybe mowing the yard will help me lose the inches I want to!  I still have a long journey ahead.  However, my hubby and I are going on our first getaway together this August, so I hope I can make some serious progress by then! 

*Wish me luck!*

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Diet: Week One

Well....I'm not going to act like I tried my hardest.  Because I know I haven't.  I may have enjoyed a cupcake....but only to make sure it was ok to eat!  I have drastically changed my daily diet, which I am proud of.  I am drinking more water and eating more fruits.  Now to find some energy.  With the start of week two comes my new long term goal.  This August the hubby and I are heading to the Windy City for a little getaway!  I hope to have dropped at least 30 pounds by then.  I better kick it into high gear.  Week two is about me being strict on what I eat, getting up and moving my butt.  Here we go........

Monday, April 11, 2011

Product Review: Dainty Dough

I was given the opportunity to sample some products from Dainty Dough.  Dainty Dough is a new company that sells cheesecakes, brownies, cake balls, and more!  They are located in Michigan, however, they do ship!!!!!  I was given the opportunity to try her Mojito cake balls, Pina Colada cake balls, as well as her Mini Mexican Cheesecake!  She was also nice enough to send an extra cheesecake for my hubby (he has a weakness for cheesecake!)!  The Mojito cake balls lived up to their name.  They were covered in white chocolate and tasted like mint and lime!  While these were good, they were not my favorite.  Next I tried the Mini Mexican Cheesecake.  The texture was perfect for cheesecake.  I loved the combination of chocolate and cinnamon!  Still....not my favorite!  Lastly, the Pina Colada cake balls.  I am not a fan of coconut at all.  However, I did save the best for last!  The cakeballs were covered in white chocolate!  The cake was moist an delicious!


(Mini Mexican Cheescake)

Would I suggest this business to my friends....I already did!  In fact, I'm going to be placing an order for one of her other treats....Sea Salt Carmel Brownies!!!!!  Very professional service.  Dainty Dough really puts a lot of work and love into her products! 

Contact Info:

Dainty Dough
(269)861-0949

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Dreaded Diet: Day One

After talking with my husband, I have decided that it is time, I need to go on a serious diet.  Weight gained from each kid and the lack of energy to keep up with any strict routine has caused my weight and body to spiral out of control.  Am I comfortable with my body?  No.  I am embarrassed about my weight?  Of course.  So why am I going to be sharing this with you?  My strategy is that support from my followers and putting my goal out there may help me stick to what I need to. 

Today is day one of my diet.

Height: 5'9"
Weight:.............255 lbs.

Goals:
Weight: 155 lbs.

Goal for the month of April: 10 lbs. lost.


Here we go!  Wish me luck!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's For Dinner: Leftover Chicken

Wednesday night I roasted a whole chicken for dinner!  Of course there were a ton of leftovers!!!!  Thursday is bowling night for my hubby!  So dinner has to be quick!  So here is my Leftover Chicken Pot Pie Casserole:

Leftover chicken
Leftover veggies (broccoli, green beans, carrots, peas, etc...)
3 cups of rotini noodles (cooked al dente)
1 can cream of chicken soup (or any cream soup you like!)
1/3 cup of ranch dressing
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/4 cup of milk (I use 1%)
Croutons (I use the Texas Toast brand, they come in a bag, so use one whole bag)
1tsp. garlic powder
Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Boil noodles until they are al dente.  You don't want to cook them all the way since you will be baking this dish.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour mixture into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with more pepper to your liking.  Bake the casserole for 20 minutes.  The noodles should be fork tender at this point!  And viola'!  Dinner is served in less than 25 minutes!

Serves 4-6 people depending on how hungry your bunch is!!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Working at Home

Once our son was born, my husband and I decided that it would be best for me to become a stay at home mom.  But there is only so much cleaning you can do in one day!  As many of you may know, I also run my business from my home, Kate's Custom Gifts.  I started my business January of this year!  I just celebrated my 3 month anniversary!  Sales are steady, and I know that once I establish myself, they will increase as well!  As I have mentioned, my husband and I are in the middle of fixing up our house!  Our next project is the basement!  The main part will be divided between a living room and a play area!  We have an extra bedroom in the basement, so we decided to turn that into my office!  Right now my projects take up most of our kitchen table!  I am so ready to have my kitchen back to normal!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hats for Cancer: The Tour

This morning I donated all of the hats that I made, as well as the ones that were donated, to the David C. Pratt Cancer Center at St. John's Mercy in St. Louis! The David C. Pratt Cancer Center is home to the Cardinal Kids Cancer Center for Children. Donations for this peditric cancer center were made by the St. Louis Cardinals as well as members of the community!

The entire pediatric cancer center was a St. Louis Cardinal theme! They had private rooms for kids to rest, homework areas, play areas, the ceiling changed colors, and a relaxing place for the parents as well! I was amazed by all of the hard work and care they put into this center for the children! While there, the only patient that was there recieving treatment was a two year old boy. He had already lost all of his hair. He was on the hunt for some cookies! So we didn't bother his mission!

After our tour of the cancer center, we were asked if we would like to visit the new Children's Hospital. They took us up to the very private NICU. It was heartbreaking seeing the babies so helpless in their incubaters. After we left the NICU, we headed to another part of the Children's Hospital were the Ronald McDonald Foundation was located. They had plenty of luxuries for parents who spent most of their time there.....food, a place to rest/sleep, a place to do laundry, and plenty of entertainment. While there, a littl boy (maybe about 6 or 7) ran by us....he was playing hide and seek with his dad! They give the children braclets with alarms on them so they can have free roam on the Children's Hospital. We also saw the very large activity room! There was a little girl in there making cookies with LOTS of icing with a nurse for St. Patty's Day!

I'm so thankful for everyone who donated hats! I wish you all could have been there too!

Visit me on Facebook for pictures of my tour!


Thank you to the following people who donated hats for this as well:

Crystal Vogelsang, Amanda Moutos, Selissa Palmer, and Angela Genovese.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Product Review: Pocketful of Clovers

I found Pocketful of Clovers when I was going through a giveaway on Facebook one day. The little "peggies" were too adorable! Of course I didn't win, so I had to order one! I have a 6 month old son, and of cousre I'm already thinking about what we could possibly buy him for his first birthday! Now, these peggies are little wooden pegs that are hand painted and can be customized any way you would like! I ordered a big guy peggy and had it painted as Woody from Toy Story!
Now, I knew that since these items are hand painted and the detailing is incredible, it would take a while before my peggy arrived, but that was not the case! Woody arrived about 4 days after we ordered him! Very fast and friendly service! He also came tucked in a little pouch! This was intended to be a trial to see if we wanted to order the rainbow set for my son's 1st birthday.....but my 6 year old daughter got ahold of it and now wants a set! Looks like I'm going to have to order 2 full set now!
I highly recommend this product for anyone from 6 months to 100! I have noticed she has also done peggies to look like actual people!!!!! So much fun!!!! I will be a repeat customer for sure!



For more information, or to order your own Peggies....please visit:

www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/Pocketful.of.Clovers?sk=wall