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


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.