Friday, September 30, 2011

In The Kitchen - Fruit Leather

This is a great recipe for Homemade Fruit Leather. It's easy to make, tastes great, and so much healthier than eating fruit snacks (which my family is addicted to). I found this recipe in an issue of Parents magazine a couple months ago, and have made a few versions of it already - strawberry is my favorite and Little Man enjoys just about any flavor. I like to stock up on berries and other fruit when they are cheap in the summer and freeze them to use for smoothies and things like this. 

4 cups of berries 
2 Tbs honey

Puree berries and honey in a blender or food processor. In this batch I only used 2 cups of berries and a little less than 1 Tbs of honey. The first time I made this I used exactly 2 Tbs and thought that it overpowered the berries (raspberries in that instance).

Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake 3-4 hours at 200ºF, or until the mixture feels dry and is no longer sticky. After about 3 hrs 45 min, check it often! Let it cool, then slice (or tear, that's what I normally do) into strips. 

I took mine out a bit to early. So what is pictured on the right is not quite set. However, I let it dry over night, and was able to peal it off in the morning. Store the strips in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

My Publix Deals 9/29 - 10/5

Total OOP: $35.20
I am by no means an "extreme couponer." But I do believe in saving money, and stocking up on things that my family uses n a regular basis. And if you don't believe that coupons really help to save big, remember this post the next time you run out of ketchup and have to spend $2.06 per bottle instead of just $0.48 each. Now, I like to buy fresh, local, and organic as much as possible. However, the organic prices don't always fit into our budget - and I'm a believer of "everything in moderation" (I think that every time I dig into that bag of Milano cookies). I shop at Publix mainly for the BOGOs - and here are a few of my favorites this week......

Barilla Pasta, 13.25 to 16 oz box. B1G1 $1.27
       $1/2 Barilla Whole Grain Pasta, exp. 11/13/11 (SS 09/19/11)
       $1/2 Barilla Whole Grain Pasta, exp. 11/30/11 (Blinkie)
   Buy (2), use (1) $1/2, pay $0.27 for both!

Hunt's Tomato Ketchup, 35 oz. B1G1 $2.06
       $0.55/1 Any Size Hunt's Tomato Ketchup, exp. 09/30/11 (WATCH EXPIRATION)
   Buy (2), use (2) $0.55/1 MQ, pay $0.96 for both!

Planters Bars, 5.52 to 8.1 oz box. B1G1 $2.99
       $0.75/1 Planters NUT-rition Bars or Big Nut Bars, exp. 11/30/11 (SS 9/18/11)
   Buy (2), use (2) $0.75/1 MQ, pay $0.75 for both! 

Green Giant Frozen Vegetables, 7 to 10 oz pkg. B1G1 $1.99
       $0.60/3 Green Giant Frozen Boxed Vegetables, exp. 11/5/11 (GM 09/11/11)
   Buy (6), use (2) $0.60/3 MQ, pay $0.80 each!

Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk, 12 oz can. B1G1 $1.21
       $0.50/2 Carnation Evaporated Milk, exp. 12/31/11 (RP 09/25/11)
   Buy (2), use (1) $0.50/2 MQ, pay $0.71 for both!

Fresh Express Salad Blends, 5 to 14 oz bags. B1G1 $3.99 (not pictured)

Thomas' Bagel Thins. B1G1 $3.69

Pepperidge Farm Swirl Bread, 16 oz loaf. B1G1 $3.99

New York Style Bagel Crisps 2/$4
       $0.55/1 New York Style Bagel Crisps or Pita Chips, exp. 9/30/11 (WATCH EXPIRATION)
       $0.55 off Eggs, wyb (2) NY Style Bagel Crisps, exp. 9/30/11 (SS 05/08/11) (WATCH EXPIRATION)
   Buy (2), use (2) $0.55/1 MQ, pay $1.45 each. 

Of course, I purchased things that I didn't have coupons for; such as the Pepperidge Farm Bread - but I just couldn't resist the limited edition Pumpkin Spice, yummmm - as well as, the produce and milk. But I did get the added bonus of $0.55 off Eggs (I have been holding on to that coupon for months). Plus, I had a $5/$50 Publix Q, that added a little extra savings. So my total savings this trip was $49.86! I'm always happy when I leave the store saving more than I spend!

Thanks to sites like True Couponing and Hip2Save, couponing has never been easier! They have done all of the hard work for you, by doing all of the match-ups of the coupons to the sales. {Visit these sites to see full lists of deals at most grocery and drug stores}

What are some of the great deals you are scoring this week?

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Welcome New Friends

Just wanted to say a quick hello to my new followers!

Thanks for taking the time to support me. I'm working on a few new posts to have up throughout the next few check back often!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kiddie Krafts #1

I try to do some kind of craft with Carter every day. Partly because I want to foster his creative side. But mainly because it keeps me from going crazy all day. Today, we were bowling with a little plastic set my mom picked up for him at Walmart awhile back. And since his play area is all carpet, we were having trouble keeping the pins from falling down before he rolled the ball. Which gave me the idea to make a homemade bowling lane for him. Nothing fancy, but it did the trick.

What you need:
    * Rectangle piece of cardboard
    * Black and White paint (I used Crayola Tempera Paint because that is what I had on hand)
    * Pencil

First, at one end of the cardboard, I used the bottom of one of the bowling pins to as my guide for the circles. For the back row, I lined up four so I could determine the spacing. On the other end, I drew nine triangles in a "V" shape. 

Next, I painted the circles and the triangles black. 

Carter was making a masterpiece of his own while I was painting.

After the paint dried, I added the numbers to the circles. Not only is this tons of fun to play with, we can work on his counting at the same time. {Side-note: right now he can count to 2 :P}

Voila! Let dry - it took about 15 minutes to dry completely for me (and that was the longest 15 minutes ever with a toddler screaming "I bowl, I bowl"). I didn't do anything fancy to mine, because I let Carter add his own decorative touch to it later. But you could totally paint the cardboard a different color, or add a funky design. And I am aware that my arrow is not even...I threw this together in 15 minutes, so I was okay with the imperfection.

He had so much fun - for 15 minutes - bowling and setting up the pins. 

And if you were wondering what the finished product of Carter's painting looked like......
I know.....he is so the next Picasso, right?

Happy Krafting!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Is Never Enough

Today, during my moms group at church, we were talking about tips to help us moms make it through this marathon we call motherhood. One of my favorites is "laugh a lot, and enjoy your children." Now, I love my child dearly, but he can do things sometimes (like all children do) that can really irritate me. It's horrible to say out loud, but it's true....and I wouldn't be real if I didn't admit it.

Well, today was no exception. When we got home from church, I started getting lunch ready for Little Man. Of course he wanted his leftover birthday cupcakes, but we compromised (or really I talked him into) on having a mini muffin...that way I could feel better as a parent by not giving him a mountain of sugar to ingest before nap time. So, I gave him one and then made the mistake of setting the container down in front of him and walking away.

I come back to find 3 muffins with bites taken off the top. I had to make myself laugh at this, while inside I wanted to yell about wasting food (since of course after he took a bite they were no longer good enough for him). I guess one just tasted so good, he had to have a taste of the rest (because they aren't the same or anything). 

So, I hope the next time your child, or anyone for that matter, does something this can just laugh a lot.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hello World!

Come on in...old and new friends are always welcome!

I'm so excited to share all the things going on around our humble abode! I have lots of DIY/craft projects I'm working on and can't wait to begin posting about them. With Halloween around the corner, my top priority is Little Man's costume (which I think is an amazing idea, but my hubby begs to differ). I better get working on it before the little man wakes up!

See you soon!