Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week is pretty basic. I'm just thankful that tomorrow is Friday.

Last week was exhausting. I had a very busy, fun, awkward Sunday. Monday was okay. Tuesday I fried at the pool. Wednesday I spent four hours at The Cheesecake Factory (very long story). And today I cleaned and cooked and cooked and cleaned...and had some friends over. I feel like I spent the whole day in the kitchen. (In fact, I think I did!)

Fridays are so nice. I'm looking forward to a (mostly) relaxing weekend.

What are you thankful for today??

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Calling All Cheesecake Lovers!

TODAY ONLY - Wednesday, July 30, 2008, in celebration of National Cheesecake Day and it's 30th anniversary, The Cheesecake Factory restaurants will offer every delicious slice of their more than 30 varieties of cheesecake for only $1.50 per slice!

Dine in only. Limit one per person. More details here. We are so going to be there!

Thanks, Kerissa and MoneySavingMom!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tasty Tuesday - I'm a Winner!

...of LOTS of free food!!!!

Today isn't exactly a normal "Tasty Tuesday" but I am so excited, I just have to share!

Last week one of our local Chick-Fil-A's was having customer appreciation week. Since we were just up the road every day at VBS, we swung by almost everyday and grabbed up whatever their freebie was for the day.

On Friday night, there was an all-night campout in the parking lot and the first 100 people at 6am on Saturday morning got free combos for a year! (It was really 52 free combo coupons, but whatever!) My husband and I dropped our kids off and headed over around 9.40pm on Friday night. It was a good thing we got there when we did, because we wound up being numbers 81 and 82. Apparently people started lining up around 8pm and registration started at 10pm, so we got there just in time!

Anyway, we spent the night hanging out with numbers 79 and 80 (because we had to stay in order) and got a teeny tiny bit of sleep. But it was totally worth it! Fifty-two coupons for a free chicken sandwich combo at Chick-Fil-A means yummy in my tummy for a long time. :)

To top it off, earlier in the week my neighbor had dropped off some other free-food-at-Chick-Fil-A coupons. (Do you want those back now, Amy?) :) And on top of THAT, I had gotten more coupons for working at VBS last week.

I also got some free appetizer coupons for Longhorn Restaurant for working at VBS last week!

Are you ready to see my stash?

I know...pretty sweet!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Monday - "Coupon Crazy" Coming Soon!

I mentioned yesterday that I am preparing to teach a "seminar" (intimidating word) on couponing this Saturday at my church. Next week, look forward to Part 1 of my series on couponing. It will include reasons why you may want to consider couponing, different methods of organizing your coupons, and lots of other good stuff! So just sit tight for one more week!

Until then, feel free to visit my Coupon Mania post where I share about how I sort, clip, and organize my coupons.

Wait, Life!

My life has been a bit crazy lately. (Do I normally post at 3am? Noooo.)

Last week was VBS, as I believe I mentioned, and it was soooo tiring. I did hardly anything around the house all week because I was so drained from working in the nursery. At this point in my life, I'm not sure that volunteering for the nursery was the best choice. Next year, I will definitely reconsider before volunteering.

When Friday rolled around, I was excited for my Foto Friday post, but clearly I failed to post that in a timely manner (read: at all).

I had my dental checkup on Friday after having had my wisdom teeth extracted the week before. Everything was fine, so I was happy with that. Although, for the record, that little syringe thing they give you to clean out the holes until they close up.....DISGUSTING!

My weekend was crazy with 2 photo shoots and 3 parties to attend. I made it through, but see how I am still up trying to catch up on other things? I considered for a very brief moment - and I do mean VERY - posting my Weekend Worship blog tonight. Sorry, folks. There's always next week. :)

And speaking of next week, this coming Saturday, August 2nd, is my coupon "seminar" (I hate how formal that word is) at our church. So for those of you who have been asking for my notes...they are about to be written. Oh sure, a normal person would have written them long ago, but am I normal? You should know the answer to that by now. At any rate, they should be up sometime...although I'm considering doing a series to cover a few weeks so you don't get burnt out doing all that reading at one time. I guess we'll see how things go.

I hope you all had a great weekend! I'll be back when I catch my breath....

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This week has been C-R-A-Z-Y!

As great of a program as Vacation Bible School is, I'm just not sure it's going to be the best thing for our family. Our kids have been excessively crabby this week and I've been excessively tired! I've basically done nothing around the house except tread water in laundry and sweep the floor when I think the ants might be starting to take over. On top of that, I had my wisdom teeth out last Friday and I'm still working on publicizing my business. So like I said, crazy.

I am going to *attempt* to get back into the swing of things here in the blogosphere this weekend, so we'll see how that goes.

Also, I have been talking with a friend of mine (a fellow blogger) and we are considering conjoined blogs. Wow, I bet I totally just coined that phrase. Anyway, we both lead crazy stay-at-home-mom-and-wife lives and we are thinking it might be fun to get two perspectives from the same blog. So, my dear readers, what are your thoughts on that?

If you want to take a look at my friend's current blog, you can do so here. I'm anxious to hear what you all think of that. Do any of you know of other blogs with multiple writers?

In other news, I managed to get my 2-year old to sit still long enough to paint (and let dry!) her toenails this morning. They are adorably cute as any of you with a little girl can imagine and I'm going to shoot to get a picture up sometime this weekend. It's even cuter that the only color she knows is orange and this nailpolish just happens to be orange. :) She is so proud of it! When my husband came home today, she did not hesitate to excitedly point out her pretty nailpolishy toes. It was so cute!

Alright, enough about my life. Let me know what you think about the blogging deal.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just Letting You Know....

This week is VBS at our church and my mom is in town for a few days soooooo I may be a bit sporadic about posting. We'll see how it goes...

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Foto Friday!

Friday is here again! Usually my favorite day of the week, but as I mentioned yesterday I'm having my wisdom teeth extracted today. I'm very UN-excited.

But enough about that! Here is my favorite photo from this week! My brother-in-law and his beautiful wife:

As always, for more photos from this week, feel free to visit my photography blog. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be back when I'm able! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

As some of you may know, I am having my wisdom teeth extracted tomorrow. One of my teeth is literally growing into the molar in front of it at about a 30 degree angle. (This picture is not actually my x-ray but mine looks VERY similar.)

I'm not a huge fan of dental procedures. In fact, there are lots of other things I would prefer to do. Like scrub the bleachers of a football stadium with a toothbrush. Or try to find the receipt for that lampshade I bought 8 years ago.

However, regardless of how I feel, I am to give thanks to the Lord for His many blessings. So on that note....

I am thankful that there are dentists and oral surgeons to perform dental procedures when they become necessary. I am thankful that we have easy access to them here in the U.S. I am thankful that we have dental insurance so we don't have to pay the full cost. Most of all, I am thankful that our insurance covers sedation!

If you think of me tomorrow, I wouldn't mind you sending up a prayer for me. I'm a bit apprehensive about the whole teeth-yanking scenario and I'm praying for a painless (literally) and quick procedure that I don't remember. :)

....Also, if you don't hear from me for a day or two, I'm probably knocked out from the pain meds....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday

One word:



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tasty Tuesday - Chicken and Rice

This has to be one of my favorite recipes. It's SUPER easy and tastes great too!

Chicken and Rice

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (we usually use two)
3/4 c. rice
1 1/4 c. water
1 can cream of chicken soup
salt, pepper, and paprika to taste

Mix everything except chicken together in baking dish. Top with chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until rice is cooked through.

Easy and Yummo!

Monday, July 14, 2008's Monday....

I'm still juggling sick kids, working on my website, trying to learn my new camera, and this afternoon's latest arrival: having a headache.

But I do want to post about my CVS shop tonight. It's nothing special but I know I haven't said much about CVS lately...

I forgot to take a picture, folks. Sorry. But here's what I got:

6) 32-oz bottles of PowerAde (on sale BOGO @ $1.69 last week - got a raincheck)
2) gallons milk
1) pk Huggies diapers
1) pk feminine pads

I used:

my raincheck
(6) PowerAde coupons for either $1/1 or $.75/1 each
(2) $.55/1 Dean's milk coupons
(1) $1.50/1 Huggies coupon
$3/$15 CVS coupon
....and $10 ECB.

Total before coupons, raincheck, and sales:


Total after:


Score! Not a bad price for things we needed!

I didn't have time tonight but I am definitely going back to make some moolah on the photo books this week. I'm not a huge fan of CVS photo prints, but hey! I'm making money on it with an item coupon AND a store coupon! And who doesn't like burning a book? I mean, really.

What are you buying at CVS this week?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Foto Friday

Last weekend we had company in town from Chicago. My cousin, who is 2 years old, is one of the cutest kids ever. We did lots of running around town but not a lot of pictures came from those ventures. (Have you ever tried fiddling with changing lenses on a camera while simultaneously keeping an eye on three children near a busy downtown street?)

I did want to be sure I got some pictures of him though, since he is so adorable. So the evening before they left, we played outside. Lo and behold, his cuteness portrays itself perfectly for the camera! Here's one of my favorites:

How awesome is that hair?? I know!! For more photos from this week, visit my photography blog!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I have to admit I'm not feeling all that thankful this week. Nevertheless, the Bible says that I should "give thanks in everything", so here goes....

I've basically had no sleep this week. I've been up late trying to get my website going every night. When I would finally decide to call it quits, in would walk a child. We have two sick children in our home this week. Both of the girls came down with a bad cough and our older daughter had nighttime vomiting to make things even more exciting.

I finally took her in to the doctor today after last night's rounds of changing sheets, clothes, and pillows. The doctor said she is fine. He looked at our other daughter too and said she looks fine. Just congestion and a cough for both of them.

So, alas! I wasted another $20. But I am happy to know that they don't have anything serious.

On another note....whenever I take my kids out, I am so very thankful that we received wise instruction on how to raise up our children to obedience. I am so thankful that the Word of God offers sufficient instruction for every aspect of our everyday lives. We do have very obedient children, to say the least. Of course they have their moments, but overall they are quite sweet and willing to obey. And for that I am very thankful!

I've noticed that no one else ever shares what they are thankful for on Thursdays. What's up with that? :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday!

Ugh! I'm totally slacking this week! Well, not really. My main priority this week is to get my photography website completed and my blog has just fallen a little bit further down the list of things to do.

At any rate, I still want to pipe in for Works-For-Me Wednesday!

One of my favorite utensils in my kitchen HAS to be my cookie scoop! I used to feel really important when I used my small melon baller to scoop out my cookie dough balls but then someone got ahead of me and actually patented the little sucker as a "cookie scoop".

Whatever. I still had the idea first.

I use my cookie scoop all the time! Muffins (way cleaner than any other method!), melons (the original purpose), cookies (obviously) and lots of other things are made so easy and less messy with a cookie scoop!

I also scoop out my cookie dough and then freeze it into little dough balls. That way, if we have unexpected company (or I'm in the mood for a little treat), I can just pop a few in the oven without having to go through all the hassle of making the whole batch. Now I do know a few people who freeze their cookie dough in tubs or "logs" to be cut later, but I have to tell you that I've tried them all and this way is THE BEST! Super easy!

If you don't have a cookie scoop, it comes HIGHLY recommended by yours truly! So go get one! it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Money Monday - Restaurant Freebies!

My family LOVES Little Caesar's pizza! I mean, you really can't beat a huge pizza for just $5. And it's delicious too! Well, the good news just got better. Through the end of July, you can use this coupon for get an order of Crazy Bread (a $4 value, I believe) FREE with purchase of a pizza! Nice! (Thanks, MoneySavingMom!)

I also heart Chick-Fil-A - not because of their chicken but because of their ongoing stand as a Christian company. All restaurant managers and owners know that Sundays are the biggest day for restaurant business, but Chick-Fil-A has still never been open on a Sunday. Sure, it's a disappointment when I plan to use my Free Coffee coupon on the way to church and then realize they are closed, but I admire them for giving their employees the day off in order to attend a worship service. Thank you, Chick-Fil-A!

Anyway, onto the deal! Chick-Fil-A is celebrating Cow Appreciation Day on Friday, July 11, 2008. If you dress head-to-toe like a cow you'll receive a free combo meal. If you wear a cow accessory you'll receive a free entree item. More details here. As Crystal stated, do not go out and buy something to make your costume otherwise it ruins the whole concept of the food being free! Chick-Fil-A has some ideas here!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend Worship

While driving in the car this evening, I thought of a great series I could do for Weekend Worship. It needs some research though, which is why it didn't start today. But look forward to hearing about how you can know if you're in the middle of God's will for your the weeks to come. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I forgot to mention on Thursday that we have company staying with us this weekend. Hence, the lack of posts. I DO want to post for Foto Friday though - even though it's Saturday now. :) If you don't see it now, check back later and I will probably have something up (but it will be under this post).

I hope you all are having a safe and happy 4th!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Foto Friday!

Living in a big city definitely has it's pros and cons. I could go on and on about the cons, but today I want to talk about one of the pros: LOTS OF FIREWORKS.

I LOVE fireworks. And this year, with my brand spanking new camera, I ventured out to take some pictures. The first night I tried to take fireworks pictures, I basically just winged it. It ended in disaster. Well, the night didn't end in disaster, but the pictures did. So the next day I did lots of research online and discovered exactly how to do it. That night, I headed back out to do some the "right way".

Results below.

I know, this one is tiny. But just ignore that. For a few more of my fireworks pictures, you can visit my photography blog.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday!

I was originally going to continue on with last week's theme and talk about some more kitchen utensils that I use for many different things but then, as oftentimes happens, something else came up! :)

I'm SO excited about this, I could pee my pants. Or maybe that's just all that water I drank this morning. Well, either way, here's my Works-For-Me Wednesday trick for this week:


I have heard that many people use vinegar for lots of things around the house but I had never tried it myself. I mean, vinegar smells bad, right?

Well, we've been having a problem for quite a while with our laundry smelling kind of...well....sour. Mostly just the kitchen towels/rags and the kids clothes. I know, it's gross. You can say it. Anyway, after a prompting from my hubby this weekend, I looked online to see what other people had to say about this issue. Vinegar in the washing machine was one of the solutions I found. It was the least expensive solution proposed and I already had it on hand. I heard it worked as a fabric softener too so I thought I'd give it a try. I mean, what could it hurt?

My clothes came out! I couldn't believe the difference! And they were soft! Softer than usual!

Our laundry will no longer smell bad! I will no longer be purchasing fabric softener but rather vinegar! BY THE CASE. I have yet to see what it will do for any other aspect of cleaning around the house, but I'm anxious to try it out!

What other uses have you found for vinegar??

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tasty Tuesday - Chicken and Rice Bake

This is one of my favorite meals for two reasons:

1. It's very tasty.
2. It's very easy.

I'm all about tasty and easy. :) Unfortunately, I don't think I have a picture of this one...

Chicken and Rice Bake

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 c. water
3/4 c. uncooked rice
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (we actually use two)

Mix all but chicken in any size baking dish. Top with chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cover w/ foil. Bake @ 375 degrees for 1 hour of until chicken is done and rice is fully cooked throughout.