Monday, November 30, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Thought I'd give you an early Christmas present!  I posted a coupon code a couple of weeks ago for 50 free photo cards from SeeHere.  Well either the promo code didn't work or it expired, but I found a new one.  It's newbaby.   I just ordered 50 free photo Christmas cards and you can too!
Also just for registering you can get an additional 100 free 4x6 prints with coupon code prints.

Take advantage of this ASAP because I believe the Christmas card offer expires today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Facelift for my Family Room

I've been wanting to somehow update the look of my family room without spending much money.  The different tones of the wood furniture just gave it a washed out blah type of look.

I decided to paint 3 pieces of wood furniture black to match the table and chair set I have in my breakfast area.

This table I got from a friend's garage sale for $5.00.  The top was a mess, full of stickers and such, but I liked the shape of it.  As you see I covered it with tiles, but it still looks kinda sad.

This aquariums been through alot!  I bought it used, and it's been through a couple of moves.

This table was probably in the worse shape of anything I owned.  It's been around for close to 15 years, and through 8-10 moves!  Yes, I've moved more than that (it wares me out just thinking about it.)  It's been stained, had a broken leg, and scratched numerous times by my house full of boys.

It's truly amazing what a little sandpaper and a can of spray paint can do!

Not such a great pic of the aquarium, but it looks sooo much better!

This project was super easy considering the result.  I spent about $18.00 total, and am in love with my family room.  I'd say it was worth it; wouldn't you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Appetizer that Even Children can Make

I found this appetizer idea in a recent Martha Stewart magazine, and thought I'd share my version.
Take Pillsbury pie crust like shown, and unroll on lightly floured surface.

Sprinkle one roll of the dough with cinnamon and sugar; I like these grinders, and the other roll of dough with basil, garlic, and parmesan.  

Then use fall cookie cutters to cut out shapes.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Let cool and put on serving dish for a cute Thanksgiving appetizer.  I like to mix the different varieties on the plate.  It makes a nice sweet and savory combination.

I would let my kids make these the night before.  Enjoy!

P.S. You should save a few of the cinnamon ones to garnish your pies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Little Decorating Trick

Thought I'd share this decorating trick on symetry, and the art of disguise.

I don't know about you, but I dispise electronics, at least the look of them.  With their ugly black boxes, cords all over the place, and dust attracting abilities, they really have no place in the home.

Unfortunately they Are a neccessary evil.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled when I come up with a way to hide them.

Check out what I came up with:

Notice the 2 orange placemats; one was used to hide a dvr.  On the oppisite side I got a black book about the same size, and placed it in the same manner to mirror the dvr, topped them both with a plant and Viola!  Hidden electronics!

I still need to put a little something at the base of the TV (I see wires lurking), but I'll save that for another post!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Got Cheap Wine?

The inspiration for this cake came from a wine and chocolate tasting at the Biltmore winery.

Recently I was at a friends house, and she served me a glass of wine.  It was quite good and the label read Redwood Creek, or so I thought.  Not much later I saw it at Sams Club for $4.50/bottle, so I did what any thrifty gal would do; I stocked up.  I bought 5 bottles.

Later when we opened our first of the 5, we realized it wasn't what we thought.  I was Yuk!!!  I didn't want to throw it all out, but I didn't want to drink it either.

Here's what I came up with:

Bake your favorite dark chocolate cake mix according to package directions accept substitute red wine for the water.  I also prefer egg whites instead of whole eggs, and I decrease the oil a bit and increase the red wine.  Bake as directed.

I found this belgian chocolate sauce with cabernet sauvignon at Pier One, and thought it would be perfect for my cake!
If you don't have something like this just melt some chocolate chips, and add a dash of milk and more than a dash of red wine.  It will be delish!!!

You should drizzle melted chocolate or chocolate sauce over the top before serving.  Add whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Another thought, frost the cake with nutella; this will also taste amazing!

A Cute Girly Gift!

What do you buy for the little girl that has everything?
Well I came up with this idea when I was at Target last week browsing through their dollar spot.  I found these cookie cutters and icing decorator set for only $2.50 each.  After that discovery, my wheels started spinning.  I thought why not make a gift basket for baking fun.  I know when I was a little girl I absolutely loved to bake!

This is what I came up with for under $20.00

In this box I included a couple of cake (a strawberry because it looked girly and dark chocolate) mixes, gingerbread cookie mix, sugar cookie mix, 2 sets of cookie cutters, an icing decorator kit, girly colored sprinkles, pink icing, and pastel cupcake papers

I used a box I already had, and covered it in this pretty purple wrapping paper.  Also lined it with this tissue I had on hand, and wrapped it all with cellophane.

This was a lot of fun to put together, and I love giving a gift that is original and hand made.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quick and Easy Chicken and Herbed Dumpling Soup

I wanted to share with you this recipe I got, and tweaked of course,  for chicken and dumplings soup.  It couldn't be easier for a weeknight meal, even my finicky boys ate it.

You simply add one can of your favorite chicken soup.  I like Progresso's chicken and wild rice.  Then add 1 box chicken stock (the kind pictured is delish).  Add 3 cloves minced garlic, some fresh cracked pepper, and let simmer 10-15 minutes.   Last add prepared biscuits.  I made some homemade biscuit dough because I try to avoid dairy for the sake of my son.  After I prepped my biscuit dough I added herbs ( Dollop these on the top of the simmering soup and simmer another 5-10 minutes.  That's it!

btw this is some of the best stock I have ever tasted!

A few notes if you use prepackaged biscuits cut them in halves and spinkle herbs on top before adding them to soup

To make the dairy free homemade biscuit dough I used:
1 1/3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
4-5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon whatever blend of herbs you like
Mix dough, dollop on top of soup


Also wanted to let you know, for those of you that are interested and following my previous posts, that  last weeks grocery store trip included only fresh fruits, veggies, almond milk and bread.  This was a magor accomplishment.  I have really cleaned out my pantry and fridge in preparation for Thanksgiving.
I seriously can't wait to stock up at the store next week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Recently I was fortunate enough to move into a home with this built in wine rack.  With that said, I had a couple of old wine racks that I didn't need any more.  I tried to give them to a few different family members, but none of them needed a wine rack.  We're all pretty well stocked with wine paraphernalia in my family,  LOL!

I had been meaning to take them to the Goodwill, and just recently came up with this idea.  I thought of it at about 11:00 at night, and was so excited I could hardly sleep!  After dreaming about these wine racks half the night, I got up the next morning first thing, and started playing with them... and yes my husband thinks I have lost it!

Check it out

Who couldn't use more towel storage

I think I like it more as a towel rack than a wine rack

repurposed wine rack
Can't tell?

Now do you see!

Once I started playing with my jewelry,  I found this basket tucked away, and decide it would work great for some of my fashion earrings.

I Love having all this jewelry on display.  It makes me feel all girly and stuff!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Thanksgiving Tablescape

I know a lot of you ladies out there are much more talented and passionate at this than I, but I do love my table to reflect the coming holidays and seasons.  I set a simple Thanksgiving table and plan to leave it this way until Thanksgiving dinner.  Why just enjoy a beautiful table-setting for a day?

Not too fancy or fussy, but just right for me.

Remember my post on what to do with sheets.  Well, these "runners" are remnants from that same set.

I'm proud to say I didn't spend one penny to create this tablescape.  Just used what I had on hand!

The ever evolving display shelf.

A few admissions:
I didn't leave the wine glasses on the table.  I put away the silverware containers, and I put the wine bottle away.  My boys are a little too wild to leave everything out.

Also check out these rugs that I found at Sam's Club yesterday for only $25.00 for all three.

Chose a darker pattern for by the fridge; it gets the most boy foot traffic!

They're nice and big and super cushy which is great for all the cooking and dish washing I do for my four boys (remember I've got a big one too)!

Fall Foliage

View from my back porch

Such a treat to look out at this everyday!

Enjoy these coupons and deals!!!

FREE Sample Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee

Get a FREE sample of Original Blend Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee for filling out the form.
Thanks to stretching a buck for posting this!

FREE Rayovac BatteriesJust in time for the holidays, Target has restocked the Dollar Spot with the $1 Rayovac Batteries. Batteries for a dollar is pretty remarkable by itself, but there was a $1 off Rayovac Batteries coupon in the 10/18 Smartsource insert that will make them FREE after coupon!
Rayovac Batteries, $1 (Dollar Spot)
$1/1 Rayovac Batteries, exp. 12-31-09 (SS 10/18/09)
$1/2 Rayovac Alkaline or Hearing Aid Batteries, exp. 1-31-10 (SS 11/8/09)
As low as FREE after coupon!
Thanks dealseekingmom for posting this!

You can order 50 free 4x8 or 5x7 photo cards including free shipping using the coupon code freebies4mom-1109 atSeeHere by Fujifilm. There is no catch, this truly is a freebie and I'm able to bring it exclusively to my Freebies 4 Mom readers thanks to SeeHere. I ordered my 50 free 5x7 photo cards and my order total of $39.50 was slashed to $0.00 with that coupon code. This coupon code expires on November 30 so you have plenty of time to design your free photo cards.

If you are new to SeeHere you can also get 100 FREE PRINTS by FujiFilm when you sign-up for a new account (but you need to order those 100 free prints separately from the 50 free photo cards).
Thanks to Heather at freebies4mom for sharing this!


Click here and choose from 27 digital cookbooks from Taste of Home!  You can view them, download or print them.


Click here for a $5 off $25 coupon for Walgreens! Good until 11/14!
Thanks to Shelly's Swag for posting these two great deals!