Friday, July 31, 2009

Positive Role Model

Tim Tebow stunned reporters at a recent press conference when he answered a question about whether or not he is "saving himself" for marriage.

Read article HERE about this inspiring athlete. What a great role model!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blogging Break

I have had an unintentional blogging break. The last two weeks have been incredibly busy. Last week I spent time with my daughter shopping for new clothes and taking her to some appointments, and this week is my first week back to work after my 7 week leave of absence . Every day at work has been too long!

But, tomorrow I am off and guess what I will be doing....

Putting up tomatoes in my freezer. I am overrun with tomatoes and I have been giving lots away. I have quite a bit of Romas, so I am going to freeze them. They work great in homemade spaghetti sauce and soups.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome Sew-Stitch-Create Listeners!

Hello to all of the Sew, Stitch, Create podcast listeners! I hope you will browse through my previous posts to see all the "quilty" projects I am working on and have finished. I will be posting more pictures of current projects. Also, check out some of my favorite coupon-money saving blogs on the sidebar.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain. Sew, Stitch, Create is a podcast by Brye Lynn. This week Brye featured me and my blog on her show. A podcast is like an internet radio show. I love podcasts and I listen to quite a few. There are podcast of all different subject matters including crafts, new, financial advice. Here are a few of my favorite quilting podcasts:

Sew Stitch Create

The Quilted Cupcake

Quilts n Kids

Patchwork and Pacifiers

The Pioneer Quilter

Within A Quarter Inch

Quilting Stash with Annie Smith

The Quilt Connection with Alex Anderson

You can click on each one of these links and listen to the shows, or you can go to iTunes and subscribe to each podcasts. I love listening to podcasts during my commute to and from work or while I am working around the house.

Check out these great podcasts, and thanks Brye for featuring me this week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hometown Hero

This video is about the first soldier from my hometown to die in the Iraqi/Afagan war. I am proud of my hometown and surrounding counties and grateful to men like SFC John Beale.

Killed in action the week before, the body of Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City , Georgia , just south of Atlanta , on June 11, 2009 . The Henry County Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough , Georgia . A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time.

Weekly Shopping Trip 7/17/09

Last Sunday I started coming down with some kind of "flu". I literally haven't been out of bed very much this week. I tried to get up and do some tasks, but it wasn't very long before I had to go back to bed. Cough, fever, fatigue, body aches, GI upset--the works!

I actually started feeling better yesterday, and, by today, I am almost normal. Needless to say, I have been going a little stir crazy. I hate being non-productive, but I know sometimes you have to slow down. We really didn't have to have anything from the store, but since I had not been able to be out for so long, we decided to go do some deal shopping.

First, we went to get some lunch. We had coupons for free items at two nearby fast food restaurants. Shane's Rib Shack--free BBQ sandwich with the purchase of medium drink, and KFC--the infamous Grilled Chicken Meal Deal. While my hubby got the BBQ, I ran into Kroger to see if they had the Amp deal I read about on Southern Savers and Money Saving Mom. They had very few Amps, but, they had peelie coupons for $1 off each can! I grabbed some coupons and headed back out. (Total spent for lunch for me, hubby and daughter-$1.59)

After eating, we headed to CVS to try and make a photo book--no luck. We kept getting booted off the system. After that, we went to another Kroger and we were able to do three transactions of 10 Amps and ended up with 30 free Amps and $30 in Kroger gift cards! Yay!

We also made a stop at Target. I wasn't able to get all the deals that I read about, but we did get some good items. We did the Kelloggs Fuel for School promotion. I also got cheap Kleenex, Edy's ice cream ($0.19 ea), and I made money on the Electrasol. My Target was out of the special 32 ct. for $3.49 so they substituted the 20 ct for $1.87. I bought 2 and used my $2.50 coupons and got the overage! We spent a total of $16.93 and I will get $10 back from Kellogg.

Overall, a great trip!

Total OOP $18.68

Got back:

Rebate expected from Kellogg-- $10

Kroger gift card for future use-- $30

I actually made money shopping! Can't beat that! When I got home and showed everything to my son, he said "Mom, you're robbing them blind!"

How was your week?

To see how other folk did, be sure to visit:

Southern Savers--Friday Finals

Money Saving Mom--Super Savings Saturday

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oven Parmesan Chips

This recipe is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe.

1 baking potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (I use stuff in green container)
3 tablespoons minced chives (optional)
salt to taste
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400.

Clean potato and cut into very thin slices (using mandolin helps). Combine slices with oil in large bowl. Add cheese, chives, and salt and toss to combined.

Place potato slices on single layer on baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.


Menu Plan Monday 7/13/09

I only did one shopping trip last week to get some basic items we needed. The majority of ingredients for this week's menu were already in the house. I bought a double paper today for the coupons, but I don't plan on shopping this week. My husband has generously "shared" his chest cold with me, so I am looking for quick fix meals this week.

granola bars
instant oatmeal

carrot sticks
mac and cheese

French toast, bacon, fruit, juice
Homemade Pizza
Elbows and Ground Beef, salad, bread
Chicken Stew with Rice, steamed veggie
The Pioneer Woman's Most Favorite Burgers, oven potato chips
Pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob
Leftover night

Be sure to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more great Menu Plan Monday ideas.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quilt Block

I took a break from my Lightning Strikes quilt to put together this quilt block. The name of this block is Contrary Wife. The pattern can be found at Quilter's Cache. It is an easy and fun block to put together. I think you could make an entire quilt with these blocks in just a few days! The blocks make an interesting secondary pattern when they are joined.

Here is how a whole quilt would look:

Contrary Wife is the block my sewing group is considering using for next year's charity/auction quilt. Our quilt from this year raised over $800 for the church youth group!

Check out Quilter's Cache. There are lots of FREE quilt block patterns.

Life As Mom has more savings information at Frugal Fridays.

Quilt Update

Just a quick update on the progress of my Lightning Strikes quilt since my last post. It really is a fun quilt to make. It is fascinating to watch the pattern emerge as you put more rows on the quilt. I am not quite half way done with adding rows. The picture above is from my last post.

Below is where the quilt is now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Work in Progress

Here are pictures of our latest home improvement project. Our kitchen cabinets badly need to be painted. The baked on white enamel finish was beautiful when the cabinets were new, but now they are dingy and the painted is coming off in high use areas. Additionally, I can no longer get them clean with scrubbing. The finish is almost gummy! What is with that? This picture doesn't look bad, but...

up close you can see what I am talking about...

So, we took all the cabinet doors and drawers off and we are sanding and painting them all.
Also, we are replacing the brass pulls with brushed nickel, more contemporary pulls. We also are spray painting the hinges with a brushed nickel paint.

Here is a picture of the new pulls on one drawer. Check back to see the finished project.

Menu Plan Monday 7/6/09

I only have three more weeks before returning to work and a lot of projects to get done. This week we will be having quick meals, meals in the crock pot and from the freezer. I will also be continuing to use items from my stockpile. I really don't have any plans to go to any grocery store. We will see if I can refrain from having to get the deals!

Here is the plan for the week:

bagels/cream cheese
Homemade Blueberry Muffins


Popcorn Chicken Salad
Homemade Pizza
Homemade Pigs in a Blanket
Apricot Pork Chops in Crock pot
Italian Meatballs in crock pot with chili sauce/grape jelly

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plan Monday ideas.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekly Shopping Total

Today I went to four different stores. We are hosting a cook-out tomorrow, and I may have gone a little overboard. I always have a fear of not having enough food.

My total OOP for all of the items above was about $105.

The largest amount was spent at Wal-mart where I used only 5 coupons. My total was right at $70. The best deal there was THIS deal on Skippy peanut butter.

At Publix (picture 2), I spent $30. I mostly got the B1G1 items with coupons and I bought fresh corn for the grill at $0.20 an ear. I also got A1 and Jenny O turkey sausages for free.

At Rite-Aid (picture 3), I got all of the items in the picture FREE! Eight packages of Stayfree and two packages of M&Ms. Both the Stayfree and candy were on sale B1G1 free at Rite-Aid and I had 4 B1G1 free Stayfree coupons (6/28 SS) and a coupon for a free small pack of candy. I paid $1.15 OOP for tax.

I also stopped at CVS to use the last of my Hefty $1 coupons to get 9 boxes of FREE quart size one zip bags.

Overall a good week. My July budget is $165, so I have $60 left to spend.

Check out how other folks did this week:

Southern Savers
--Friday Finals

Money Saving Mom--Super Savings Saturday

Fiddledeedee--Publix Super Savers

If you would like to check out my current quilt project go HERE.

Happy 4th of July!

Skippy Peanut Butter Deal

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on a deal I got at Wal-mart today. On the "Seasonal" aisle in the grocery section of Wal-mart they had these 12 oz. jars of Skippy peanut butter for $1. In the "Family is its own Rewards" coupon booklet from Publix, there are $0.75 coupons for any Skippy peanut butter . So you can get these jars for just $0.25!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lightning Strikes Quilt

One of my goals for the summer has been to finish up some of my "Works in Progress" in my sewing room. I love to make purses and quilts. I have about six project that I need to finish. You can see other quilt tops I have completed HERE and HERE.

The quilt I am working on this week is called Lightning Strikes. It is a type of Bargello quilt. I started this quilt a couple of years ago with a group of other quilters. For some reason, I just couldn't wrap my mind around how to put the quilt together. I had all the strips cut out and got together with the group so that our "teacher" could show us how to put the quilt together. I worked with the group for that one Saturday, and I hadn't touched the quilt since that day!

One of the advantages to having time off from work this summer is that I can take the time to quietly work on projects. I really just needed my mind to be free of clutter and stress and to take time to read through the directions. The quilt is really not difficult and lots of fun!

Here in this first picture is the bolt of fabric (yes, I said bolt!) which was my inspiration fabric for the quilt. I pulled all the other fabrics from the colors in this fabric. In each color family, I got fabrics that went from light to dark in value. You can see on my swatch sheet that I have little swatches of each of the TWENTY fabrics in the quilt.

Here is a picture of how the quilt will look when it is done. Of course, in my colors! It looks stunning, complicated and really impressive in person.

A little closer picture of the swatches. The pattern for this quilt appeared in an issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting.

These are pictures of how I am keeping the different widths of my strips organized.

These pictures are the guide for the order of sewing of the strips. The white pieces of paper on the photo above help me to keep the row I am working on isolated from the rest of the pattern.

These are the strip sets that I cut the different widths of strips from.

Here is the picture of my quilt top in progress. You can already see how great it looks. I can hardly wait to put more rows on to see the pattern developing even better. I have to stop for the day, though--my neck muscles are killing me! I am going to bed early to rest up and start again tomorrow.

Since I am finishing up projects started years ago, I feel like I am being frugal. I bought all of these fabrics before discovering Dave Ramsey and starting our Total Money Makeover. We have now paid off all of our consumer debt and I don't feel guilty having all of this fabric. I just need to continue using it up.

When I am finished, I will have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind quilt for my bed. I think it will be a higher quality than anything I could buy in a store

Now that is being kind of frugal---right?

Be sure to visit Life as Mom and check out Frugal Fridays.

Also, check out Patchwork Times and see what other folks are working on at her post What's on Your Design Wall.