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Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Will be back....

Look for me next week! I have taken a break to deal with life. Please forgive me!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Importance of Eating Breakfast

As most of you know this year started a healthy eating challenge for my family. It's so important to eat breakfast. I feel is you miss breakfast you are trying to play catch up for the rest of the day and then you end up over eating. Ready to eat cereals have come a long way. They now are more healthy then before. It's a great go to food if you are in a hurry.

Please go here and print off your $1 off coupon to help with your breakfast needs. This has been brought to you from General Mills through BlogSpark.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crispy Beef with Broccoli

For Beef Marinade:
1 1/2tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper to season beef

For the Stir Fry Sauce
3Tbsp oyster sauce
3tsp water
2tsp balsamic vinegar

To Prepare
1lb beef sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced
1 1/2lbs broccoli, cut into bite size florets
1Tbsp canola oil
1Tbsp mined garlic

In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Add the beef and let marinade for 10 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for a couple of hours

In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together the ingredients for the stir fry sauce. Set aside.

In a wok or large saute pan, add 1 in of water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cover to cook for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green and crisp-tender; you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Using a slotted spoon, remove broccoli and pat it dry.

Discard the water in the pan and dry it well. Place over high heat and when hot, add canola oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Toss in steak strips, keeping them in one layer, and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes more or until done.

Pour in the stir fry sauce and stir to combine. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Strawberrry-Yogurt Swirl Pops

1lb strawberries
1/3C plus 1/4C sugar
2tsp lemon juice
2C vanilla yogurt

You will need: 2 large plastic squeeze bottles, 10 pop molds

Place strawberries, 1/3C sugar and lemon juice in blender; puree 3 minutes. Pour into a large plastic squeeze bottle and screw on the bottle top.

In a medium bowl, stir remaining 1/4C sugar into yogurt until sugar is dissolved. Pour into the second squeeze bottle and screw on bottle top.

Fill each pop mold with strawberry and yogurt mixtures, alternately squeezing or spooning the mixtures into each mold to create a swirled pattern. Place tops on molds; insert wooden sticks. Freeze at least 6 hours until solidly frozen.

Remove molds from freezer. Soften slightly at room temperature, about 5 minutes. Remove pops from molds. Serve immediately, or wrap pops separately with plastic wrap, then store in freezer bag or container.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help For Haiti

You can't go anywhere on the internet right now without noticing something about the earthquake that shook Haiti. I got a wake up call when I got on the internet this morning. Yesterday I was having a bad day, you can read about it here , just feeling sorry for myself. Over at Money Saving Mom and numerous other blogs, they are putting together Help For Haiti.

Could you imagine not being able to find your family or friends? Having nothing to eat or drink? I sit here in tears thinking how could I be so down when I have food, shelter, a semi healthy family, nice warm beds and a comfy couch to relax on. All those things were taken away in a matter of seconds for those people. Many, many lives were lost in a split second while others are suffering.

I will be donating money to Compassion International to help these people in need. I hope that you will too. Maybe you could skip your weekly pizza night out, or take $20 from you grocery money. Whatever it is that you can donate will go far in Haiti. It only takes $35 to feed and water a family for a week.

So please set aside your worries and sorrows for the day. Please take the time to pray for these families and if you have the extra money send a little. I will be sending an extra $1 for every comment that is posted to this post today and tomorrow. Please leave a comment on what you are doing to help out in Haiti.

Have a blessed day!

BBQ Pork Sliders

1/4 C packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp each paprika and dried minced onion
1 1/2tsp chili powder
1 1/2tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp allspice (optional)
4lb bone in pork shoulder roast
3/4C apple cider vinegar
24 small dinner rolls

Line a 4-qt or larger slow-cooker with liner. Mix 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, paprika, minced onion, chili powder, salt, garlic powder and allspice. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp into bottom of slow-cooker. Rub remaining mixture over pork. Add vinegar and remaining brown sugar to slow-cooker; stir to mix. Add pork.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours until pork is fork-tender. Remove pork to cutting board and pull into shreds. Return to slow-cooker.

Put about 1/4C onto each bun bottom. Top with bun tops.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blueberry Bread

1 3/4 C all purpose flour
1 C blueberries
1/4 C yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 C milk
1/3 C unsalted butter, melted
3Tbsp lemon juice

Heat oven to 375. Coat bottom and halfway up sides of a 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-in loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Place flour in medium bowl. Remove 1 Tbsp flour and toss with blueberries in a small bowl. To remaining flour, add yellow cornmeal, baking powder and salt; mix well.

In another medium bowl, whisk sugar with eggs, milk, melted butter and lemon juice.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just blended; fold in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean, Cool bread in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, remove pan and cool completely.

Enjoy!

Do You Ever.....

just feel like you don't have it all? I'm not talking about a million dollars or a gigantic house. I guess you could say it's the "Keeping Up with the Jones'" syndrome. Like I just want to be able to go out and buy some new clothes, buy my girls lots of new clothes, be able to buy Brian a nicer car, or have the money to buy a little bigger house. I know I am just at the beginning stages of saving for a bigger house and that it is gonna be a long road. This whole furnace has set us back so far it could possibly be 3 or more years till be have the money saved for a down payment.

I don't have to have name brand clothes or purses, the latest hair style, or a 3000 sq foot house. Do you ever just have this feeling? I can't wait till Spring comes, I need some sunshine!!!! I guess it doesn't help that I watch Real Housewives of Orange County, but I love that show!!! How do you get past this feeling?

Here's to being happy with what we have!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No Spend Update

I have been going through everything this morning and adding everything up. It's not as bad as I would have thought it would be. The grocery budget is growing rapidly but really I am doing my best with what we are being dealt with. Meaning, I have bought three different types of formula so far this month and of course that really adds up!

Grocery spending so far for the month is at 189.95. This includes diapers, wipes, formula, household products, and food. Our original goal for January was to not go over $400. This will still be in affect and depending on how we do we will be trying to lower it to $375 for February.

On to our other spending. Which is really where we have cut back to try and put as much money into our Emergency Fund. It's not going to be that much this month. I really wasn't thinking but Brian has lost about 4 days worth of pay. He doesn't get paid holidays, so those are catching up from Christmas and New Year's. So far for this month we have spent 30.92. Almost $13 of that was for pizza and bread sticks last week. I was have a really bad day and just wanted some carbs. :) Of course other money has been spent but that is to cover monthly bills and gas.

I don't think I will be able to transfer any money to savings when Brian gets paid at the end of the month so the total right now is just $310.00. Unless we are blessed with something unforeseen that is all we will be able to save this month. Thank goodness we can file our taxes and that should help a lot next month.

Update on the Happenings

Sorry it's been so long! It seems like when I have everything together something comes up and then I am completely behind again. First off, there is no way you can tell me that Tinleigh does not have a diary allergy. I gave a small bottle of regular formula and shortly after she had a face as red as a fire truck. I have red that the blood test she had done is only 50% accurate. (Really!) She had another appointment on Monday and she has lost a pound in one week. But other than that she is the most happiest I have ever seen her. Well that was until yesterday. Her Dr wanted me to try and give her organic cereal because it didn't have the soy ingredient that the regular cereal does. She was so excited to sit in her high chair, so excited to eat some food. Then after eating it she was a total bear the rest of the day! Didn't want to take a nap and when I finally got her to sleep she would only sleep for 20 minutes. Needless to say, I think she has an intolerance to rice.

Riley Children's Hospital finally called me back and she has an appointment for January 29. Until then she will be closely monitored by her Pediatrican to watch her weight and to see if we can get her to eat something she will not react to. After this rash clears up we will then try some bananas again, she never really liked them before but we will try again. We also have changed her formula again. She we be taking Neocate which if you get order it from a local pharmacy will set you back $50 for a 14oz can. :( I have searched the internet and you can get it from the manufacturer for about $35 a can. They are to send me a sample to see if she will take it. The only bad thing about this formula, well besides the price, is you have to buy it in bulk. That would be grand if I new she was going to be on it for a while, but we are still in the stages of finding what is going to work best. I did find a lot of people sell it on Ebay. So I ordered one can last night. After reviewing everyone's reviews and asking for lot numbers.

Tinleigh will have another follow up appointment on Friday. I am praying she has not lost anymore weight. Thank you all for the kind words and prayers!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Money Making Round Up 1.9.10

Click IQ~ 1 survey 25 pts. (need 2500 to cash out)

Gongo~ 1 survey 100pts (need 500 to get a $5 Amazon Gift Card)

Banner Ad My Survey~1 survey 30 pts

Are you Kidding Me?

Yesterday I received a call from Tinleigh's doctor about her allergy test results. He was asking again which formula she was taking, how her symptoms were doing and how she was in general. I said that she was acting fantastic, she was happy besides a little gas, some loose stools (Sorry TMI) and that there were only a few traces of her rash left. He went on to say that her testing came back fine and that she wasn't allergic to anything. "Nothing, not even milk?" "Are you kidding me?"

That's right people, nothing! This little girls is causing me so much grief. She will go Monday for a follow up appointment to check her rash on her face and a diaper rash. They want her to go see a GI to be checked out. I just think she has a really bad case of reflux. The rash is probably a mixture between dry skin and a reaction to some soap. I was bathing both the girls last night and I used this lavender soap, you know the stuff that's suppose to calm them before bed? Well I haven't used it for about two weeks and have been using a hypoallergenic soap. Low and behold she gets out of the tub and has a red face.

Hopefully it's just the soap! If it is I will feel like a complete idiot!! IDIOT! Can you tell I am a blonde? I should probably have my Mother's License taken away. Anyway I will still take her to the GI Dr to have her reflux checked out and see if they can help me with a diet for her to she doesn't have to be on this Zantac for awhile.

Company of the Day

I had good intentions on posting this yesterday. So sorry! Company of the Day is a new post that I will be doing. All you do is email the company for coupons. These are usually the best coupons because they are high dollar. Todays company:

Earths Best

Friday, January 8, 2010

No Spend Month

Maybe it's the challenge that scares me. I don't know but I have been thinking since I posted this a couple days ago. The only thing I can come up with is, I am under a lot of stress right now. I went and looked up what we have spent money on this month so far and really it's not as bad as I thought.

Gas 30.00
Groceries 124.00 (I rounded it up)

Although that may seem really high for most of you out there with a family of four. That includes a box of diapers, a very small $27.00 can of formula, and healthy foods. I am just gonna to do the best I can this month. There is no way I will be able to save $1000.00 but, I am hoping it can be more like $600.00. I just keep reminding myself that this time last year we would not have been able to save $100.00 a month. I just need to step back and realize just how blessed I am!

On the plus side, with all this snow and freezing cold weather, I have not left the house since Monday. Which means, I haven't been spending any money!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Company of the Day

Today I will be starting a Company of the Day post. Each day I will select a company to email with a compliment or complaint. Usually when you contact a company they will send you some coupons. These are generally high dollar coupons. Before Christmas I contacted Pillsbury about a can of their cinnamon rolls exploding in my refridgerator. They sent me a coupon for a free product and a 1.00 off any product coupon. Just remember to be truthful.

Today I emailed Similac regarding Tinleigh's formula.

Check back as I will be featuring a company everyday. Have a great day!!

Coupons

This year I am getting back into couponing and tracking my savings. I don't like to buy 2 or 3 papers at a time. Instead I order my whole inserts or just buy the coupons I need from Coupon Dede. Click here to visit CouponDede.com. I will be posting deal match ups again in the near future, so if you don't have the coupons you can go here and order them.

Check Out this Giveaway!

Head on over to The Prudent Patron, she has an awesome giveaway going on right now! A full set of Mary Kay Satin Hands Treatment. This is the perfect time to get your hands on this. I don't know about you but my hands are so dry right now from washing them 100 times a day. I have heard rave reviews about this product but have never bought it myself. Check out her giveaway here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Money Making Round Up 1.6.10

Here is what I have for today. Not to much, it's been pretty slow since the holidays have passed. Hopefully it will pick back up again soon. If you are taking surveys for a company I have not mentioned please leave me a comment. I am always searching for new companies.


SurveyHead~ 1 survey 2.00

Opinion Outpost~ 1 screener

Rewardport~2254pts

Mypoints~ 748pts

I'm failing!!!

I'm am calling myself a failure. As for right now I am withdrawing myself from the Eat from the Pantry and No Spend Challenge. I have already spend $110 this week. Between getting Tinleigh on a different formula, buying more healthy food for my family and needing to buy joint supplements for our Great Dane, it's not working out. I have prayed about it and feel this is not the month. God will see us through and he will provide for us.

I am putting all my energy into eating more healthy foods, cooking from scratch, and going to try and finish the month with spending $100 a week on groceries and household items. I say this is my plan but usually when you plan something out God has different plans. I am praying that I will be able to put a little money back into our Emergency Fund this month, but the goal is to have a healthy family!!! My number one priority it to get Tinleigh better! Thank you for the kind emails, comments and prayers you have sent. It makes me feel good to know that someone is actually reading my blog.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Money Making Round Up 1.5.10

It's the start to a new year!!! This year I will be tracking how much I am making and posting my totals throughout the year.

Insight Exchange~ 1 survey 10 pts (Need 160 pts to get a $15 Best Buy Gift Card)

Opinion Outpost~ 1 survey $ 2.50 (You need $5 to cash out) I currently have $14 but I am saving it to purchase Christmas this year.

Rewardport~2228pts (I need 4500 to receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card)

Mypoints~738pts (I need 3750pts to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card)

Banner Ad MySurvey~ 1 survey 75pts.

Emotionally Drained

Do you ever just feel like giving up? I have heard many times that God never gives you more than you can handle. But, right now I feel he has! It's just one thing after the other. I have been really spending time researching the internet for Tinleigh's allergy to milk. I took her to the Dr yesterday to have some testing done, they seem really concerned. I mean I was concerned in the first place but many people have been telling me they know someone with the same allergies and so forth. But then yesterday the Dr just kinda freaked me out.

I have stopped nursing her altogether. She has done a total 180. I did have to change her formula again this weekend because the other was giving her loose stools. Then after a couple days on this formula she does that same. I told the Dr but he was concerned about that. So I should get her testing back by the end of the week and then she has to go back to the Dr next Monday.

To add to the fire our brand new furnace stopped working this weekend! I called the guy that replaced it and he came out to look at it and apparently a wire wasn't hooked up. That we an easy fix but at the time I was really stressing out.

Then the same day my dog's nose starts bleeding again! It just amazes me how it can start and stop so quickly. I was gone out of the room for 5 minutes, come back in and there is blood pooling blood all over the couch cushion, dripping onto the floor and pooling on the rug! I try to get her up and of course she won't. It's hard trying to pick up a 140lb Great Dane. So I finally get her to her crate and start cleaning. We get her into the bath tub to take a shower later and she had a new cut on the side of her nose this time.

I'm just praying for a better week!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No Spend Challenge

As of January 1, 2010 we have started our no spend challenge. Our challenge is to not spend any unnecessary money so we can put as much as we can back into out Emergency Fund. We took a pretty big hit taking out $5800.00 to replace our furnace. But it feels so good to have heat again!

Our rules for our January No Spend Challenge are:

No unnecessary spending

Limit our grocery budget to $60 a week (this goes along with our Eat from the Pantry Challenge)

No eating out!

The first day of the Challenge went well but, like I said "It was the first day!". Check back as I will be posting daily about how we are doing.

Eat from the Pantry Challenge Days 3 and 4

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's. I missed seeing the ball drop because I feel asleep at 11:45. I have been so exhausted with being up in the night so much with Tinleigh. Hopefully now that we know about her allergy we can get some more sleep. At least that's what I am praying for!

Day 3~ New Year's Eve
Breakfast~ Cereal and Bagels
Lunch~ Grilled Cheese
Dinner~ Pizza at Hubby's Mom's house

Day 4~ New Year's Day
Breakfast~Cereal and Bagels
Lunch~ New Year's Day Family Party
Dinner~ Hubby's Sister and Brother in Law brought us dinner

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 Pictures, Images and Photos


May all have a Safe and Happy New Year!!

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