Saturday, November 27, 2010

Entering his Courts

We are truly blessed beyond measure. With every Thanksgiving I'm newly reminded of just how much I have to be grateful for. This year especially, I'm thankful for this little turkey-I could gobble him right up(and I do)!
I'm grateful for so many things-to name them all would be impossible to do, so I'll name just a few...

Thankful to the giver of all good gifts, for grace freely given
Thankful for my handsome husband, my indelibly sweet son and forever family
Thankful for my feathered nest
For freedom
and fall, thankful to the changer of seasons, the artist of life
Thankful for Christmas music and gingerbread cookies, yankee candles
and sugary buttercream
Thankful good books to read and stories to share
for brightly colored winter hats, and a new frost slowly dancing in the air
Oh the joys there!

"Come into His gates with thanksgiving. Enter his courts with praise." -Psalm 100:4

Saturday, November 13, 2010

There is a mouse in my house...

and his name's not Mickey! I went to put away some of Evan's snacks tonight in the pantry when I caught em' red still gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it! There is a mouse in my house-and no amount of ryhming can make this mouse-catastrophe cute! After promptly slamming the pantry door and jumping back a few feet with a scream, both my husband and mother in law came to the rescue. Of all the things I had in mind for Saturday night, mouse hunting was not at the top of the list.
Taken from my safe perch atop the counters...
Armed with a flashlight, a shoebox(and temporarily a kitchen knife), Chris started to slowly move things around in the pantry-nothing. Then, as he lowered himself to the floor and pointed the flashlight upwards-what would you know there was a not so little tail just dangling there between our pantry racks. In between our spices if you really want to know. Quickly the little mouse scurried away, down the shelves, across the kitchen floor and in the blink of an eye, he ran for safety under the stove. Rats!

After taking the bottom shelf out of the stove, thoroughly examining the surrounding cabinets and finally pulling the stove away from the wall-nothing! For now, he's narrowly escaped. Back to the pantry, we had to totally clean it out, and trash a good amount of groceries that we discovered had little holes in them or that we suspected he had been on...gross!!! Again, heebie jeebies from my fingertips to my toes. So what are we left with after the unsuccessful mouse hunt? A mess of a kitchen, trash bags of wasted food, a sink full of things to sanitize and.....
one mousetrap.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adventures in baby food

Evan is a joy of an eater-not picky in the least can you imagine? At least, not yet! He seems to like almost everything we give to him, and even if he makes a face(ie-peas), he still gobbles down every last spoon full. Thank you Lord, for not giving this child my tastebuds!

Making my own baby food was something I really wanted to do for a long time. But let's face it-it's a lot of extra work! Plus, there are perfectly healthy, natural and nutritious baby food options of the jarred variety. That being said, while I'm still working we have adopted a blended diet of homemade and store bought food. It's been a fun adventure learning to make baby food, getting to know my vegetables as well as my food processor.  It's a little intimidating at first, but really very simple once you get the jist. I also discovered that while generally it's much more cost effective to make your own baby food, some things can be more expensive to make at home-like apples. And with all the extra labor, well, Earth's Best wins that war!

Evan's favorite food by far is sweet potatoes. Lucky for me, this is an easy one to buy and make at home, and with a wonderful Fall scent to boot! So far we've made sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin and carrots. I don't have a pro-steamer just yet, so as far as most of my prep goes I've mostly stuck to baking.The very first thing I made was a winter squash, and I was so excited I just had to document the process!

First, one butternut squash, found at Target on sale for .99c/pound. Hello Mr. Squash, you look mighty yummy today!
 Like most fruits and veggies that are headed to the oven, I didn't worry about skinning. I simply cut into four peices and faced meat side down in about an inch or two of water. Because this was a squash, and the squash belongs in the pumpkin family, I did need to scoop out the insides and seeds first.

Into the oven it went at 400 degrees for about 45 min-1hr until soft. Once they past the "fork test," I let them cool and scooped scooped the good stuff directly into the food processor with a pinch of water. Fire it up, pulse, pulse and baby food here we come!
I was surprised to see how much food one squash made, and was able to freeze a bunch for later. I had been  recycling the baby food jars to store it in but just recently bought an ice cube tray, which was doubly worth my one dollar and forty cents! In addition to being perfectly portioned, the ice tray is really nice to use because once you let the food sit and freeze over night, you can simply pop em' out the next morning into a big, marked zip lock bag.

And voile, dinner is served-with a side of trial error, a pinch of patience and small sprinkling of cinnamon! :-)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Harris Teeter Super Doubling Nov. 3-9th!

It's time to grab those coupons and go! In the circus of moving, I haven't yet had time to organize and hit up this sale, but am super excited to go grocery shopping this week(especially now that Harris Teeter is in my backyard!). If you hadn't noticed by now, I think it's safe to come out of the closet and say that I am a couponer! Call me frugal if you will, but I am so proud to cut coupons and make the best of our family's resources. Saving money and finding great deals on groceries takes time, organization, and prudent meal planning. The rewards? Priceless! Happy budget, healthy tummy...and, it's fun to boot. Call me a nerd, but I really look forward to cutting and organizing coupons from the Sunday newspaper. Life on the wild side...haha!

While the following is no secret by any stretch, come in close and listen to my two favorite couponing resources. Ready? First is the "Southern Savers" website and secondly, WRAL's "Smart Shopper" blog by Faye Prosser. If you can snatch a few extra minutes in the day, they would be very well spent taking a look at those sites!

Here are a few tips from Faye on this weeks Harris Teeter's super double coupons:

Store Policy Reminder: 
 *HT will Super Double coupons worth up to $1.98 face value. A $1.50 coupon will double to $3.00. A $1.00 coupon will double to $2.00. A $2.00 coupon will not double at all and will only be taken at face value ($2.00).

*HT will super double/double up to 20 coupons per day. Period. End of story. Spouse's cards registered with the same address are linked because the policy is 20 per household, per day.

* HT policy is to double up to 3 identical coupons (as long as you buy the product required for each coupon, of course). So, if you have five $1.00 coupons for a product, the policy is to only super double the first three.

* Rainchecks can be written for a limit of three unless otherwise stated in the ad. Make sure you get rainchecks for items out of stock and use the rainchecks at the next promotion since they don't expire!

*BOGO's pro-rated.

Be on the lookout for...

Dairy & Frozen:
Coffee-mate Original, 32 oz $2.85 - $1.50 printable = FREE

Buitoni Linguini and Angel Hair pasta on sale for $1.50 - $1 printable coupon = FREE

Country Crock margarine 15 oz tub BOGO through 11/9 - .40 printable

Dannon Activia yogurt, 4 pack $2.50 - $1 coupon from 10/10 (expires 11/7) = .50

Green Giant Frozen Boxed Veggies will be on sale $1 each - .60/3 coupon from 10/3 = .60 each

Nestle refrigerated ready to bake cookies on sale for $3 through 12/28 - $1 printable coupon = $1.00

Mentos Gum $1.50 - $1 coupon from 10/3 = FREE

Bush’s grillin beans $1.99 - $1 coupon from 10/3 = FREE

Kikkoman soy sauce $2.00 - $1 printable = FREE (if sale continues)

Muellers pasta, 8 oz macaroni .79 - $1/2 printable = FREE

Martha White Muffin Mix BOGO for .57 each - .55/2 from 8/8 = .02 each

Chef Boyardee canned pasta $1 through 4/5 - .75/2 coupon from 10/3 = .25 each

Campbells condensed cooking soups $1.28 (.80 if sale continues) - $1.50/3 printable coupon = .28 each if not on sale, free if sale continues

Quaker Instant Oatmeal in boxes $3.39 through 12/28 - $1 coupon from 9/12 = $1.39

Reach Floss $1.65 - $1 coupon from 5/16, 10/10 = FREE

Dial Basics soap, 3 pack .99 - .35 coupon from 10/10 = .29

Colgate Total $2.50 through 11/9 - $1 coupon from 10/31 = .50

Pert Plus $2.99 - $1 coupon from 10/17 = .99

Pampers/Huggies diapers pack $8.99 - $1.50 coupon = 5.99

Thank you for being so generous Harris Teeter!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Moving...moving...and moved!

Well it's been a busy few days, but we are finally moved to Wilson! Of course we still have lots to do-boxes to unpack, a refrigerator to fill, carpets to febreez and all that jazz-but, we are happy to moved and in our new rental house.  This weekend will be full of cleaning back and forth and tying up our loose ends in Raleigh-but I plan on taking lots of pictures soon! A big thank you to all who generously gave of their time and hands to help us move. :-)

Welcome home Scott family!