Monday, September 9, 2013

Pup-sicle!

This summer when I wanted to keep my dog cool, I decided to make her a popsicle, but for dogs.  

It was a pup-sicle (see what I did there?). 

All I did was take a plastic cup, fill it with a mixture of water and chicken broth, added a few treats (including a long one that stuck out) and popped it into the freezer.  Once it was frozen and the weather got unbearable, I gave it to her. 

She loved it! 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Reading Nook!!

This past weekend I did some yard sale shopping and come across a small love seat in great shape for only $10. Since I don't have a place to read except for in the living room (which is filled with distractions) and in bed (which just puts me to sleep), I couldn't pass it up. 

 

Here is my newly completed reading nook. It's not much, but it makes reading so much easier!


And I'd like to thank my model, who frankly refused to get out of the pictures.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homemade Sushi

I was briefly taught to make sushi from a Korean woman my husband knows and have attempted the unique meal a few times myself. My version is very Americanized though since I am neither a great cook or very big into raw fish.  But its a tasty way of making some cheap sushi.

You want to start out by making a lot of rice. Look for specific sushi rice.  I like to cook it a few hours before hand and let it cool. 

My version includes so beef. This, of course, should not be raw.  But start by cutting it into strips.


Then I let in soak in a marinate.


I also cut a cucumber into strips. I LOVE cucumbers!



Then you need seaweed wraps and something to roll the sushi. I found some bamboo place mats on clearance at Macy's and they work great. 


Then you cook the beef in whatever manner works for you.


Then you take whatever other ingredients you want and cut them in strips. I have "krab", avocado and cream cheese. 

 

Once you have all your ingredients ready, it's time to make the sushi.  Lay a piece of the sushi paper on our rolling mat.


Add a bunch of rice in clumps all over the seaweed paper. 


Then use your hands to press it into the paper,  You can't really spread it, so you really want clumps all over to press into the paper. 


Then you add you ingredients together at one end. 


Then you just start rolling.


Ta da!  A sushi roll! 


Now all you need to do is slice off pieces.


And there you have it.  Sushi!  


It may not be the best sushi ever, but it's quite a bit cheaper and still rather tasty!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Couponing....what a journey!

Now that I am in a house and not an apartment, I have some space to stockpile and coupon. In a tiny apartment, buying things I don't need that week was too much and I just didn't have the space. So, I have started couponing again. If you want to know where to start, check out my post on Couponing 101.

Before couponing, I was spending between $75 to $100 a week on groceries. I started couponing and the first few weeks weren't any cheaper. But now, six weeks in, I spend typically under $40. I save an average of 50% per transaction. And here's the best part, I don't just get the stuff I need, I get EXTRA stuff. I have been stockpiling AND getting snacks and treats along with normal groceries! I find it so much easier to live on a budget and eat at home when there is good food to eat!

How do you accomplish this? There are a few simple rules I follow:

1. Always try to team up coupons with sales. This makes the price even better! If you aren't sure of the sales, I usually go to www.krazycouponlady.com and www.couponmom.com to find the best deals.

2. Know the coupon policy at each store you go to. For instance, Target lets you team up a Target coupon with a manufacturer's coupon. That's even better savings! But there are some stores that have limits and restrictions. Know them before you are standing in line trying to check out. Also, make sure you are part of the loyalty club at each of the places you shop. You need to be to get the savings at most.

3. Meal plan based on what the best deals that week. I always go through the coupons and try to find the best deals. Once I know what I want, I make a meal plan for that week based on what I am purchasing.

4. Let go of name brand loyalties and embrace new things. In this new adventure, I have found that new products go on sale right away to get you to try them. Therefore, I have had several things I have never tried before. Some I like, some I don't. Also, of the things I do like, what is on sale is sometimes a different brand than I usually get. Think outside the box and get the different brand, unless of course you won't actually eat it at all.

5. Don't try to be extreme. Like many, I have seen the show Extreme Couponing. I see these people leaving stores with $900 worth of stuff when they paid $7. I wonder why I don't find savings like that. The answer is, I don't dedicate my life to this. In one episode, it took the couponer weeks of nothing but finding the deals and clipping coupons and then 10 hours in the store. TEN HOURS!!!! Who has that kind of time??? Not me! Plus do you see what they usually purchase?  I don't need 400 bottles of mustard! I just need a couple. So don't watch that show and get discouraged. Just watch your grocery bill go down while your stockpile grows. Coupons are to save you money, not show off food stored all over your house.

6. Keep a list of average prices of what you pay. This way you know when you are getting a good deal.

By following these few rules, I have a simple couponing life. It's not easy, but it's not extreme either. I spend about 3 to 4 hours on Sunday in front of the TV clipping coupons and finding deal. Then I spend about 2 hours shopping Monday morning. I like to limit myself to no more than three stores unless the deal is to good to pass up. I also coupon with my sister. I find the deals and she drives. It saves her time and saves me money on gas.

Here is a picture of my stockpile after four weeks. I know it doesn't look like much, but remember that this is what is EXTRA. This is what was left over AFTER making meals and eating lots of snacks. It also doesn't include anything frozen or refrigerated. And yes, there is a lot of pop.  Don't judge me! I have a large family that is over at least once a week.  Plus I have book club once a month and other activities. It comes in handy.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer Review

Summer is drawing to a close, thank goodness! I have become more of a fall person as I have aged and I am really looking forward to this fall.  Anyhow, I decided I would do a brief summary of this summer, which has been an eventful one since moving back home. 

First off, I have gotten to know and love my little bubby! This little man hs become my little buddy over the summer.

 

He's a very active kid who is tons of fun to play with.


And he turned one (even though I am still mad he was born the day before my birthday!)


Of course I can't forget the little man's big sisters! Together we made many things from grandpa's garden including strawberry lemonade.


We also spend a fun day at the park. 


They even got to learn about a baseball great, Roberto Clemente.


And then play a little ball.

 

And a little soccer.







 Plus some hikes in the hills, being sure to protect ourselves against bigfoot!






 And of course making friends!


I even finished a few projects like my end tables.


 And experimented with bread and flour.

 
And my niece helped me paint some rocks.

 
Our family also welcomed Codex! And I wouldn't trade her for a thing!
 

 But I spent a lot of time with my parents dogs just the same, especially my old man, Toby!


Sophie spend the summer chasing squirrels.


And Holly was just a goof!


We also did a little ghost chasing, because we are weird like that.  But we came up empty.


Then, to wrap it all up, I spent some time in Kentucky with my sisters. Here we visited places like Lincoln's birthplace.

 
 And Lincoln's childhood home.


We spent a lot of time in the pool, even playing while a storm brewed.


And doing the YMCA


 We also visited the river that is the state boundary for Kentucky and Indiana.


And tried to find Satan in an old jailhouse (OK, we didn't look for Satan, we were just informed he was near).


What a fun summer!