Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teacher Gift-Grand Finale

We managed to get a letter home with the kids in my son's class (without his teacher knowing it!), that we were collecting money to get her a gift card to her favorite store--Target!
Not the greatest photo in the world.
I took it in the car before backing out the driveway.
Another parent brought in a thank you card that the kids each signed.  I bought the gift card with the donated money ($50).  Then I went to the Dollar Tree where I got the red tub and some floral foam.

I already had the blue paper shred but you can get that at Dollar Tree right now too.

I taped the gift card to a popsicle stick and a "We <3 Mrs. X" sign to another stick.  Presto.  Cute gift presentation.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekly Goals-10 of them

Taking a page out of moneysavingmom's post for weekly goals, I thought I would make some for this week as well.

Family/Mothering Goals
1. Plan 2 weeks of our summer schooling activities.
2. Buy a printer for use at home (recommendations??)
Personal Goals
3. Log my calories at MyFitnessPal 3 days this week.
4. Finish another chapter in The Time Traveler's Wife
5. Be in bed by midnight each night (I'm such a night owl this is sometimes hard!)
Home Management
6. Fold and put away the pile of laundry in the den.
8. Give the main bathroom a THOROUGH scrubbing.  (If you don't hear back from me...send help!)
9. Keep kitchen table cleared off and free of clutter.
Business Goals

0. Post this and one more post on the blog this week.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Easy DIY Teacher Thank You Gift

I did this as a simple gift during Teacher Appreciation Week.  "Thanks a 'latte' for all you do!"  
Of course I was putting this together the night before and couldn't find the tape.  So I used heart stickers.

Aside from teacher appreciation, you could do the latte gift for:
  • school bus drivers
  • your mail carrier
  • daycare provider
  • church nursery coordinator
  • pastor's wife
  • cleaning lady (if you are lucky enough to have one!)
  • a nurse or doctor that you see often (OBGYN, etc)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Parties for boys--Skateboarding

Calling all moms of boys!

Boys, particularly older boys, can be hard to plan a party for.  But if you have boys you already know that!

My oldest is getting ready to turn 9.  We are past the Bob the Builder, fireman, and Clifford stage with him. He likes skateboarding, BMX bikes and things that make mothers nervous.

So I was searching around on etsy and found this shop.  The Green Grass Grows.  After "liking" most of her items for sale, I did some shopping.

First I ordered cupcake toppers for the party.
Here's her photo from the listing:

Skateboarder Cupcake Toppers

I didn't buy the invitations but am kind of wishing I had.  
Skate Board Custom Invitation and Cupcake Toppers Printable

She was so sweet to work with on things and custom did this banner for us (this is her photo from the listing...instead of it being a "happy birthday" banner, we got it spelling out our son's name. This is a gift for hang as a decoration in his bedroom).  It turned out great! :)  Skate Boarder Birthday Party Banner

Party Favors (no pics yet)
--skateboard themed paper bag from Party City
--skateboard key chain from Party City
--glow stick

--"extreme" candy: Pop Rocks, Cry Baby, War Head

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Organic Gardening with Whitney Farms (+ a coupon!)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tis the season!  The season for gardening that is.  
We buy most of our our sweet corn from local farmers, but try to do our own peppers, cucumbers, tomato, zucchini (my favorite veggie and what this blog is named after!), and lettuces.  The problem is that we are slightly "crunchy"...we have little kids and do not want to use fertilizers or lawn care things with harmful chemicals in them.  

Which is why I'm drawn to Whitney Farms®.  Their products are organic: no additives, no chemicals.

Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)


You know what else is nice about Whitney Farms®? They say it doesn't stink like manure!  I knew you all would like that!  The organic plant food also has protein based blends for giving micro and macronutrients to your plants and flowers and has little dust to it.

We will probably get the tomato and vegetable food for our garden:
109103_1.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)
If you want to try out this organic plant food, they have a $3 off coupon available!  Click here: organic soil

Another reason to go with the Whitney Farms®Whitney Farms®, safe plant food is for the pets.  Remember last year when I showed you this?  Our dog.  Eating corn.  She had also eaten almost all of our tomatoes.  

She is such a goober!  But we love her and wouldn't want her accidentally ingesting harmful chemicals.

Whatever your outdoor lawn/garden needs, they have you covered.  I browsed around the website and saw products for citrus plants, bulbs, evergreens, Hibiscus, vegetables, and azaleas!  

Remember, you can try out the special Whitney Farms® coupon.
Let me know what you think!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baked Bean Blessings--Frugal Hospitality

How some cans of beans blessed 16 people.

I found this recipe for baked beans that my family just loves.  It is easy and economical and makes a bunch.  So when a pitch-in for Teacher Appreciation Lunch came around, I signed up to bring beans.

At Kroger, I bought double of everything so I could make a batch for my own family at the same time.

  • 2 cans of Chili Hot Beans--.65 each= $1.30
  • 2 cans Campbells Pork and Beans--.90 each (ish,  could be a bit less)=$1.80
  • 2 cans Kroger Pork and Beans--.64 each=$1.28
  • Enough brown sugar for 3 cups--probably $1
  • 1 bottle ketchup--$1.50
  • 1 bottle bbq sauce--$1.00 (I always get whatever is on sale cheapest)
  • Total $7.88

Plus foil pans so that no one has to wash and reuse dishes:
  • Odd Cake Size Pan Almost A 9x13 But Not Really--$1.99 for a 3 pk at Kroger, I used 2 of them.
  • Square Cake Pans--$1.49 at Kroger

  • Total with Foil Pans Included: $11.36

How did these beans end up blessing 16 people??

Well the odd not-really-9x13-pan was too big for one full recipe of beans.  So I made the two odd shaped pans and then to keep them from overflowing was able to fill up the small cake pan and a smaller pyrex bowl with the beans.

That leaves me with 4 containers of beans.

  • 1 larger one for the school.  There are 40 employees and I conservatively guess that 10 of them will get beans.
  • 1 larger pan and the small pan for dinner and lunches for my family of 4.
  • The small pyrex bowl sent to my mom and dad, that is 2 more people.

Total Number of People Getting A Bean Blessing: 16+
Total cost per person based on $11.36 total and 16 people: 71 cents
Total cost per person if you didn't use the foil pans: 49 cents

If you are looking for a way to bring some encouragement and blessing to someone, these beans will do the trick!

Wait, you want the recipe for them?  Well, okay.  I'll share.  But only if you promise to share your beans with someone else soon!

linked at Serenity Now

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Deck Wreck

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Flood Wood Care for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Our deck is a wreck.

There. I admitted it.

The deck came with the house we bought 2 years ago. It was painted a light gray color which was fine, except that it is buckling and peeling and yuck now.  We've been saying that this is the year we will strip and refinish it.

That brings me to Flood® Wood Care.  They are known as "The Woodcare Specialists" and they are just what I need!  Founded in 1841 by a family of painters, their claim to fame is the reliable protection that their products offer along with the loyal customers who return again and again.  Their wood care products include clears, semi-transparents, and paint additives.  In fact, a three-year test was done which named them the #1 stain in 2008.  If that wasn't enough, according to the website, nearly half of all paint contractors here in the U.S. choose Flood® products!

What do you have that needs some attention?  A deck?  A wooden fence?  Siding?  Join me and make this summer the summer you get it taken care of!  We will all be grilling and having friends over, sitting on the deck for a bowl of ice cream, hosting graduation parties, etc.  Time to quit procrastinating and get those decks/siding/fences done!

Looking through Flood® Wood Care 's outdoor wood stains, these are some of my favorites:

{image}  This is CWF-UV 5 Redwood on pressure treated wood


{image} How gorgeous is this TWF-SEMI Dusty Trail deck?!

What's that?  Oh you don't have a deck?  No problem.  Flood® Wood Care can be used on furniture too.  Grab a bench and get to work...look at this gorgeous one from their gallery:

This fantastic bench is SPA-N-Deck Redwood.  

One last thing.  If you are a novice like me, no fear!  The Flood® site gives step-by-step instructions for how to stain a deck!

Flood® Wood Care products are available in many Walmart stores, Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards!  What are we waiting for?  Let's get started!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goals: April in Review

  • Read through the New Testament this year. (currently in Luke)
  • Take photos and upload to a snapfish photobook each month so at the end of the year I just have to "print", no more paper scrapbooking. heh heh heh.  uh.
  • Continue keeping soda-drinking habit in check, one a week.(Good)
  • Finish my next degree and again graduate with honors. (Graduated with honors, had a 4.0 this semester)
  • Plan summer homeschool curriculum for oldest Still planning
  • Actually DO the summer homeschooling.

Ministry/Community Involvement:
  • Continue volunteering in nursery Yep
  • Volunteer again on Thanksgiving Day
  • Fill 6 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child this year  have started collecting things
  • Volunteer at elementary school once a week Yep
  • Participate in PTO Yep
  • Remain active in my 2 blog buddy groups by sharing my new posts and commenting on theirs. Good! 
  • Get to 400 GFC followers (over 300 now as of January)
  • Update Facebook at least once a week. Doing better at this
  • Post 2ce a week on the blog Good
  • Continue tithing to our church without missing any months.  No misses yet
  • Pay cash for vehicle repairs Paid cash, oh my word make the car repairs stop!
  • Agree with husband on Emergency Savings amount for the year and attain it. Oh. Yeah this.  We did commit our tax refund to savings, other than that we still need to set a specific year-end goal.
  • Pay cash for all birthday/Christmas gifts So far, so good.
  • Send cash donation each month to one of the charities we value.  Gave to a different church cause that came up in April.
  • Save my spare change for one of the charities on the list.(reworking this goal, news about it soon)
  • Sell the kids old clothes and donate the money
  • Give away some of the kids old clothes. 

Social Responsibility:
  • Buy Made in the USA products for my kids birthday party supplies and presents and Christmas presents at least 75% of the time.
  • Call or write my elected officials about matters that matter to me.   
  • Get the kids clothes we are saving organized and put away.Got Newborn, 0-3 and 3-6 month sizes done!
  • Sand and paint deck.
  • Organize pantry. Done and blogged here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Menu Monday

Sometimes I am in such a menu slump.  Blegh.  This week I have it planned out though, after looking at sale ads and planning somewhat around that.  

Here's what we are having:

Monday--Husband is making potato soup, strawberries
Tuesday--Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches, corn/black bean salad
Wednesday--Meatloaf (I need a good recipe!), mashed potatoes, broccoli
Thursday--Leftovers, cooked carrots
Saturday--Dinner: Marinated and then grilled chicken, hopefully zucchini/pepper/onion skewers, blackberry cobbler
Sunday--Pitch in at church, I'm taking cooked carrots
Sunday Dinner--Frozen pizza,

Snacks and lunch things at home:
Granola bars
Bell Peppers
Veggie Dip
Colby Jack Cheese
Pepper Triscuits
Mandarin Oranges
Pretzel sticks

Do you have a menu plan for the week?  Share the link in the comments, I'd love to check it out and get new ideas.  Also, if you have a tried and true meatloaf recipe, well I could really use it!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quotable Goodness

Saw this quote and really liked it, so I used PicMonkey to turn it into a graphic.  Enjoy!

shared at Serenity Now

Thursday, May 10, 2012

3 Mother's Day Gifts

I love these hershey kiss roses that Chasing Cottons posted today.  They would be sweet little gifts for a Mother's Day brunch, a Sweet 16 or Graduation gift attached to the card, a whole bouquet for a chocolate lover, a bouquet in the teacher's lounge so everyone can take one, etc.  Head over to her blog to see how to make them!
Pinned Image

This "family portrait" was for sale on etsy by seller mooshoopork.  It has sold already but you could request another one or buy the stuff and make your own.
handmade wooden folk art  mini clothespin dolls plaque ...girls on parade

Samaritan's Purse has these lambs that you can sponsor.  $4 covers the cost of one lamb which partners with churches to pass them out to children in areas of war, poverty, or natural disaster.  These were developed by Ruth Graham, Billy Graham's wife.  If your mom has plenty of "stuff," consider spending $4 to buy a lamb in her honor!