Friday, October 29, 2010

Spotlight: Serving While Saving

Last week I spotlighted my favorite blog to use when planning my grocery trips to Harris Teeter (read that post here).  Today I want to spotlight another blog I follow...

Mandy at Serving While Saving is a friend and neighbor.  She and I both started couponing around the same time and started our blogs around the same time too.  It's been fun learning all about this stuff together.

The thing I that I like about Mandy's blog that is different from a lot of other bargain blogs is her focus on her faith and giving to others.  She is getting ready to kick off Project H.O.P.E.  for the holiday season...helping a family in need here in our area.  Follow along and see what happens...

She announced today that she is getting ready for another giveaway soon!  Fun : )

Please visit Serving While Saving and if you like what you see follow her or subscribe to emails. 

Love ya, Mandy!

Friday Favorites

Here are a few of my favorites from this week...

I am anxious to try Amanda's Easiest Ever Crock Pot Roast (this is on my menu plan for next week!)
WB Halloween
Check out the Spooky Brownie Bites from WhipperBerry (how easy and yummy is this???)

And I just loved this post by The Nester...a reminder to Enjoy The Seasons (I need this reminder sometimes)

And to wrap things up for me this week (it's been a busy one!) I'd like to announce the winner of the All You magazine giveaway...Randi!!!  Thanks to those of you who entered.  I'm working on my next giveaway...coming soon!

I *heart* Chilis

Do you and your family like to eat at Chilis?  Be sure to sign up for their email club and receive offers like the one I received yesterday...a coupon for kids to eat FREE this Sunday after 3pm!  I can't share the coupon since it is a unique code for each email member. 

Also, when you sign up for their email club you will receive a coupon for FREE chips & queso on your next visit!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Dip

I was looking around for a good seasonal recipe to make for an upcoming teacher's meeting at my children's school and came across this one.  It's been a couple of years since I made it but I remember how yummy it was...definitely going to make this one soon!
photo from
Pumpkin Pie Dip
Southern Living
Yield: 3 cups


  • 1  (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2  cups  powdered sugar
  • 1  (15-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • Garnishes: ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks


Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add pie filling, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ginger, beating well. Cover and chill 8 hours. Serve with gingersnaps and apple or pear slices. Garnish, if desired.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2001

I'm joining these fun parties this week...
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tasty Tuesdays
Tuesdays At The Table
Eat At Home's Ingredient Spotlight

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Favorites

Here are some fun things that I've found this week.  Hope you enjoy. And don't forget to enter my first giveaway for a subscription to All You magazine!  Go here to enter...

I cannot wait to try these Cinnamon Bun Pancakes shared on How Does She?  Wow, these sound amazingly yummy!
Check out this neat idea...Autumn Garland with Book Leaves posted on Make The Best of Things.

I love what my friend Nanci did with her front porch and pumpkins!

My Frugal Fall Flowers

I love flowers.  I have no talent for arranging flowers.  Really.  I don't. 

Thankfully my mom does...

Here's a shout-out to my very talented mom. 


She made this arrangement for just a couple of dollars.  She found the orange-y bucket at her favorite Goodwill store (I think my love of Goodwill is hereditary).  She can't remember the exact price...just a couple of bucks.  And the florals and birdhouse were odds and ends she had at home. 

I have it on the landing of my staircase in my entryway.  It was just empty and needed something.  Kind of a weird spot, I guess, but it is working for me. 

Thanks Mom!  I'm lovin' it!

I'm joining in the fun at these parties...
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Flaunt It Friday at Chic On A ShoeString Budget
Favorite Things Friday
Making the World Cuter Monday

***Don't forget to enter my first giveaway for a subscription to All You magazine***

All You Magazine ~ My First Giveaway!

If you've read my blog for a while you know I love All You magazine.  It's a great woman's magazine with real-life fashion, food, women's issues, etc.  It reminds me of Family Circle BUT this magazine comes loaded with coupons each month!  This magazine actually pays for itself when you use even just a couple of the coupons found inside.  You can only find All You magazine at Walmart or you can subscribe.  I offer subscriptions through my Willow House business...18 issues for $20 or an 8 issue mini subscription for just $10.  If you want to order for yourself or a gift, contact me because this particular item is not listed on my online store. 

I want to share my love of All You magazine with you...I'm giving away an 18 issue subscription to one lucky reader!

Want to win??? Here's how to enter...

Mandatory Entry

leave me a comment and let me know what you love about All You magazine (or if you are new to this magazine let me know what interests you). 

Extra Entries

*follow my Home Matters blog (either via Google or email subscription).  Leave a separate comment for each way you follow.  1 extra entry per way you "follow".  Already a follower or subscriber?  Leave me a comment to tell me.

*post this giveaway on your blog or facebook page and leave me a comment with a link (3 extra entries)

Giveaway ends Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. 
Be sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.  Winner will be chosen via an online random number generator.  The winner will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be chosen. 

Thanks for reading and entering my first giveaway!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spotlight: Southern Savers

As I mentioned in my previous post about my love for couponing, I am going to spotlight some of my favorite bargain bloggers.  I follow these blogs as either an email subscriber, a Google follower, or on Facebook (ok, for some I follow multiple ways!). 

These ladies have helped me tremendously over the last few years, whether they actually know it or not.  I hope that you will take some time to visit these sites, if you have not already, and take in some of the information they give for finding grocery deals, freebies, etc.  You'll love all the savings, I promise! 

The first bargain blogger I want to spotlight is Jenny at Southern Savers.  She has a wonderful sight that I use to match my coupons to sale items each week for Harris Teeter.  She posts a complete list of the week's sale items and gives you all the coupon info to match up and get the best deals at that store.  In addition to Harris Teeter, she also does this for Bi-Lo, Kroger, Publix, CVS and Walgreens.  She has a neat feature that allows you to check the items you plan to buy and then print your shopping list from it.  Plus, she provides other bargain and deal info.  You can print coupons from her coupon database and you may want to look into her coupon classes.  She offers these in various areas around the southeast or you can see some of her tutorials on her site. 

Go here to view her list and coupon matchups for Harris Teeter this week (new ad just came out today). 

If you like what you see you can subscribe to receive a daily email that will include any deals she posted that day or you can follow her Southern Savers site on Facebook. 

Hope this helps...Happy Saving!!

My Couponing Way of Life

One of the things I really love to do is couponing and seeing how much I can save at the grocery store.  I started to learn all about couponing (truly using them the right way to save maximum money as opposed to just clipping occasionally) several years ago when my husband lost his job and decided to take his business idea and go full time with it.  He began his business and I trimmed as much as I could from the budget and realized I needed to find ways to trim even more. 

I had always used coupons...meaning I would clip them and use some at the store sometimes.  I began to use them a little more diligently and matched them with the sale items and liked the savings I was seeing.  I began searching the internet to find some coupon info and found Hot Coupon World.  Who knew there was such a wealth of information right at my fingertips?!?  So I began to educate myself on all of the couponing terminology and sought out the coupon matchups each week for the stores I shopped.  I was really beginning to understand true COUPONING!  And then I was blessed to meet another mom at the preschool my son was attending who was very much into couponing.  She gave me all sorts of help and even took me to the grocery store to watch her work the deals!  She was another source of couponing knowledge and I am so thankful...thanks Lynn!

I began finding more and more info on the web and started to find bargain blogs to follow to help me stay on top of finding the best deals.  I began to stockpile the items I was finding such good deals on.  Now instead of having to pay full price for a bottle of shampoo or a box of pasta when I needed it I would shop from my pantry and pull out the item that I had paid just pennies for weeks earlier (or even had gotten for free!).  Between grocery savings and freebie deals I was really making a huge dent in our grocery budget at a time when we really needed it. 

In the years since my husband started his business things have improved for us financially but I still love my couponing way of life.  Now that I have learned how to shop effectively and spend a lot less I cannot imagine going back to paying full price. 

I love my couponing way of life and I love to share that with others.  There are so many good bargain blogs out there that are so thorough and will really help you start saving and finding deals.  Yes, I will still share some couponing info and good deals with you on my blog but I want to share some of my favorite bargain bloggers with you so you can get the best info out there!  Over the next week I will share my favorite bargain blogs with you and I hope you will visit their sites and use their information to help you save money on your family's budget. 

Happy Saving!!

I'll get things started with Southern Savers in my next post...

Oregano Chicken

This is always one of my go-to recipes when I an in a pinch because I always have the ingredients on hand.  It is super quick and easy and my family loves it.  Hope you do too!

I am re-posting this recipe and linking to Eat At Home's Ingredient Spotlight: Soy Sauce linky party today.  This is one of my new favorite blogs...check it out!

Oregano Chicken
Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 40 minutes

¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 large clove garlic, crushed (I usually use a small amount of minced garlic in a jar since I always have it on hand)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Hot cooked rice

Combine first 6 ingredients; stir well. Place chicken in an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Pour butter mixture over chicken. Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes.
Serve chicken and sauce over rice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cookie Mush

Cookie Mush...Just the name makes me smile and brings back memories :)

I spent many years as a teenager and young adult volunteering for a children's oncology camp called Camp CARE.  Each summer we'd take the children to a camp in Lake Lure...we used another camp's facility.  This other camp, Camp Lurecrest, was run by the sweetest couple, The Garr's.  Mrs. Garr ran the kitchen and had for over 40 years.  At some point she had introduced a dessert to her campers that was made simply of cookies and whipped topping.  One camper referred to it as Cookie Mush and the name stuck. 

By the time Camp CARE came along and began to use their place for a week each summer this dessert had a reputation.  It was an instant hit with our campers that first year.  In time it became such a tradition with us that it was a big deal to try to figure out which night it would be served and the anticipation grew as the week went on. 

My family on our visit to Camp CARE's 25th Anniversary (July 2010)
This summer marked the 25th anniversary of Camp CARE and my family and I visited for the day along with some other former staff members.  They rolled out the red carpet for us and treated us to a wonderful dinner.  And sure enough, the campers and staff started pounding on the tables, the sound building to a roar.  And then the dining hall servers arrived with the big trays of Cookie Mush!  Our visit back to Camp CARE was complete. 

So, here it of my sentimental favorites...Cookie Mush!

Chocolate chip cookies, any brand although Mrs. Garr always said to use the cheap store brand, you'll need about 70-75 cookies
Cool Whip, thawed
Quickly dip the cookies in a bowl of milk (do not soak the cookies) and arrange on the bottom of an ungreased 9x12 pan.  Cover with a thick layer of whipped topping. 
Add a second layer of dipped cookies and a second layer of whipped topping.  Add a third layer of each. 
Chill dessert in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.  Cut into squares and serve.  This will keep several days in the refrigerator but mine never does...there's never any left!!
(this particular time my daughter made a smaller batch in an 8x8 dish)

You can also make this with Oreos, dipped in milk, for a middle layer. 

I'm joining in this week's Ingredient Spotlight at Eat At Home.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Favorites

Here are some fall goodies I found recently...

Centsational Girl has THE best pumpkins on her front porch...

The Moody Fashionista shared a cute Ghost Leaves Kids Craft...

Check out the CUTE Halloween Candy Jar on A Pumpkin and A Princess...

mmmm...Apple Cider Cake from Eat at Home...

When you have a few minutes check out these links...great ideas from some talented ladies.  There is SO much out there in the world of blogging and I love finding new things and sharing it with you.

Candy Corn Spider

I love to decorate for fall but not necessarily Halloween.  I have a few Halloween-specific things around the house but not many.  This one is my favorite! 
Use a large glass container (the one I am using is the Hemingway Hurricane from Willow House).

Fill the container with candy corn. 

As it nears the top of the container, place a glass votive holder in the candy.  Nestle it in the candy corn to stay in place.

Take 10 black licorice pieces to make the spider.  Put them in the votive holder with 4 on each side to make the spider legs.  Use the other 2 to make the body by bending and tucking them into the votive holder. 

Add some more candy corn to hide more of the votive holder.

(as info, I used 2 of the value size bags of Candy Corn from Target)

I've joined in on these linky parties this week Weekend Bloggy Reading with Amanda at Serenity Now and Flaunt It Friday at Chic On A ShowString Budget and I'm Lovin' It at Tidy Mom.  Oh and I just joined in on Making the World Cuter.  Please take a few minutes and visit'll find LOTS of neat things!!