Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Directions...

When I first started this blog I did it to share coupon info and deals I found with my friends.  Initially that was all it was and that was fine.  Then I started to learn about the world of blogging...and I liked it!  Little by little I started to find other blogs I love and started to leave comments and participate in blog parties and my followers and subscribers were becoming more and more people I had never met before.  I started to struggle with the direction I wanted to go in and how much time I could commit to this little hobby. 

Well, I think I have finally decided that I cannot focus on sharing all the deals.  There are SO many good deal bloggers out there (and I follow tons of them!).  I can't give the proper amount of time needed to share all the latest deals and freebies and that's ok.  I am happy to let you know where to go find that info through these other ladies. 

In addition to loving my coupons and deals, I also love everything about my home and making it the best for my family.  I love decorating and cooking and some crafty stuff.  I love to find and share little things I think are helpful.  And I love all things thrifty...from grocery store deals to awesome Goodwill finds. 

I have been working on how I want this blog to move forward and I am anxious to begin sharing it in the next few weeks.  I hope you will stick around and join in : )

Fall Mantel

It's been such a busy few weeks around here and the weather has continued in the 90's until just the last couple of days so it has taken me a little longer than I planned to get my fall stuff out and start decorating.  I just love this time of year...the colors, textures, scents, everything about the warmth of it all. 
I finished my fall mantle and wanted to share it with you.  I love pulling out my storage bin and seeing things I've had packed away since last year, especially my metal pumpkins : ) 

This is how my fireplace area will look through Thanksgiving weekend.  I know it is not perfect and some designer will tell me I don't have the right proportions or something but that's ok.  It is perfect to me because it has stuff that is special to my family, like the scarecrow that my mother-in-law made (she passed away several years ago so it is special for my kids to see).

These wooden pumpkins were also made by my mother-in-law.  I added some dry beans to my glass container and a fall-colored candle to my pillar. 

I have a basket of seasonal books on the hearth...various fall and Halloween books to enjoy with the kids. 

So, this is the view from my couch.  I truly believe it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, which is what one of my favorite blogs is all about.  It is called The Nesting Place.  The Nester has a wonderful Fall Mantel party going on today and I've joined in.  Be sure to check it out and see what she and lots of others are doing to bring a touch of fall into their homes.  You'll be inspired for sure!  Plus, Hooked on Houses is hosting a Fall Decorating party today as well and I've joined in there too.  Enjoy all the great ideas and peeks into other homes!
I also just linked this to Spotlight Yourself Wednesday at Santa's Gift Shoppe...yet another new blog I've discovered :)
                                                  I've also linked to Flaunt It Friday
                              And I've joined in on Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Fall Y'all

Oh how I love the fall season! The cooler temperatures, the beautiful warm colors, the textures, the yummy comfort foods, and did I mention the cooler temperatures? Here in North Carolina we have yet to cool down so it doesn't fee like fall yet but I know it is coming.

Enjoy this 1-Minute Escape from Southern Living and catch a glimpse of God's beauty this season...

1-Minute Escape

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friday Favorites

It's been a busy week. Why does it seem that everything hits all at one time? Wow. A lot going on and trying to keep it all straight. Whew...

So, I haven't been checking out many blogs and such this week but I did manage to find a few goodies for you. These are definitely worth checking out.

You've got to read The Shape of a Mother posted on Binkies and Briefcases. Wow, can I relate to Stephanie!

I am loving these super cute Dollar Store Mugs that I saw posted on How Does She? Yep, I will be making some of these!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September is...

Over 12,000 children are diagnosed each year in the US with cancer.
My date was May 23, 1983.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Just making you aware.

Thoughtful Thursday

Easy Banana Pudding Parfaits

I need to use up some bananas before they go bad and this is one of my favorite ways to do it. I found this recipe from Kraft several years ago. It is quick, easy and my kids love it.

Banana Pudding Parfaits
(photo by Kraft)

24 NILLA Wafers, divided
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Banana Cream Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
3/4 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 medium banana, cut into 20 slices

Crush 20 of the wafers to form coarse crumbs; set aside. Add dry pudding mix to milk in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. Gently stir in whipped topping.

Layer half of the crumbs and 8 of the banana slices in four individual dessert dishes; cover with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers, reserving 4 of the banana slices for garnish. Cover and refrigerate parfaits at least 15 min.

Top each parfait with 1 each of the reserved wafers and banana slices just before serving.

Harris Teeter week of 9/8/10

Here are a few good deals on my Harris Teeter list this week...

Evic Item...HT brand cereals 12-20 ounce, $0.97 (limit 2)

New York brand Garlic Texas Toast BOGO at $3 (1.50 ea)
use $0.50 coupon = $0.50

HT Fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts B1G2

HT milk $2.47 (excludes organic)

Campbells Select Harvest soup $1.25

Campbells condensed soup, select varieties, $1

Go here to check out the full ad with coupon matchups.

13 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You

I saw this on Yahoo today and thought I'd share...

13 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You

Interviews by Neena Samuel

A look inside a teacher's mind could help you understand lesson plans and maybe even guide your child to perform better.

1. If we teach small children, don’t tell us that our jobs are “so cute” and that you wish you could glue and color all day long.

2. I’m not a marriage counselor. At parent-teacher conferences, let’s stick to Dakota’s progress, not how your husband won’t help you around the house.

© iStockphoto / Thinkstock

© iStockphoto / Thinkstock

3. We’re sick of standardized testing and having to “teach to the test.”

4. Kids used to go out and play after school and resolve problems on their own. Now, with computers and TV, they lack the skills to communicate. They don’t know how to get past hurt feelings without telling the teacher and having her fix it.

5. When I hear a loud belch, I remember that a student’s manners are a reflection of his parents’.

6. Your child may be the center of your universe, but I have to share mine with 25 others.

7. Please help us by turning off the texting feature on your child’s phone during school hours.

8. Guys who dribble a ball for a couple of hours a game can make up to $20 million a year. We educate future leaders and make about $51,000 a year.

9. We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, we’re watching for learning disabilities, issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.

10. Kids dish on your secrets all the time—money, religion, politics, even Dad’s vasectomy.

11. Please, no more mugs, frames, or stuffed animals. A gift card to Starbucks or Staples would be more than enough. A thank-you note: even better.

12. We love snow days and three-day weekends as much as your kid does.

13. The students we remember are happy, respectful, and good-hearted, not necessarily the ones with the highest grades.

Sources: American Federation of Teachers; interviews with elementary and middle school teachers in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Do you plan your meals for the week? Month? I can't quite figure out a whole month at a time but I do like to plan out each week. I make my plan based on what I have on hand and what is on sale. This helps with the budget and it keeps me organized, especially during hectic weeks.

I'd love to know what you are planning for dinners this week for your family.

Here's what my menu looks like...

Monday...grilled chicken, wild rice, green beans

Tuesday...sandwiches, pasta salad, fruit

Wednesday...spaghetti & meatballs

Thursday...chicken pot pie, blueberry muffins, fruit


Saturday...attending a pot luck but not sure what I am bringing yet

I've linked my menu to Menu Plan Monday...check out what everyone is cooking this week.