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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals Review & Giveaway ~ Ended~ no more entries

UPDATE:  The winner (drawn by is Gia for comment #11! I'm emailing her now, if I don't hear back within 48 hours, I'll draw a new winner! Thanks to all who entered!! ~ Aimee 

As a member of, I was recently asked to have my little guy try the new Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals.   I was hesitant, because I know how picky this kid can be!  He will reluctantly eat chicken in nugget form, but not other meats, or any other form of chicken. He isPiCkY!

 We received several meals to try, plus two coupons for Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals   Well, David chose the ravioli for lunch the next day, but after discovering that it contained beef, he clamped those lips shut and wouldn't try another bite.  I tried them and they were delicious - rich sauce, tender ravioli - yum!!! So it's just MY kid that doesn't like any dishes made with meat!  Your child will LOVE these meals! 

What I liked most about these is that they are an easy-to-fix, complete meal for a kid! They come in four
kid-friendly, delicious varieties:  (well, at least for most kids, lol!)

•Spaghetti and Meatballs

•Pasta and Chicken

•Beef Ravioli

•Macaroni and Beef

They are portable too - easy to take on the go and heat up when it's mealtime!  So quick, too - just heat them in the microwave and it's time to eat!  I also like that there are often coupons for Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals in the Sunday paper!


Now on to the giveaway!!  I'm giving one winner two coupons to try Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals for FREE, valued at $2.29 each - coupons expire 12/31/11.

Mandatory Entry:
Must do this entry before any of the additional entries!! Leave a comment, telling me which variety of Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals your child would like to try first!  (Make sure to include your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you are my winner!)

                                                                   Additional Entries:
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect - box is in the right sidebar, then leave me a comment with your GFC id & email address.  If you already follow me, tell me that & leave your id & email address in a comment.
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed OR Email newsletter & confirm it in your email, leave a comment with your email address. If you already do subscribe, just leave that in a comment with your email!
  • Vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs (click the PFB button near the top of the sidebar!), then leave a comment saying you did so, with your email address.  Can do this once daily til contest ends, just leave a comment daily!
  • Tweet about this giveaway using the button near the top of my blog post ~ then leave a comment, your Twitter id, and your email address.  Can do this once daily til contest ends, just leave a comment each day that you do it!
  • Like my Facebook page (click the FB box in sidebar), then leave a comment with your FB id and email address.
  • Follow me on Twitter, leave a comment with your Twitter id & email address!
Don't forget - you can leave one comment per entry that you do, and on the daily ones, you can leave an additional comment each day after you do the required entry method!  I will verify that entries were completed before winner is notified!

Contest is open to US residents, and will run through 11:59 pm EST on Friday, June 10.  Winning comment will be drawn & verified that weekend and notified via email by June 13, 2011.  Winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their mailing address.  If I don't hear from them in that time, a new winner will be drawn, verified & contacted!  Coupons will be mailed via USPS by June 20, 2011.  Once the winner's prize envelope is dropped off at the US Post Office, I can't be held responsible for lost/undelivered mail.

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this review, but we were sent Hormel® Compleats® Kids Microwave Meals to sample, and two free coupons to use.  I would rather share the free coupons with one of my blog readers, since D won't eat the meals due to the inclusion of MEAT! lol  All opinions about the meals are honest and are completely my own.  I passed the additional sample meals on to a friend to use when they camp - I know her son will enjoy them this summer!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Review ~ Stone Mountain Lasershow Spectacular in Laservision!

Last Thursday we were invited to attend the premiere of the brand new Lasershow Spectacular at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta.  I've lived in Atlanta since 4th grade, grew up going to the park, and I have been to many, many Lasershows since it started more than 25 years ago! I was very excited to see this new production in Mountainvision!!

Unfortunately, Katie had an exam early the next morning, so she had to miss this.  David chose to miss the last day of school so he could see the Lasershow.  Being seven, he didn't miss much - they have a picnic and play a lot!  So Randy, David & I set out on a stormy night for the 40 mile trip to Stone Mountain. 

Stuck at Spaghetti Junction, trying to get on 285! Rush hour + storms = delays!!


Our view for dinner ~ sweet!

Delicious cupcakes ~ sweet ending to dinner!
Despite the rain and storms, we got there about 7 pm and checked in.  We ate dinner out on the Terrace (luckily it was covered, because the rain kept coming and going!)  Then we enjoyed some delicious cupcakes while waiting for the darkness to fall.   Kids played on the terrace, and it was a nice, relaxing way to spend the evening!

Finally, the lasershow began at about 9:30 pm! It's not completely new, but that is good.  The fan favorites of Stone Mountain's Lasershow are still here:  Dixie, Sweet Home Alabama, Georgia on My Mind, and other favorites are still played much to the delight of the hometown crowd.   But there are fabulous new additions.  The new, state-of-the-art, multi-dimensional show is amazing!  Watch the mountain open up, and turn into an erupting volcano! Or watch pieces of it "crumble" and fall to the ground.  It's really something to see!  The fireworks were so beautiful, and it was truly an inspiring, feel good show.  We loved it.  It's a little over 40 minutes long, which is just about perfect!

See my little D's head? He sat in front of us and clapped so hard - he can't wait to go back and see the Lasershow Spectacular again!

I never got a truly good shot of the gorgeous fireworks, but here is another attempt!

Here are some facts about this amazing new show:

  • The Lasershow is free with $10 vehicle admission to the park.  Or buy a $35 parking pass good for the entire year!
  • Mountainvision is four to five times the size of an IMAX screen, taller than the Statue of Liberty!
  • Seeing the show in Mountainvision is similar to owning a 5500 inch high definition tv!
  • Mountainvision is included in all parts of the show, but there is one section of the show that really shows off the new technology - the volcano, ice cave, and skyline section! It's really, really fun!
  • There are some all-time favorite music medleys, along with some new!
  • Heroes Salute is a tribute to everyday heroes
  • Georgia Artists showcases our fabulous homegrown artists - Sugarland, The Allman Brothers, The Zac Brown Band, REM and more
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia - need I say more?! : )
  • An American Trilogy - Elvis segment where the beautiful Mountain Carving comes to life!
And here are some facts about Stone Mountain and the park:
  • It's the world's largest exposed piece of granite, home to the world's largest relief sculpture. 
  • The carving features three Civil War figures: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, & Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and their horses. 
  • The carving measures 90 feet tall, 190 feet wide, and is 11 feet deep.  It spans three acres, and is larger than Mt. Rushmore!
  • Stone Mountain Park is Georgia's most popular attraction, and one of the top historical attractions in the U.S.!
Other attractions to see at the Park include:
  • Crossroads - a village of shops, restaurants and activities!
  • Yogi Bear 4D Adventure - new for 2011, this is a 12 minute experience with 3D film and 4D special effects!
  • Mini-Golf - 18 holes of fun!
  • Paddlewheel Riverboat - 150 passenger authentic paddlewheel boat cruises Stone Mountain Lake
  • Ride the Ducks Siteseeing Adventure - the only place in Georgia you can ride the Ducks!
  • Scenic Railroad - fullsize 1940's locomotive with open-air cars takes you on a five mile excursion around the mountain
  • SkyHike - a treetop adventure course!
  • Summit Skyride - high-speed Swiss Cable Car takes you to the top of the mountain for stunning views - on a clear day you can see for more than 40 miles! 
There are also hiking trails, picnic areas, lodging and camping areas!  The park is open from 6 am until midnight daily!  Access to Stone Mountain's natural areas is free with parking admission.  There are options for annual passes, day passes and more - check out for all of the details!

The park now offers VIP Terrace seating, with snack or casual dining options.  Reservations can be made online at  The new laser show runs nightly now through August 7 at 9:30 pm.  August 13, 20 & 27 it runs Saturdays only.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.  We did receive free admission to the park, plus dinner with my family to view the premiere of the new Lasershow Spectacular.  This review is my honest opinion of the show, and I would have said the same thing whether we had to pay to see the show or not - it was fabulous!!

My semi-extreme Walgreens trip

Wanted to share, step by step, how I spent under $4 for almost $70 worth of products yesterday.  And to vent a little,too!

So first ~ I made my list Saturday night from .  I wrote a small CVS list on one side of the paper, Wags on the other.  I used two envelopes - one for each store.  Each envelope held the coupons I needed for that store.  CVS was nothing special, spent under $3, got probably $20 worth of items.  

Drove 2 miles to the Wags in a nearby town, and was dismayed to see a LINE out front!! That's a first!!
I hurried inside with my coupon box, list, and Wags envelope.  Here's what I got:

First transaction:

1 box of Crackerfuls - they had a shelf full of these, yay! Got these for our vacation later this week. On sale for $2, used  $1.50 off coupon, got $2 RR back
2 boxes of Ecotrin (1 for hubby, 1 for my Nana), on sale for 99 c with Wags ad, used 2 $1.50 off coupons
1 pkg Poise pads for Nana -  $5.99, used $5 mfr coupon, plus $1 store coupon
2 6 pks Scott Paper Towels - on sale $3.99, used 2 $1 off coupons - for my stockpile
2 pk Walgreens Sunscreen lip balm $1.99 ( no coupon, need for the beach later this week!)
2 Dixie Bowls $2.99 each -  B1G1,  used $1 off 2 coupon - for vacation
Icy Hot - on sale for 99 cents, used $1 off coupon got 99 c RR back  - for my daughter who has started running!
BC Powder 6 ct - on sale $1.50, got $1.50 RR back - for my husband
4 Right Guard Deodorants on sale B1G1, used 2 B1G1 coupons - for my stockpile - will send to my 2 stepsons in a care pkg later this year
4 packages of candy (need more items to use last week's RR to pay) $1 each for 3 of them, 89 cents for the 4th.  These will be for our vacation!

Paid $2.60 out of pocket after using $13 in RR from last week!

Let 2 people go ahead here - not fair to hold up the line for multiple transactions - couponing etiquette 101!

2nd transaction:
Ritz Crackerfuls - sale $2, used $1.50 coupon, got $2 RR back - for stockpile
Icy Hot 99 c on sale, used $1 off coupon - for my Nana
paid 59 cents out of pocket  
saved $4.99

3rd transaction:
Ritz Crackerfuls - sale $2, used $1.50 coupon, got $2 RR back - for vacation

Icy Hot 99 c on sale, used $1 off coupon - for my Mom
paid 59 cents out of pocket
saved $4.99

Let one person go ahead here.

4th transaction: 
Icy Hot  99c on sale, she adjusted coupon to 99 c (can't have overage)  - for my stockpile
paid .06 (tax)
saved $1.99

total spent out of pocket:
total saved:
appx $68
RR for next week:
$21.50 (includes some leftover from last week's Advil purchases)

I'm really happy with what I spent, and what I have for next week!

Here's my vent:
To the woman who felt the need to empty the shelves completely of at least 20 - 30 bottles of the Right Guard body wash, and same with the deodorant - left only 10 or so of those - wow - you must have a stinky family.  Several of us (other shoppers) asked her if there were any left, and she laughed and said no.  Wow.
She also took several *hundred* of the BC powders, (took the entire cardboard display boxes off the shelf - wow!) I asked if I could get ONE 6 ct package, and she did give one up. She also took most of the Ecotrins after I got my 2, she just knocked them into her cart off the shelf. Grrr.

I asked the clerk for help in locating the Icy Hot, it was in a weird place.  I took two from the shelf, and when she found more in the back later during my trip, two more. They are small, and I'm sharing them!  Yep, Mrs. Extreme Couponer took the rest.  Such a great example of what not to be.  Then she did 8 transactions with huge lines behind her.  The cashiers were super-annoyed with all of the couponers after that, and it was not a fun trip.  There were other new couponers there and we were all chatting in line, sharing tips and coupons. That was nice, but the shelf-clearer was the main topic of conversation.  She took almost all of the sale items.  We were all annoyed - we all got there at the store's opening time, but still had a hard time getting the items we needed. (Several of them had the B1G1 Right Guard coupons and wanted the bodywash, like me, but couldn't get it) The BC was another hot product - they all had coupons for it (I didn't, darn it!) and they wanted a couple packs for free, but Mrs. Extreme wouldn't give it up. 

When I got home, I told my husband that when it stops being a fun way to save money, I'll quit.  If I run into more of these obnoxious tv-wannabe Extreme couponers, I'll be quitting sooner rather than later.  At least til the tv show goes away and that kind of shopper goes back home.  I do this to build a SMALL stockpile (no more than 6 -8 of any item) for our family, not to get on tv, or to "win" at being the best shopper of the day.  I don't rush through the store knocking things off shelves into carts! I don't leave empty shelves - I'll go to another store before I do that!  I do my semi-extreme couponing to help stretch our budget, and to keep us supplied with quality products at rock-bottom prices when I find them.  Again, not years worth of products, but a few weeks or  months, tops.   

To hoard is to be greedy, and the hoarders out there are starting to really tick me off! Also - I'll consider that maybe she is donating it, but is it right to take all of a store's stock of something to donate?  I don't think so!  Before I quit my weekend drugstore shopping, I am going to find a new store to shop in.  The one in our area is becoming an extreme shopper's dream store, and I'm not going to go through another trip like this one.  It was stressful and not fun! 

But at the end of the day,  I did get a few items for our trip, a couple of items my Nana needs, and a few items to restock our stockpile (especially the 12 rolls of paper towels - we were down to 3 rolls I think!)  And I spent less than $4 to do so!  That's a great trip, in my book.  Yes,  I probably could have spent even less, but this made me HAPPY.  I don't care about getting it all for free, I just want to save big when  I can, where I can, while restocking our little stockpile.  

**And yes, if I don't like your comment, I will probably delete it.  This is *my* happy place on the web, and I don't have to keep comments that are snarky.  Why are you here if you don't like what I write?!**

 Y'all have a blessed Memorial Day. I'm remembering my Papa and my Grandaddy ~ both in heaven ~ who served our country and make me proud!! God Bless our military and their families for their service and sacrifice!! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Organizing Your Coupons

Almost every time I shop, someone stops me to look at my coupon box! So I thought it was about time to share my coupon box here so I can refer fellow shoppers right to my blog! : )

I start with these supplies:

photo storage box from Michael's (but don't forget to buy it on sale, or with one of their 40% off coupons from the paper or email!) Will cost under $3 this way.  I buy two at a time, I replace mine every 3 months or so - they get a lot of wear!!  Plus, I like to change up my box for a new color/pattern - I get bored!!

1 box of small envelopes from the dollar store (you'll replace these once or twice a year probably)

4 or 5 vinyl pocket folders from Walmart, various colors.  (when they go on sale later this summer for back to school, plan to buy a bunch for cheap!!) You can use 3x5 index cards until then - that's what I started with, but you have to replace them often - that's why I love the plastic ones I made!

I traced a 3x5 index card onto every available inch of the vinyl folders.  Cut them all out, set aside.

Open the flaps on envelopes, cut them off. 

Place a plastic (or index card) divider vertically in each envelope.  Label  (using a sharpie) with categories you want to use. (see list below of my categories for inspiration!)

Place envelopes in the box and fill those suckers up with all of your coupons!!

When I cut my coupons, I open all the inserts, then layer like insert pages together, so I am only cutting each coupon once.  Then when you file them in the envelopes, they'll be together.  

Go through your coupons once a month (end of month is best) to clear out the expired coupons, plus you'll remind yourself of what you have to use!

Here are my coupon categories ~ personalize this list to work for your family!

Air Freshener/Candles



Bread & Rolls

Biscuit/Cookie Dough

Boxed Meals/International Foods

Breakfast Baking



Cheese & Eggs

Cleaning - Bath


Cleaning - Floor


Deli & Meats

Eye & Ear Care

Feminine Products

Frozen Breads/Breakfast

Frozen Appetizers/Entrees

Frozen Fruit/Ice Cream/Dessert

Frozen Pizza

Frozen Veggies

Fruits - Canned, Snacks, Dried

Granola Bars, Protein/Diet Bars

Hair Care

Home Items - Bug Repellent, Light Bulbs, Office Supplies

Jellies/Peanut Butter/Ice Cream Toppings



Medicine - Cold, Flu, Allergy

Medicine - Kids

Medicine - Misc (1st aid, stomach, etc)

Medicine - Pain

Milk & Dairy

Milks (canned, boxed),oils, syrups (corn, waffle, etc)

Paper Goods

Pasta & Rice

Personal Care - Body

Personal Care - Face



Salad Dressings, Croutons, Pickles, Olives

Sauces, Seasonings, Marinades

Soap, Body Wash, Deodorant

Snacks - Chips, Nuts, Popcorn

Soup, Canned Chili, Tuna


Veggies - Canned

Vitamins & Supplements


I also have store envelopes behind the category envelopes  - In these envelopes I keep store coupons, rainchecks, etc






Michaels/Hobby Lobby

Local Stores/Deals


In the side of the box next to the envelopes I keep some small coupon books - my P & G one, a Target one, and the current Wags store booklet.

I carry my coupon box into the store every time I shop - you never know what you'll find on clearance to match up with your coupons! Sit in the cart seat sideways - it fits perfectly! I prefer this to the binder system, but everyone has their way of organizing - use what works for you!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fun & Easy End-of-the-Year Teacher Gifts!!!

It's that time of year again ~ we are entering our last week of school! So I've been busy putting together teacher gifts!

This is what we gave David's Speech Teacher.  She always gives the kids treats from a bowl, and we thought a treat bucket would be a lot of fun for her room!

You can't really see how bright the ribbons were because of the sunshine coming in the window behind - but they were actually deep, bright colors!!  I used pink, white and green sheer ribbons. The plastic bucket came from Michaels.  I used a scrapbooking tag that had lots of pink & green to coordinate. Finally, I had a fun dotty gift bag that I filled with some tulle and then added the bucket for easy transportation to the school!

The two cards/presents in the picture above are for David's FOCUS (our school's gifted program) teachers.  He loves them - they have really challenged him the last few months and he loves spending his Thursdays with them!!

He drew them the SWEETEST cards and wrote them a note inside each, and we got them each a Starbucks gift card, which I wrapped in ivory tulle and tied with a sheer pink ribbon.  I used my heart-shaped punch to put a hole in the card, then tied a ribbon around the card package, so they wouldn't get separated.

My most-favorite gift this year has to be the one we put together for his amazing 1st grade teacher. David has gone from reading at his grade level to reading at a fourth/fifth grade level just since September.  He is the biggest bookworm you've ever seen!! He's doing great in all of his subjects, has been on the principal's list every quarter. She inspires him on a daily basis, and I can't thank her enough!! LOVE her!!

I found the inspiration for this album here.  Natalie used the cutest flower-shaped chipboard album from Michaels for hers! However, I was so bummed to find that (at least at my store) they no longer carry them at all - not in any size, shape, or price!  Darn it!  Luckily, I had a couple of small albums at home to choose from, though it's no where near as cute as the original idea I had in mind!  I used a brightly-patterned album that had clear sleeves inside.

I bought four gift cards to places we think she will enjoy. First, I played around with the the pages to figure out the layout I liked for all of them, then cut matching "tags" for the facing pages.  David wrote out the messages on each one in red marker. Then I gathered the die cuts and embellishments together, glued everything on, then slipped the completed pages into the page sleeves and it was done! Super easy, and it REALLY looks adorable! (well, maybe a little busy - I went crazy with the ribbon!!)

We have a scrapbook clearance store that ROCKS, and I got 4 rolls of adorable ribbon for 49 cents each.  This one was my favorite - "enjoy" in all different colors!!  You can see the scrapbook's cover pattern on the binding here, too ~ it's very fun & tropical!

It was hard to find any appropriate embellishments for a fiesta, so I went with a lemonade and a lime slice!

Yeah, maybe a little too busy on this page? I still love it! Isn't the polka dot ribbon fun?

Loved this pizza box die-cut!!

There wasn't much I could do to disguise this card cover! Oh well!!

Another favorite - just love these printed ribbons!

Love this one too - the stickers and ribbon looked really cute together!

This just might be my most favorite page - D wrote - Thanks for a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious year! That is his favorite word! lol

I really, really hope she loves this as much as we do!  It's filled with a whole lot of love from my little boy, that's for sure!!


Adventures of a Couponista


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cheap movies for Atlanta kids this summer....

Well, last year appears to have been the last summer of free movies for kids, darn it!! (At least in Atlanta)
But after searching the internet, here are some of the best deals in the Atlanta area for keeping the kiddos entertained on a budget this summer...

Regal Cinemas  $1 admission Tuesdays & Wednesdays  10 am

Great Escape Theaters  $1.50 admission, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays  9:30 am

Georgia Theatre Company  $1 admission, $1.50 concessions  Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 am

All of these theaters are showing recent releases, either rated G & PG.  I know we'll hit them up a few times for some cheap entertainment & someone else's air conditioning, lol!

How to make Pasticcio (Greek Lasagna)

There is the greatest Greek diner down near my husband's office that we eat at once every couple years.  (It's 40 miles away, the kids and I aren't near his office often!)  They have some of the most delicious food, and about 5 years ago I tried their Pasticcio, which is a Greek Lasagna.  OMG ~ it is divine.  They use macaroni, a little tomato sauce, cheese, and a heavenly Bechemel sauce.  It's to die for!!  This dish always reminds me of my college roommate and dear friend Yvette.  After college, she married a Lebanese man and moved to Greece - we used to talk about visiting Greece in college, and then she was lucky enough to live there!

Last month, when we went to The Georgia Renaissance Festival, we stopped at the diner on the way back home.  The Pasticcio called my name again (as did the Baklava, for dessert -mmmmmm!).  It was as good as always, and I've been craving it ever since!!

Yesterday, I started looking online at recipes, and this is the one I found.  It's very close to what we have at the diner.  I discovered that this is a PERFECT stockpile recipe for me!  Why? Because my stockpile has diced tomatoes (from the big Italian sale at Publix earlier this year), frozen ground turkey (Kroger), and parmesan-reggiano cheese (Publix).  Oh, and don't forget the pasta!! I have so much pasta in my stockpile right now!! (Publix).  So here's the recipe, and you'll see my notes in italics beside each ingredient that I tweaked....


1 lb penne (I used tri-color whole grain Penne pasta)
2 c finely grated parmesan
1 cup whole milk (I used skim)
2 large eggs


1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs  unsalted butter  (left out)
1 medium yellow onion (left out - used onion powder)
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (didn't have on hand, used garlic powder instead)
salt and pepper
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 lb ground pork  (used turkey instead)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes with juices (used petite diced tomatoes)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 375, place rack in middle
Boil pasta according to directions.  Run drained pasta under cold water to cease cooking
For the sauce:
Heat the oil and butter in large frying pan over medium high heat.  When butter foams,  add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes.   Add meat, break it up with a spoon.  Cook until browned, stir in tomatoes and cinnamon.  Season to taste again with salt and pepper.  Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

Butter a 2 1/2 - 3 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese in bottom of pan, then 1/2 of the pasta.  Add all of the meat sauce, 1/3 cheese, remaining pasta, remaining cheese. 

In a small bowl, whisk milk and eggs together til combined.  Slowly pour over entire dish (Completely cover  noodles).   (This is kinda-sorta like the fancy bechamel sauce - not as wonderful as homemade, but still really good!)

Cover, bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake until bubbling and browned, about 10 -15 minutes more.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Delicious with bread and a tossed green salad!

The casserole before we cut into it...

and after we cut it!

 My pictures do not do this justice, it looks better than this and tastes incredible! : )

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to make a Patriotic Wreath from Dollar Tree

After I took down the Easter Egg Wreath, I realized I didn't have anything cute to put on the door for summer!  So when I went to Dollar Tree yesterday, I kept an eye out for anything that would be good for summer ~ Memorial Day and July 4, especially!

So these are the three things I bought:

one wreath form, and two (different) 9 foot tinsel garlands.

This was the easiest wreath ever.  I just wrapped the larger (red, white and blue tinsel) garland tightly around the wreath.  Then I wrapped the blue garland with stars over that so the stars are standing up.  Super cute, super easy and super cheap! Only $3!  I just tucked the ends in when I started, and when I finished - no glue needed! 

Here it is on the door.  LoVe it!  (PS ~ took about 3 minutes to make, too ~ easiest wreath ever!)

If you have stopped by from one of the blog hops I'm participating in, please feel free to sign up for my email newsletter, or to follow me via Google Friend Connect, or on Facebook & Twitter! (All are linked in the right sidebar!) Just leave me a comment so I can follow you too! Hope you enjoy my blog! ~ Alexa Hop"

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mid-week Blog Hop time again!


Welcome, and thanks for stopping by! If you follow me via GFC, FB, Twitter, or email, just leave me a comment so I can return the favor! Have a wonderful week! : )

Announcing the winners of the I love my mommy blog hop giveaway!

So without further ado, here we go!!!!!

Winners of a coupon for a free bottle of Purex with Zout ~

#16 Dawn S.

#89 Teressa M.
# 60 Ericka T.

#49 Janet F.

#72 Christine N.

Winners of a bar of my homemade soap & a sachet:
#100 Veronica L.
#20 Renee (with the adorable Yorkie!)

I'm emailing you all now, and you have 48 hours to reply back with your mailing address! If I don't hear from you, I'll draw another winner. 

Thank you to every one of you who took the time to enter - I appreciate you all!  Please keep checking back on the blog, I have more giveaways to come, plus lots more reviews, crafts, recipes, deals and MORE! 

How I find coupons & deals on produce & organic items...

When I teach classes, one thing that comes up time and again is this: "We don't eat a lot of the items that have coupons." or  "We eat a lot of produce/organic items - how do we find deals for those?" or "There aren't any coupons for good, healthy food."

Well, here's how I do it...

Whole Foods has coupon books, and you can sign up online at to get coupons by mail. For example, I emailed Blue Diamond and complimented their almond milk, and they sent me coupons! Most organics companies will have a website or public phone #, so write/call and ask to be put on their mailing list.  And don't forget Facebook! Like your favorite products and then watch for coupons, deals, samples and more!

Another tip: If you have a Kroger store, prowl the produce department in the early morning or evening and look for discounted produce. They have yellow and orange manager's special tags on the products. As long as we eat it within a couple days, it is a great way to get super prices on healthy veggies and fruits! Always take your coupons - salads, fruits, veggies, dips and more may be marked down, and you can still use your coupons with them!

Recently, my Kroger had Chiquita Apple Slices marked down from $4.99 for 5 individual bags, to 1.99. I had $1 dollar off coupon, so I got the 5 bags of apple slices for 99 cents! This past weekend I bought 10 Fage Greek yogurts marked down to 50 cents each, and 10 Coconut milk yogurts (regularly $2.99 each!) for 50 cents each this way!

I haven't seen other local stores that mark down products like this, but Kroger does offer these manager specials regularly. Just go later in the evening, or early in the morning! Check the bakery and meat departments too for these deals. Remember you can freeze breads and meats that are close to their expiration dates!

Here are a few other places to get coupons:

HealthyLifeDeals offers some great coupon matchups, too!

Do you have a favorite source for deals on organics or healthy foods? Leave a comment to share with the rest of us!!