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Friday, September 30, 2011

How to save money year-round for holidays...

Over the last few years, money has become tighter and tighter, so I've had to get really creative to stretch what we have.  One thing I have gotten especially good at is finding deals for holidays.

My first tip - go to your favorite store the morning after a holiday.  Be there when they open if you can so you get the best selection! Most stores mark everything 50% off the day after!  Last year the kids and I were at Target & Walmart the morning after Halloween, and we made out like bandits!  I bought both kids costumes for this year ~ K will be a flapper and D will be a magician.  I got both costumes for the price of one!  I also got a crazy lightup tee-shirt for D on clearance, as well as cupcake liners, tableware, decorative items, and so much more.  We are set for this years Halloween party! 

Same idea for Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc!  We were on vacation last year in Florida the day after Christmas, but yes, I did go to Target and Walmart!  I would have been so mad at myself this November when I'd have to pay full price for Christmas stuff. So we went, we shopped, and we drove back to Atlanta with a big boxful of decorations, wrapping paper, candles, hand towels, Christmas cards and more.  Oh, and don't forget to check the baking section - the holiday sprinkles and cupcake liners, etc are usually on sale too! 


Just a few of the things I got for  1/2 price at Walmart, Target & CVS after Christmas in Florida last year!

One more after Christmas tip ~ You can buy Christmas candy like M&M's or jelly beans & gumdrops.  Save them in your pantry or fridge to use the red ones for Valentine's day treats and the green ones for St. Patricks Day!

If your Walmart recently brought fabric back in ~ check the fabric department the day after holidays - you can get holiday prints 1/2 off! I buy fabric for table runners, gift bags, etc.  Easy way to decorate frugally!

Check daily deal sites like Groupon, Half Off Depot. etc for deals at holiday attractions, restaurants and more.  I've already seen Haunted House Deals locally!

In Atlanta, the newspaper usually has a coupon on Thanksgiving Day for the Christmas light display at Lake Lanier that is good for 1/2 off the admission fee for Thanksgiving night.  That's a great deal!  Check local newspapers, or call local attractions to find out if they offer any specials, previews, etc.

Participate in local rewards programs: I'm in one for a local radio station that gives me points by email once a week to use in various contests - last year I won a gift certificate that paid for a nice gift for each of our kids at a local store.  The rewards program for a local tv station gives code words that I enter on their website.  Because of that program, we won 4 tickets to see Peter Pan when it was here in the Spring, plus we got to get a behind the scenes meet & greet with some of the actors, see the stage, see some of the puppets and props, etc - it was a total treat for us! 

Use Michael's & Hobby Lobby coupons for seasonal decor, gifts, and more.  Most every week there is a 40% off coupon in the paper or online - use it on something for your home or buy a gift for someone on your list and hide it away til Christmas! I try to do this all year long so I'll have several gifts for the kids by the time Christmas rolls around. Also check here for after-holiday clearance...In my Fall decor boxes that just came from the attic, I had some beautiful berry garlands that I got after Halloween last year for 70% off - I think they were $2 each!  I can afford to buy more pretty things when they are highly discounted! 

I like to check the dollar store before a big holiday: around the beginning of September for Halloween items,  beginning of January for Valentines, etc.  They tend to sell out of the cute stuff early.  (especially paper goods - if you need napkins and plates, cups and tableclothes)  And don't forget Goodwill and thrift stores...mine has a whole aisle of holiday decor all year round! I've gotten some cute Christmas & Halloween items there.

Use pharmacy deals to decorate for the holidays. I love when Target has their $10 gift card promo going on because I'll transfer one of my DH's prescriptions to Target, then get a $10 gift card for filling it there. I'm gonna have to fill it anyway, might as well get paid for it, right?!   I have gotten some really cute spring and fall merchandise using those cards! Kroger does this as well - but they will give you a $25 credit on your Kroger Plus card.  They always have an aisle or two of decor and gift items for every holiday, so spend it well!

Kohl's Cash is great for decorating your home for the holidays too!  I love to buy clothes for the kids there(during special sales you spend $50, get $10 Kohl's cash back) and save my Kohl's cash for a little spree!  My favorite thing to get with Kohl's cash is their birthday candles (the ones in a glass jar with sprinkles on top) for my friends and family.  Recently I've also started buying fun decor there too. Last month I used my Kohl's cash for a harvest candle and a box of faux acorns (vase filler) for my Fall decorating.  I don't like to spend "real money" decorating my house,  but I don't mind spending store rewards or gift cards! 

I hope these ideas will help you with some of the upcoming holiday sales (or after sales, I should say!)

Here are some pics to show what I've gotten over the last two years after Halloween...(actually just some of it, I've already started decorating, so alot has been put out!)   I'll shop the day after again this year to add to my stash - need to start working on some outdoor decorations next!



Looks messy, but this bin has stretchy mice, a black wreath form, funky scarecrow,napkins, plates, serving bowls, votive holders, platters, a cheesecloth "curtain" for my french door in the family room, and spider webs with creepy crawlies.  Plus David's magician costume-in-a-bag!


This has more decorative items - dollar store Ghost Motel & Witches Way signs, 1/2 price shirt, black light lamp, hair glitter, bat cookie cutter, tree, candles, and labels for jars/drinks. The cute little vintage bucket on the back right side (checked interior, vintage label on front) was 1/2 off at World Market! I printed out the subway art last year and put in a dollar store frame...


and a few more - 1/2 off cupcake liners & picks, 1/2 off scarecrow & snow globe (w/ scarecrow) from CVS last year, 1/2 off fabrics from Walmart, wooden black cat with ribbon was $1.91 at Goodwill, the skulls were 1/2 off from Michals, and the bronze pumpkin was a white one from the dollar store I painted. Plus white tulle for making ghosties! (use 40% off coupon at HobLob to get it so cheap!)



So I need to fluff the leaves more, I know - but this cute Welcome Friends birdhouse was $3.50 at CVS after Thanksgiving.  The bird is from the dollar store.   The hurricane is one of my Goodwill creations - a vase glued to a glass candlestick holder - filled with large balls from a fancy-schmancy bag of potpourri I got at Michael's with a 40% off coupon....



Love this look - the hurricane is from Pier 1 ~  I believe it was $9.99 & I had a $10 gift certificate from their Facebook page.  The acorns (bottom) were $12 from Kohl's - FREE w/ Kohl's Cash.  The smaller balls on top are from the same bag of potpourri mentioned above.  The candle was $9.99 at Kohls, but free with my Kohl's cash! It has a twine tie with a metal pumpkin charm on the front.  The garland is the one I got for 70% off at Michael's.  I just love all these elements together - the textures, the scent (the candle is Harvest Spice fragrance - yummm!) they work so well together.

You can really get some great things for cheap (or free!) just by shopping after the holidays for the next year, and utilizing sales, coupons & store rewards.

What is your favorite place to shop for holiday decor?

Hooking up with these hops this weekend:
little love weekend blog hop

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to recycle & organize your kitchen or craft items...

I noticed recently how many containers we throw in the recycling bin for pickup, and wondered if I could reuse some of them.  But I really dislike using (for example) a country crock container to store something in - they are just not cute.  So I grabbed my handy dandy chalkboard spray paint and got to work....

In their former lives, these containers held products like Nestle Chocolate Milk powder, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Grits, Oatmeal, etc....





 but now they look like this!!





I can repurpose them as needed - just a quick wipe off on the outside, write the new name and it's ready to hold something new! : )

Remove any labels they may have (like the Nestle container had).  Some of these will be used for non-food items like my box tops, buttons, etc.  I gave them all 3 coats of the chalkboard paint - seems to be plenty, because so far so good!  

It keeps a couple extra things out of the recycling bin and helps keep my home a tad more organized.  (Still have a looooooooooooooong way to go before that is all done, haha!)  For the cost of a can of spray paint (under $5 at Home Depot), this was a super-easy, frugal project!

What's your favorite thing to use chalkboard paint on?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's for lunch Wednesday #2


This week's lunch is a result of an impulse buy at Walmart Sunday, and getting down to the end of my perishable groceries (I shop every 2 weeks, and I'll go again tomorrow!)  He doesn't get Capri Suns, chips or cupcakes often!!

This picture stinks, too - I was in a hurry and it shows - sorry y'all!  Inside the Cars reusable bag is a peanut butter & honey sandwich on wholegrain thin sandwich rounds.  The pirate bag has D's favorite natural sea salt & vinegar chips.  There's a container of Trader Joe's applesauce & plastic spoon, a wedge of Lite laughing Cow cheese and a mini cupcake (the impulse buy from WM - half price cupcakes!)  He has a Capri Sun lemonade for a drink, with an ice pack to keep it all fresh.

The pirate bags were in Target's Dollar Spot a few weeks ago - he loves them!  The little lunch note was in a pack I got from Toys R Us when I got his new lunchbox & back pack for this school year.  On the back there is either a trivia question, joke, fact or place to write a note! I think he likes them - I find them in his room, folded up from his pocket! : ) 

Please share your kiddo(s)' lunchbox contents in the comments section  - all moms can use new ideas!! Better yet, let's all share a picture once a week to help inspire each other with fun or fresh ideas for food, treats, and special touches for our kids lunch times!


Monday, September 26, 2011

How to make decorative clothespins with scrapbook paper

Day whatever of still being sick. I can't talk without coughing, so I decided to hunker down at home and make something fun & easy! (so I'd feel like I got something done today...)

I love to use clothespins to close bags of chips, brown sugar, bread, whatever...they are easy to store & if I break one, it's not a big deal! (Back when I used to break those tacky plastic chip clips that cost a dollar or more apiece, that would make me feel like I wasted $$ ~ hate that!)

When I sold my soaps and other items online & at two local stores in 2009 -2010, these decorative clothespins (sold in sets of 6) were one of my best sellers!  I would make forty or fifty clips a day in big batches.  Then at the beginning of 2010 I stopped selling my items and slowly but surely, my supply of cute clips has dried up.  Today was the perfect day to replenish my junk drawer with a few more of these little cuties....



What you need:
newspaper to cover the table or surface you are working on
$1 bag of clothespins from Dollar Tree
scrapbook paper, decoupage tissue, ribbon, fabric - whatever!
mod podge (I like the matte version for these)
foam paint brush
scissors, pencil




Using the paper, tissue or fabric, I like to cut a rectangle (by eye, not measured) about twice as wide, and a smidge over the length of the first clothespin.  Then turn it over and trace one side of the clothespin.  Next to that tracing, flip the clothespin over and trace the other side.  Cut those two pieces out, lay aside.  Do the same for each clothespin you want to cover.  (Don't just cut the pieces all the same as the first pin - each pin differs slightly in size, width, etc.  It takes more time, but the final look is better if you trace every one separately!)  If using ribbon, cut a piece slightly longer than your clothes pin for each side.  I like to use a coordinating ribbon on the second side - fun to mix things up!

Brush the first side of clothespin with a layer of mod-podge.  Apply paper, fabric or tissue.  Smooth out any air bubbles, and  let dry.   Once dry,  apply a layer of mod podge over the top of the paper or fabric.  Let dry.  Repeat two more times.  Then, flip over and do the other side exactly the same!  (That is why I do at least 10, 20, or even 50 at a time because by the time I finish one side, it's time to do the next step on the first ones!)   For the ribbon covered clips only: once the final layer of mod podge is dry, trim the end of the ribbon to match the length of the pin.  With the mod podge on it, there should be no fraying!

Once they are dry, you can add a flower, button or ribbon accent to make it even cuter, but that is not necessary!   (on a side note - if you live in Atlanta, check out Scrapbook Clearance Center in Buford! EVERYTHING is half off there.  The tag on the back of each item is the original price, when you go to checkout, they take 50% off your total purchase - LOVE! These sticky-back buttons were only 99 cents a pack - I use them in scrapbooks and on cards too! The little spools of ribbon in the top picture were only 49 cents each! SCC is on Buford Drive, next to Plato's Closet - across Hwy 20 from the Mall of Georgia)




These look really cute on a bag of chips or pretzels - much more fun than a plastic clip that says "chip clip" across it!  I like to package 6 of them (in a coordinating paper or fabric) in a plastic bag tied with a ribbon to give as a little gift, too.  (Easy teacher gift!)



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Had to take a little time away!

We've all been so sick this past week - dumb allergies!! Today has been the first day I felt semi-human again, but I have the worst cough right now and I'm so hoarse!  Really ready to feel good again.  Then to top it off, my laptop's power cord DIED on Wednesday!! My DH ordered another one online, and we were sharing his cord, then THAT cord died too!  We've really had a rough week, feeling bad and not having our internet!! Luckily, about an hour ago,  I remembered my Dad gave Katie a laptop, and sure enough, there was this cool little bag included with an iGo Juice cord - and it works for my laptop!!  YEAH!! So for now, I've got power!!   the new cord should be here this week....

I just drew the winner for the Betty Crocker Prize Pack (congrats Louis!).  Next I have a review/giveaway coming up this week for Shaklee - I have to say I am very impressed with their cleaners!! I cleaned my oven Friday with a really nice smelling (think bubble gum scent!) scouring cleaner.  First time I've EVER cleaned the oven without the windows open and fans on full power....it was a pleasant change, to say the least!  More on that later this week...

Also, we'll be traveling down to Orange City, Florida in less than two weeks for a nice weekend trip.  The Holiday Inn Express there is going to give one of my readers a TWO NIGHT stay!! Orange City is a wonderful destination because it is halfway between Daytona Beach and Orlando!! So you can easily venture to the beach for a day or two, then head to Disney or Universal for the day too - it's the best of both worlds.  Can I tell you that my kids are counting down the days til we leave? I'm actually letting them skip school that day - we have conferences that week and there won't be much going on that Friday.  I am ready for a break from Atlanta, allergies, traffic, and my daily carpool runs! : )  So get ready friends, two more really great giveaways coming up in the next few weeks!!  Hope you are enjoying these first few days of Fall, and I'll be back later this week, hopefully feeling better and ready to share some of my Fall decorating ideas and recipes!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Living a more balanced life with Cerra

I was excited to be chosen to try a sampler box of products from Cerra that was sent to me by Shespeaks.  I had done a little exploring on their website and really liked the idea of a line of products to make life more balanced and happy - who wouldn't welcome that?  With all of the running around I do, life gets hectic.  I forget to slow down and just breathe, and I don't always enjoy the moment.   Cerra's products help you to "be aware ~ act ~ reflect".  This is something I truly need in my life!

In my sampler were three packages of tea, a pack of keepsake notes, a pack of dissolving notes with a watercolor pen, a bottle of sensory oil, and a tube of hand and body lotion, along with a card containing the seven intentions.   Those are seven universal human virtues that help us to be mindful of how we're feeling and remind us how to act with purpose.



The three teas I received were:  Gratitude White Tea Infusion, Grounded Tea Tisane and Creative Tea Tisane.  The Tisanes are naturally caffeine free infusions of herbs, not tea leaves.  I haven't tried these yet, but they smell delicious.  I can't wait to enjoy a steaming cup while I reflect upon my day.

The Gratitude keepsake notes are one of my favorite things - they are scented pocket-sized notes.  There are 14 cards with a space for the date at the top, and  lines to write about something that makes you grateful.   The more you write, the easier and more beneficial the keepsake notes become.  You are encouraged to save the notes you write and reflect upon them from time to time.  What a wonderful way to remember & count your blessings!  The Gratitude fragrance is a light floral with a fruity blend.  It includes peony, jasmine and balsam oil.

The dissolving notes are something we can all use!  They remind you to be aware of your emotions and release them ~ so you can pursue a more balanced life!  You're asked to be aware of how you are feeling, act by writing it down on the note, then place it in the water to dissolve away!  Then reflect - how well did this work for you?  This practice can help you effectively manage your moods as they occur.  Such a great idea - when you get angry, sad or hurt, write down what happened and how you feel, then let it go!

The Creative Energy sensory oil smells delicious!  It's a mix of fresh, fruity citrus with cardamom and juniper berry.  It's an invigorating blend that is said to unblock your energy and help your creativity come through! I put a dab of the oil on my wrists this morning and I think it's working ~ I'm blogging much earlier than I usually do! ; )  There is a "ritual" included which you can practice as you apply the oil.  It can help you connect with the feelings you link to a given intention.  (again, it helps you to be aware ~ act ~ reflect).  Using the oil and the Intentions card throughout the day can help you shift into a desired state of mind. (ie Gratitude, Grounded, Loving Kindness, etc)  I am going to get several of these oils!

I like the Grounded hand and body lotion - it combines patchouli and ylang ylang to merge calm with comfort.  The lotion left my hands silky soft and smooth without the greasy feeling some lotions leave behind.  I'll be buying more of this! 

I am a big believer in the power of aromatherapy!  As a soapmaker, I love blending oils to make scents that wake my customers up, or calm them down after a busy day.  I really like how Cerra has thoughtfully blended oils together to perfectly complement each of the seven intentions.  

 If life is often hectic and a little crazy for you, I encourage you to check out Cerra's website. (I love the beautiful music playing on the site!) The products they sell are meant to help us enjoy life a little more, and stress a little less.  As I mentioned before, I'm already a fan, and will be buying replacement items for those I was able to sample for this review ~ I can tell they will make a difference in my life!

Disclaimer: I received a sampler pack of Cerra products as detailed above, but received no other compensation.  I was not asked to blog about the products, but I really liked them and I believe some of my friends and readers will as well.  All opinions given are completely my own.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's for lunch Wednesday? (New weekly feature!)

I often talk with other Moms on FB, Twitter, discussion boards and in person about what our kids are eating for lunch.  I'm not thrilled with school lunches, especially since Mr. Picky Pants will usually eat only a bite or two of his $2 lunch, and drink a chocolate lowfat milk.  That doesn't give him the protein or nutrition he needs for the 2nd half of his school day.  The options our school offers don't thrill him.  (Well, there are 5 or so meals a month he will eat, but that's it)

So most days, I pack his lunch in his cute little Star Wars lunch box.  I thought that once a week I'd try to share his favorite lunch here with y'all, and ask for comments on what your kids eat in their lunches!  I run out of ideas, so new menu ideas are always welcome!!

Here's D's fave lunch of this week (he's buying Thursday & Friday because he likes the food those two days!)



Yesterday's lunch was: low salt wheat thins, a mini cream cheese pack to spread on them, grapes cut in quarters, a Go-gurt, mini S'mores Luna Bar, and an orange juice.   (plus an ice pack to keep it all cold)  He ate everything but some of the grapes!  He doesn't eat a lot of meat, so the Luna bar offers protein, as does  the cream cheese... I included an Ikea plastic knife for the cream cheese, which he brings home for me to wash...

One easy way I like to make lunches fun for D is to put a cool napkin in there. I buy holiday-themed ones after the holidays, as well as any clearance ones at Party City, or other specialty stores.  This week he gets Star Wars napkins, which I found in the birthday party section of Target for under $2! 

What are some of your kids' favorites?  I'll try to do this feature weekly, and would love to hear your lunchbox favorites & tips!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Little Bit" Cookie Recipe

So allergies are in full swing - I can't stop sneezing, coughing or keep my contacts in!  Twice a year I get sick with the allergies, and then sinuses - it's not always this bad though.  Anyway - today I needed some chocolate comfort food - it always makes me feel a little better.  What to make, what to make?

I looked in my pantry & stockpile cabinet to see what I could use.  Hence the name - I used a "little bit" of everything!

"Little Bit" Cookies Recipes

Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie mix
1/2 pkg Nestle butterscotch chips
1/2 c chopped pecans (from the freezer!)
1 heaping Tbs ground flax seed - just for a little health boost!
1 stick margarine (or butter)
1 egg
a couple Tbs applesauce (kept me from adding more margarine or butter!)
a few grinds from my Trader Joe's Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean grinder



So I mixed the mix according to directions on the package, using 1 stick margarine & 1 egg, then added a few Tbs of applesauce, and everything else.  The grinder probably got turned about 20 times, to tell you the truth!   The cookie dough was very moist, and I was very happy with how it looked once they were on the cookie sheet.




 The first batch got overcooked - I'm sick, remember? No sense of smell right now, and I let them go about 12 minutes - TOO LONG!  Next batch was just under 10 minutes and it was perfect.  When they came out of the oven, they got sprinkled with more of the Trader Joe's Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean grinder - yummmmm!   Here's the final product, fresh from the oven.  The bottom was a little lacy looking, and slightly crunchy, while the inside of the cookie was so moist & chewy! All those little crumbs? They are from the grinder - don't they look delicious?!





The little pieces of sugar, chocolate & coffee bean that made it onto the cookie melted into a yummy topping.  So each bite of these cookies had a chocolate, butterscotch-y, nutty (from flax seed & pecans) flavor, with a little hint of coffee.  Both kids proclaimed them the best cookies ever!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to make Poppy Seed Chicken Rolls


Last Spring I got a version of this recipe from Emealz.com when we subscribed to one of their menu/meal planning services.  It's a simple but filling meal that I tweaked a bit, and now it reminds me of my favorite poppy seed chicken casserole ~ here is the final result!

Poppy Seed Chicken Rolls ~ makes 8 rolls, but recipe can be halved

1 large can of white meat chicken, finely chopped
3/4 of a block of cream cheese (I use light cream cheese), softened
2 tbs butter or margarine, softened
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 cans of crescent rolls (can use reduced fat version)

melted butter or margarine
1 tsp poppy seeds

Separate crescent rolls into 4 large rectangles per can - press the seams on two triangles together to make each one.  Place 4 rectangles on a baking pan, brush each lightly with butter.   In a mixing bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, and butter.  If it seems too stiff, add a tsp or two of milk and mix well.  Season to taste, add taraggon & 2 tsp of poppy seeds.   Add heaping spoonful of chicken filling in the middle of each rectangle, then pull corners of dough together & pinch ends to seal.  Repeat with remaining four rectangles and remaining chicken mixture.  Brush the tops of each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining poppy seeds.  Bake at 375 for 15 - 20 minutes til golden brown on top and rolls are cooked through. 

I serve these with a side of honey mustard dressing for a dipping sauce.  So yummy and they make a quick, easy meal! As a couponer & stockpiler, these are all items I keep on hand every day, so it's a quick & inexpensive meal to put together!  I'm not a huge fan of canned chicken, but the texture is perfect for this recipe, so I hope you'll give it a try!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie Review & Giveaway!!

I have never made (or tried!) molasses cookies before, so when Myblogspark & Betty Crocker asked if I wanted to review their new cookie mix, I said  YES PLEASE!  (to be completely honest I've never even heard of molasses cookies before, so this was a great chance to try these with my family!)

When my package from Myblogspark arrived, it contained the following: a package of new Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie mix, a non-stick cookie sheet, a Betty Crocker apron & a mixing spoon.  I couldn't wait to try it all out! 

Of course, if you've read my blog for long, you know that I love mixing it up when it comes to recipes.  I read the directions for the cookies, but I changed things up a bit!

I decided to add some pumpkin puree (aboout 2/3 of a cup) instead of the butter, to cut back on the fat - I usually use apple sauce, but it's almost FALL, so it's time for pumpkin!!  Otherwise I followed the package directions exactly.  But once it was in the mixing bowl, it looked a little lonely, so recipe rebel that I am,  I added two tablespoons of butter - just because I felt bad for leaving it out before!  Then I added about 3/4 of a cup of chopped pecans.  I used a scoop to make larger, uniformly sized cookies on the cookie sheet.  (For me it made 12 large cookies,  but it will make 3 dozen smaller 2" cookies, according to the package.)  I added a couple minutes to the baking time since my cookies were so large.

The first six cookies finished baking and looked great. The flavor was fantastic - you could taste the cinnamon & other spices, which gave the cookies a nice bite! The texture was soft and chewy, and they were delicious, just like a homemade cookie.


I thought I'd change them up a just bit more, so I added a handful of butterscotch chips to the rest of the cookie dough, then scooped them out & popped them in the oven.  As they baked, the chips caramelized a bit, and the flavors of the nuts, spices & pumpkin blended perfectly!! They were divine...




Honestly, I don't know which I liked more!  David preferred the pecan & pumpkin only, while Katie & I liked the pecan, pumpkin & butterscotch variety. Either way, they are sooo good with a cold glass of milk.  I may or may not have had one for breakfast this morning! ; ) 

I'm sure if you aren't a recipe rebel like me, the cookies made according to the directions are just as amazing.  They would be your classic molasses cookies with a hint of spice.  If you try my doctored-up version, be sure to let me know what you think of the recipe!

Betty Crocker has been so kind as to share this link for us to download a 75 cent off 1 Molasses Cookie Mix coupon!  Even better, they are giving one of you a prize pack identical to the one they sent me!  Thanks Betty Crocker!


Betty Crocker Prize Pack!

It's easy to enter: I have a couple of mandatory entries, a couple of optional entries, plus a couple of extra things that you can do daily too!  You have lots of chances to win!  Good luck, y'all!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Iloveinns.com Free Night's Stay Giveaway!!

Good Friday morning, y'all! What better way to kick off a holiday weekend than to give away a free night's stay at a lovely Inn of your choice?!

I originally won this gift certificate in another blogger's contest over the summer, and hoped to use it before it expires 12/31/11.  It's been sitting in my "to do" pile since June!!   Now that we've been offered a wonderful two night stay in Florida for an upcoming review/giveaway in October, and we'll be visiting my Nana again the end of October, that will be the extent of our travel plans this fall!  We won't be able to use this wonderful Gift Certificate, but I hope it will allow one of you a fun, inexpensive weekend away! 

This Gift Certificate from Iloveinns.com is good for a FREE night's stay at participating Inns when you buy one night. It's good for two people in one room only! You can find participating Inns at this link.  Again, it expires on 12/31/11, so make sure you can travel before then.  There are so many available inns all across the country to choose from!  Good luck, friends!  : )

(If you already follow me via GFC, FB or Twitter, just leave that in your comment! I pull the winner from the rafflecopter entries, but I'll read the blog comments to verify entries, too!)