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Friday, July 27, 2012

I lost my Beloved Nana...


I'm so sorry for the delay in drawing winners for my contests.  We've had a really tough week.  My Nana has been very ill for several months with congestive heart failure as well as a very aggressive brain tumor.  Even though she was 90 years old,  I really thought we'd have her for a little longer.  She started declining quickly last week,  and passed away this Wednesday, with several of her kids surrounding her bedside.  It happened much too fast, and her passing has broken my heart.  I'm so thankful I could make a quick trip down there with my brother on Monday to say goodbye.  She was not concious,  but I believe she knew we were there. 






She is the one who taught me how to cook& bake.  She shared her recipes with me, and I loved sending her cookbooks! She has some from the church I worked at, and some that I found when shopping or traveling.  She taugh me how to can and preserve fruit.  It's funny, I just worked on two upcoming  blogposts for watemelon jelly and cherry preserves, both of which I made at Nana's several years ago while she made her famous Christmas Jam.  We loved canning together!  She grew up poor, was a single mom of 6 for a time,  but was the strongest,  most determined woman I ever met.  She will be greatly missed by her 6 kids,  10 grandkids, 20 great-grandkids, and 4 great-great grandkids....

Anyway,  I wanted to explain the delay.  I just drew the winner for the mealsbytheweek.com giveaway, and I'll do the same for Purex soon.  (Check the posts for winners)  Please bear with me - I've also got a few upcoming giveaways that will be a bit delayed.  And if you pray, please keep my family in yours as we travel for her funeral tomorrow, and adjust to life without the matriarch of our family.  She really kept us together.  I miss her so much already. 

xoxo ~

Monday, July 16, 2012

QUICK Purex Detergent Giveaway!!


Hey guys!! Thought we should start this week off with a quick,  awesome giveaway!  I am loving Purex's new Triple Action Detergent.  It works so well in banishing stains, and the Natural Elements detergent has an amazing fruity scent that just cheers me up while I do my laundry!  It smells so good!!  They also have a Mountain Breeze fragrance, and a free and clear version, too. 

Purex is my only brand of choice these days, and it is NOT because I am a Purex Insider.   I am a couponer, so the best deal will usually have my heart.  Sometimes that is Purex,  sometimes not.  But what I love about this brand is that it works well,  they have Liquid Detergent,  UltraPacks as well as those nifty Triple Action Sheets!  I am all about choices, lol!  But it also has to do what it says, and Purex does! : )  My clothes consistently come out looking fantastic - I've even found that most stains don't require pretreating. 

So one lucky winner is going to get TWO coupons - each for a FREE bottle of Purex Triple Action detergent (up to $6 each).    All you have to do is check out the Let's Be Honest videos from Purex.  You may have already seen them.  They are hilarious!!  They uncover some of the absurdities of life - like paying way more for so-called "premium" detergent,  missing socks,  book club, finding "me" time as a mom, and more!!  Each one is about 25- 30 seconds long.  Watch them,  then come back and leave a comment below telling me your favorite of the videos.  My favorite?  It's a toss up between Current Events & Lost and Found!

Want a bonus entry?  Enter my Mealsbytheweek.come giveaway below- just scroll down to find it, and enter to win a nice 4 week menu planning subscription! Then come back to this post and leave a second comment below saying you did so!   MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT ~ NO EMAIL LISTED, I'LL DRAW ANOTHER WINNER.  Easy Peasy! 

Contest open to US residents only.  It's a quickie ~ this contest ends at 12:01 am on July 19.  I will draw a winner from eligible entries,  and notify them by email.  That person will have 24 hours to get back to me with their mailing address! I'll mail the coupons to winner within 5 days of receiving their address.  (Coupons expire 12/31/2013 so you can use them now or save them for later!!)  As always,  I am not responsibel for lost/damaged/stolen mail once I deliver prize envelope into the care of the USPS.  
Good luck, y'all!

Disclaimer:  I received coupons from PUREX to keep or give away.  My participation is voluntary, and my opinions & experiences mentioned above are 100% completely my own!

Update: 

The winner is Elysabeth, comment #2! Yay!! Congrats!!



Monday, July 9, 2012

Parched? Try a Mo-tea-to for a refreshing drink!



I swore off regular soda almost 5 years ago, and kicked my diet soda habit when I did my 12 day juice fast back in March.  So it's been tough finding a new drink I like.  Mostly I've ordered half cut tea  (1/2 sweet tea, 1/2 unsweetened tea).  I love it.  We also like Arnold Palmers - 1/2 unsweetened tea, 1/2 lemonade. 

Two weeks ago Publix had Crystal Light on B1G1 sale, and I had coupons! So I got their new mocktail Mojito flavor to try.  I mixed up one sleeve of the powder in a huge pitcher of ice water.  I filled a glass with ice,  then about 2/3 of the way up with unsweetened tea.  I filled it the rest of the way with the mojito-flavored water and WOW!! It is a little sweet, a little sour, a little minty - but all the way amazing.  It definitely quenches your thirst, too.  I'm in love! : ) 

Update, as of 7/27/14 - I no longer drink half cut tea or Arnold Palmers.  This drink is still wonderfully refreshing and is an occasional treat.  I like to make it in our Vitamix with extra ice for a slushy drink. Delish!
If you can't find Mojito flavored Crystal Light, you can get it on Amazon:
What's your go-to drink in the summer?




Mealsbytheweek.com Giveaway & Review!!

Happy Monday,  y'all!!  Hope your week is off to a great start.  Things are pretty good (not to mention HOT!) here in Atlanta.  I've got a great website review to share with y'all today, plus a wonderful giveaway that will help you and your family have great dinners together this summer!

Have you checked out mealsbytheweek.com?   It's an easy to navigate site that gives you a week's worth of dinner menus each week,  based on your local store's sale.   Some of the choices available:  Whole Foods,  Trader Joe's,  Super Target,  Walmart, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Publix and more.   There's also a generic store menu that will work for most stores, and a 400 calorie menu with all dinners at about 400 calories. 

I love that you can customize your weekly menu - if you are going out for a night or two,  or have a few meals already planned,  then you can choose to "skip" meals on the menu.  Or if you are like me, and there is a meal you don't particularly like ( I don't eat seafood, so cross off any fish or other seafood for me, lol!) you can choose to take that off, and substitute a family favorite there.   By skipping that meal,  the shopping list will reflect that change and remove the ingredients you'd have needed to purchase!

You also choose how many you're cooking for - 2, 4, 6 or 8.  This is great - if you are only cooking for two,  your recipes and shopping list will change to reflect that.  Got a big family? Same thing - the recipes and shopping list will change for you!  Once you've decided to keep/skip your choice of meals, and chosen how many you're cooking for, hit I like it at the bottom of the page and print the shopping list.  SO easy!  The entire site is very user-friendly.  The meals are balanced, they include yummy sides, and even feature a weekly leftover makeover - a dinner made with leftovers,  but in a new way, so it doesn't taste like leftovers!

Taken straight from the website, here are the goals of mealsbytheweek.com ~

"My goal is simple – create menus based on what is on sale at the grocery store that week. Build simple recipes that can be prepared in a short period of time, or that use a slow cooker so that you can come home to a waiting meal. Use leftovers to create other meals that don’t taste like you’re eating the same thing. Make the most of minimally-processed food so that growing bodies get the balanced nutrients they need to be healthy. Create shopping lists to make the trip to the grocery store as efficient as possible. And – most importantly – get families back to the table and talking to each other again."

The prices for mealsbytheweek.com vary depending on the length of your subscription.  They are very fair though - for 13 weeks, you can get your weekly menus and shopping lists for only $15 total. (the best deal, as you get 1 free week, and the other 12 are only $1.25 per week!) That is cheaper than a nice meal out, right?  Even better - the wonderful folks at mealsbytheweek.com have given me a code to share with you that will give you 50% off that price. (Code is good only on the 13 week subscription)  Keep reading for the code....

What I love about this service is that it will save you time and money - you don't have to plan your menus which is a HUGE timesaver, and the menus you receive utilize ingredients that are on sale at your favorite store!  Use coupons combined with your favorite coupon site (mine is southernsavers.com) to save even more!!  The ingredients are healthy and easy to find - you don't have to have any weird ingredients hanging out in your pantry to put these meals together!  : ) 

Check out a sample menu here!  So far,  I've only been able to try a few of the side dishes,  because my groceries for two weeks were already purchased when I started my subscription.  I'll be shopping this coming weekend, and next week,  I'll be using the menusbytheweek.com menu to plan my family's dinners!  We really enjoyed the ones I tried, especially a crispy potato pancake - yum!!

So,  about that 50% off code, and a giveaway....

If you are ready to get started,  visit the site, pick your store and the 13 week subscription option, and enter code 50DealJP256.   This 50% off code means you will get the 13 weeks worth of menus for $7.50!  Huge, huge deal, y'all!

And if you want to win a FREE 4 week subscription,  just enter my giveaway through the rafflecopter widget below! You can sign in through Facebook, which means it is easy to enter!!  If you don't see it,  click "read more" or  " A rafflecopter giveaway" - whichever link you see!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Diatomaceous Earth - new favorite pest control product & more!

I recently read up on a product that is new to me... Diatomaceous Earth, or DE.  Never heard of it?  I'm not surprised! I had never heard of it either, but after I found it over and over on various sites, I did some research! 

I was looking into pest control options since the ants & spiders have been awful this spring/summer.  This product kept popping up in my searches!  Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 Lb is a non-toxic pest control product that is mined in the US.   It's made from the fossilized remains of planktonic algae called diatoms, and has microscopic super-sharp edges.  These tiny sharp edges cut into the bodies of pests that walk through them, including slugs, ants,  fleas, bedbugs, mites, ticks, roaches, silverfish and more, causing them to dehydrate and die.   It comes in 4 lb, 10 lb, 25 lb or larger bags, and is a powedery substance that is extremely light-weight.   It looks like powdered clay. 

There is no poison to spread, and it is not harmful to your pets or your family.   You will want to wear a dust mask when you apply it as the dust can irritate your eyes, nose, lungs and mouth. It is a drying agent, so wash your hands after using it!  It can be applied to plants in the garden, and the lawn for pest control, too. (don't apply to blooming flowers though - you don't want to kill those helpful bees!)  Make sure you purchase the food grade DE,  not the kind used in swimming pools.

Have fleas on your pet, or in your home?  You can use it on your carpets and even rub it into your pet's coat to get rid of the fleas.  I read that it is also an ingredient in many cat litters.  For our ant & spider issues, I've sprinkled it around the walls and on window sills and it is working like a charm!  The steady line of ants I usually see by the garage door has disappeared - yay!  It does take a few days to work, so be patient.  Reapply DE as needed after rain.

I wish I'd bought a duster like this Pest Pistol Mini Duster to use, but I'd seen a comment on a message board that said you could use a water bottle with holes punched near the top as a makeshift duster.  Thinking I'd save some money, that is what I did.  It works,  but I'll be purchasing the one below as soon as I place my next amazon.com order - it looks alot easier!  I also bought a pack of dust masks at the dollar store to use when I put it out. 

It's also used as an anti-caking agent.  I read that many people add DE (remember - use only food grade DE!)  to their long term storage buckets of grain and other foods.  Here's a site with more information on that!  It's got other purported uses and benefits - just do a google search if you want to find out more.  I'm thinking it will get a lot of use at our home just to keep the bugs away from my home and garden, and to add to my vacuum packed grains and flour!  It's something I wanted to share with y'all because I think it's a fabulous alternative to expensive poisons for your household - I'm all over the natural, non-toxic alternative!

Let me know if you've heard of DE before, or used it, and what you think of it - your comments are always very appreciated!

(There are two links to the products I've gotten (or will be getting, in the case of the duster!) from Amazon included above.  Google affiliate ads may show up in posts too!)