Monday, January 28, 2013

Bagging those bags!

We had our first "bagging" this past Saturday. It is exciting, inspiring, and productive! We had many people that donated supplies and their time to make this happen. Our goal for the evening was 30 bags. We made 38! I was most excited about seeing everyone's hard work in action. There were 5 adults and 9 kids that attended. The 4 ladies that showed up worked hard and I appreciate every effort they made! I am hoping that in a couple of weeks, I will be getting comments about people handing out their bags and how great of an experience it was. Here are some pictures from the night!

Brayden sorting through toiletries

Getting set-up

Shannon and Brayden ~ Thanks for your hard work!

Even the littlest ones got involved!

Diana working on getting the bags ready.

Erin working hard!

Lots of goodies going to people who need them.

Poor Cheryl, we made her work on her knees!

Finished bags, packed to the brim!

Isabella showing off our finished product!
We did a really great job, and there was tons of items stuffed into those bags. Everyone that donated supplies or their time got bags to take home to pass out. We had a meeting of the minds at the end of the night and jotted down things that we would like to do this year. Next month we are donating to a women's shelter, March is Children's Hospital, and April is the Brownstown Animal Shelter.

Everyone left with a smile on their face, bags in hand, and hope in their heart.

I didn't understand how giving people were. This project has enlightened me greatly on the wonderful people that God has placed in my life. I have known some of these people my entire life. I haven't seen some of them in over ten years. Some I met that night. People in general are pretty amazing. I am happy to see such good come out of a small idea from my pea sized brain.

With all of this goodness going on, I have really been thinking about starting a non-profit. I have done some research and starting an association would be super easy with minimal cost. However, I would solely have to rely on the support of individuals. If I start a non-profit, then I can apply for grants and get local businesses involved. It's a big job, not one that I went to school for, but I am trusting in the Lord to lead me in the right direction. I have always wanted to help the greater good. This is the reason why I became a teacher. I love helping the innocence of our population learn and grow. However, doing this would be to help another group of our population. These are  people who have lost their innocence and have battled trials and tribulations, not even I have seen. This is a major life-changing decision. The Hubbs is behind me 120%. I just have to believe in myself enough to make a decision.....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Apple Pizza Turnovers

In the fight to get my grown-ass husband to eat breakfast, I have been trying new recipes. I have made ham mcmuffins, bacon-n-eggs cups, and apple pizza. Well, it was supposed to be apple pizza, however, I turned it in to an apple pizza turnover. The original recipe was supposed to be dairy free, however, no dairy allergies in this we used real butter. I used more lemon juice then was specified and from a real lemon. I love tart apple pie!

This is what it was supposed to look like....

This is what it actually look like!

I guess in my mind I wasn't picturing a pizza per say....I was thinking of a pie. I think that's where it all got out of hand. I rolled the dough out too much and had large squares of dough. So, I improvised and made turnovers. Crafty, huh? Who the hell cares what they look like, they were fantastic! I got 2 thumbs up from the Hubbs and my dad (who is a apple turnover connoisseur). Of course, it was one of my favorite things for breakfast! Who doesn't love pizza dough and apple pie filling? So, here's the recipe I was adapted from this version.

  • 1 tube of refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 apples (1 tart, 1 sweet) peeled, cored, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice + a little bit of pulp
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 3 Tbsp butter divided 
  • {Streusel}
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • {Glaze}
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp of milk, more depending on consistency desired

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Place peeled and cut apples in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, brown sugar, corn starch and mix. Place apple mixture on pan. Then speckle tiny dots of butter over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees F and roll out the pizza dough to about 1/2 thick. Use pizza cutter to cut into 4 pieces. 
  4. Transfer dough squares to lightly greased baking sheets and top with apples. Prepare streusel by combining brown sugar and flour and then cutting in butter with a fork until well combined. Sprinkle over the top of the apples. Then fold in corner to make into a turnover. Top each with 1 tsp of sugar.
  5. Bake pizzas for 10-12 minutes or until the edges appear lightly brown and the toppings are bubbly.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar with vanilla and melted butter and whisking in milk until desired consistency is reached – thin enough to drizzle. You will have leftover glaze.
  7. Remove turnovers from oven and drizzle with vanilla glaze, cut however you please and serve warm. These store well in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 2 or 3 days. Simply reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

I seriously just ate the one that was left over as part of my lunch and it was AMAZING! So good luck - it was easy and didn't take that much time! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kitchen, kitchen - your a friggin mess!

I am always trying to organize this house and our lives easier. Most the time, it isn't so easy with the little ones leaving toys all over the place and dropping their snacks here and there. Not to mention, the hairy ass dog that sheds like it's a necessity for a Corgi-hair rug in every room. It's a never ending battle.  I have no idea how people work, raise babies, clean their house, cook dinner, etc. I appreciate every day the fact that I get to stay home, while the Hubbs brings in the money.

My first attempt at organization has been the girls toys. I have successfully gotten the living room toy-free. Most of the toys are in their rooms, however, we still have playland in our family room. At least, I have one room that is presentable!

After this, I realized that a very large portion of my day is spent in the kitchen. I love to cook and bake. I have really become quite the chef in the last year or so. This love of cooking has cause my cabinets to look like a nightmare of stacked bowls, pans, and pantry items shoved here and there. You know what that looks like...your kitchen is probably much like mine was. Don't lie. You have that bottom cabinet that is cast in darkness with tins and bowls stacked to the top.

My search of cabinet organization resulted in my wanting the new sleek pull out drawers. These drawers are beautiful! The smartest thing that I have seen in my life. Have you seen the corner cabinet drawers?
The person that invented this is a pure genius!

I also fell in l.o.v.e. with this little number.....

How awesome would my new pots and pans look on this? Super sexy...that's how they'd look!

The top picture would require getting all new cabinets, which is in our future. Not immediate future, but before we die future. The second picture was 129.00 at Lowes....on our shoe string budget that's not going to happen right now either. So, I searched and got a little creative and this is what I came up with. *I didn't take before pictures, because I was so excited about this I just jumped right into it.*

This is our bottom cabinet. When we moved in this lovely money pit, we moved a door and added cabinets for more storage. This is the cabinet my dad and cousin Chris made. I got the pan organizer for 11.99. I love that I can pull them out and put them back easily. No more taking the whole stack out, getting what I want, putting the stack back, and repeating after use. My pans are now stacked on a handy stacker. It was only 8.99!! How awesome is that?! I used a dish drainer to hold my pot/pan, which probably isn't the best use of space, but it makes them easy to access. I did see something that can be screwed on onto the side of the cabinet to hold them there, but I couldn't find it in the store. The bottom part is still not organized. I have my cake carries being held in place by a Pampered Chef stone (which I have owned for over a year and never used).

Directly above this homemade cabinet, is a store-bought cabinet that the Hubbs and my dad put up. It stores all of our snacks and some of our pantry items for the week. It was a MESS. There were things stacked on top of things. Chips getting crushed. Items forgotten about and it was just blah. I got an adjustable shelf for 11.00 and this was the result!

Now we can see what snacks we have and which ones we need. This will make my grocery shopping easier and allows for Lilli to get a better look at the selection of snack we have. 

Until I can have the kitchen of my dreams with all the drawers and real organization tools, this will have to do. I am pretty pleased and it should last the 15 years it will take to save for that new kitchen!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sandy Hook....

It makes me sick that someone has produced a video that twists what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary into a hoax. Those teachers and babies DIED!! What the hell is wrong with people that they would desecrate someone's memory like that?!?! Of course the media reported wrong info when it first happened, they were just trying to keep us in the loop. I realize that this video was to raise support to encourage people's righta to weapons, but there is a different way to go about this. Maybe make a video of all the masses of people that have been saved by having someone having a gun on them at the right time, in the right place. Saying that it was a hoax is the worse thing that anyone could say. It makes me want to throw up and punch the guy that made it in the throat....then kick him in the balls....what an asshole.

Nasty habits

My entire life I have had this horrible, nasty habit. I have done it all my life. I have had 2 bouts in my life that I have actually managed to stop. Right before I got married (for about 3 months) and while I was pregnant with Lilli (for about 6 months). This habit, which since becoming sort-of a germ-a-phob makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little. I don't even know I am doing it. It is really a nervous habit. I do it no matter where I am. In public, in my house, and in front of people. 

My nasty habit? Biting my nails. OH-M-GEE. 

I have, once again, officially quit biting my nails. As of the new year, I have not bitten my nails. I always make sure that I have nail polish on - which may be a deterrent....cause who wants to look like trash with chipping nail polish? My nails are growing to the point that I need to get a manicure and get them trimmed a little. They are extremely LONG for me. For other people, it is probably a normal length . Here's what they look like now...

I am sort of obsessed with nail polish now, and try to do different designs on my nails, which usually looks like shit. However, whenever I feel the urge to chomp away, I put some lotion on and rub each one of my fingers nails and palms real well. I think that it is really an addiction that I am trying to battle here. It sounds dumb to someone who hasn't done it their entire life...but if it's this hard to break myself from biting my nails...could you imagine how hard it would be for me to stop doing crack? Not that I would touch crack with a 10 foot pole! But I think I have a 1/200th sample of how they feel....Well - here's to the new nails...and feel them as I click clack away on my laptop!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tasty Treats!

We have been eating some yummy thing lately. Some that I found on Pintrest and some that I have made up with what we had in our fridge.

One thing that I made and got 2 thumbs up from Nunna and Papa was a blueberry buckle. Oh my goodness! Go to this blog : and then put blueberry buckle in the search bar. It's a very dense coffee cake. This is seriously easy and yummy. I wasn't too sure if I was going to like the lemon zest in it, but it gave it just a little bit of bite that went well with the blueberries. The Hubbs of course did not like it. If it doesn't have 3 sticks of butter, peaches or apples in it, he's not eating it.

We were at lunch with Yaya (Lilli's Fairy Godmother), Nunna, Papa, Dada, and the girl when Yaya mentioned brownies made with a waffle iron. This peaked Hubbs interest very much. After lunch we stopped at Kroger and then went try it at Nunna and Papa's house. Yes - this idea is on Pintrest - It's not that hard to figure out. Make the brownie mix, then ladle some mix onto the waffle iron, close, cook, and viola! We had a mess up with the first one. Papa encouraged us to put 2 ladles of mix on the waffle. DONT do this! It burned and didn't cook all the way through. I don't know why we listened to him - he didn't even want one!

Now - this....this creamy delight that I wanted to rub all over my body is SO worth making every.single.week! OG's copy cat recipe. It was easy and we were fighting over the food. I added chicken to it. The only problem we had was heating up the leftovers. There is a LOT of butter in this and it separated and was not so yummy, so said the Hubbs. So - I don't know what can be done to remedy that, but this one is for the 18 thumbs up list!! Fine the recipe here.

I did make a insta-recipe. The Hubbs was working late, the girls ate their own dinner and I need to make something for just us. I wanted something quick and easy. I had a roll of seamless crescent dough in the fridge. I looked around and found ham lunchmeat and shredded mozzarella cheese. I opened up the dough and layered cheese, ham slices, and then cheese. I rolled it all up and then cooked it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. When I pulled it out I sliced it up and LOVED it! It was warm and gooey and good! I know that making elaborate dinners every night can be taxing, so finding something that we both like that is fast and easy is like finding a four-leaf clover!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Some things change and some remain the same...

In January of 2009 I sort of started my blog by writing notes on my FB page. I didn't quite know just how to write a blog back then, but I was trying. I was scrolling through the few 'notes' that I had written. I wrote one entry about 25 random things about myself. It's funny how some things change and some things remain the same....

January 29, 2009
1. I love eating ice cream! Cookies are more my style now...
2. I rub my feet against the covers to fall asleep. I still do that...probably until I die!
3. I'm having an issue with my hair being greasy on the crown of my head! YUCK! Not anymore! These kids have stripped my hair of all the important nutrients and my hair is dry and frizzy!
4. I plan to be an Early Childhood Special Education about 2 years 4 1/2 years later I will be graduating with my Masters in Autism...with an endorsement in Early Childhood.
5.I hope my dog lives to be 101 years old. My dog did not live to 101. But he lived to 15 and he was a wonderful part of our family and we still miss him :/
6. I love the winter but it's been really, really cold this year! It's really, really cold again this year...yuck!
7. I would love to have five kids...but I don't know if I can get that many in before my bio clock breaks! I would still totally have 5 kids. Miguel would NOT. He's done at 3...but I am going to shoot for 4.
9. I think that we will probably have 300 people at our wedding! There were 340 people at our wedding. Over 3/4 of them did not have their green card and we partied like it was the last night on this Earth. 
10. I love to read and read! (When I have the time) Still love to read! More mommy porn then anything!
11. I don't need a lot of things, I just need love and food! Nothings changed there.
12. I want to work for a public school district! After my kids are in school, I want to work for a non-profit agency that helps parents with early intervention for their children.
13. My parents are the best anyone could ask for This has been proven even truer with my girls in the picture!
14. The smell of Miguel's farts could kill people! I have no idea how that man is still alive...something has crawled up his ass and died!
15. Beto makes me a better person. What can I say...he hasn't changed!
16. I worry about the polar bears and where they will live when all the ice melts What the hell was I smoking when I wrote that? I haven't thought about the polar bears since that I am working on helping the homeless/needy get essential supplies that everyone uses.
17. Smoking is so freakin nasty! Yuck - LOVE that public places are smoke-free! 
18. I dont' like to drink. Still don't drink...I have been the DD since I was 16
19. I wish I was a food network star! This couldn't be closer to the truth. My kitchen skills have flourished, at the likings of my husband!
20. I love our new apartment! Fireplaces rock! That apartment was cool but we had the neighbor from HELL! I was over zealous to get the hell out of there and into this house!
21. I wish I could get my hair that perfect red color! Still searching for the perfect color...I am box #66 right now...a shade of red
22. My belly hurts every day! My belly does not hurt every back does!
23. Joseph makes me never want to have kids...or at least kill them when they turn 15! Joseph still drives me insane..he has such potential...and I will KILL my kids if they act like him.
24. Miguel is DEAF! Man-o-man...what?
25. I can't believe we are getting married...FINALLY! We will be married for 3 years next month, together for 7 years and we have produced 2 beautiful girls and 1 fat Corgi.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winter plastic ain't got nothin' on me!

So, it is our third winter in this wonderful money pit we call a home. For some reason, I though that we could brave the winter without plastic on our windows - MAN was I ever wrong! It is absolutely freezing in our house. The fact that our ceiling fans are still on low, due to my OCD, doesn't help either. I decided today, after waking up chilled to the bone for the third morning in a row to tackle our leaky windows.

I have to say that I am pretty impressed with my plastic-putting-up skills. It has only taken 3 years with 12+ attempts, but I was able to get the windows in our rooms done in less then 40 minutes. There was no cussing, no tape mishaps, no burning holes into the plastic with the blow dryer, no broken nails, no problems at all!

Last year I had a bitch of a time. The window that we put into the family room when we moved in - yes, it was brand new, supposed to not leak...but it does - is humongo. It takes 2 of the standard window plastics or 3/4 of a patio door plastic. I had to use 2 standard window pre-cut plastics for it last year. What.a.bitch. First you have to tape one half of the window, then tape the other half making sure the plastic overlaps - and it was just a sticky mess. On top of that I couldn't get the backing off the tape on the top of the window and on the bottom the tape wouldn't stick to the window sill. In the process of 'shrinking' the plastic I wasn't watching what I was doing and touched the hair dryer to it and burned a hole in it. This causing me to have to do a patch job on the hole with more sticky tape and cutting plastic. It was a mess. An utter catastrophe. Maybe this is why I thought we could go without this year..hmmmm..

Anywho, this year was easy. The kids did get ahold of the roll of tape and took off, but I got it back in one piece. Now - I just have to do the family room window. Yea - the one from last year that was a pain in the ass. Maybe I can let the Hubbs do it when he gets home. Wait - I am woman...hear me roar. Tim the toolman ain't got nothin' on me...neither does this winter plastic!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blessing Bag Challenge!

I can't sleep. The Hubbs is rolling over, heavy sighing, moaning "GO to sleep!" I am too EXCITED! I have decided to help out people who need a little extra help. I have decided to bring some really great people with me to help those people out even more!

My friend Kristin mentioned me in a post about blessing bags last month. She didn't ask me to make the blessing bags, but she did inquire about my mad couponing skills and linked an article about blessing bags to the inquiry. I have to tell you (and her)..... she inspired me. She inspired me BIG time. (You go girl!) I posted my coupon blog in hopes to help people save money and help others in return. I also initiated  a challenge. A challenge to people that I know near and dear, friends from the past, women in my Mommies Group, and their friends of friends.

And you know what? In less then 3 hours I have 14 people who have contacted me to donate their time or supplies to my challenge. How FABULASTIC! (Yes, that's fabulous and fantastic all rolled into one!) I mean people are really awesome. I know how hard times are right now. Believe me...we just redid our 1 income was sad....really sad! Not, so sad that we won't make it, but we will breath a little easier after tax time.

However, there are a lot of people out there that aren't going to breath easy anytime soon. I have seen more and more people holding signs, asking for anything to help them out. Food, water, socks. I used to just see these people when I was driving to work downtown. Now I see them in my neighborhood. Now, I don't live in a ritzy part of Michigan. I do live by the shopping mecca of the Downriver community though. In the 3 years that we have lived here, and 31 that I have lived Downriver. I have NEVER seen a person in need on the corner asking for help. Until this year.

This all started with Kristin....and got egged on by the guy standing on the corner of Vreeland and Allen holding the KMart is going out of business sign...and now it's turned into this crazy challenge that people are actually responding to! (And yes, I know that guy was getting paid to stand outside with that  KMart sign...but it was f***ing cold out and it was Christmas Eve...really? How much could they have been paying him? Well - it was Christmas Eve...I stopped by and gave him a Tim Horton's hot chocolate and 10 pack of Timbits. He probably thought I was crazy because I was in my pajamas and my hair looked like hell...but he blessed me.)

So, here's my new the end of the year I want to have this group of amazing, giving people hand out 1,000 blessing bags. Yes, I said 1,000! We have the entire year folks....I am sure we can do it. I feel it. I am all Martha Stewart and June Cleaver feeling it!!! In all seriousness, the 14 people that have asked to help and then 1 person posting the challenge on her page, completely restores my faith in man kind. With all the crazy shit that happens in this world. It's nice to know that I am not raising my children in a world full of crazies. There are still people who care about others out there.

Thank you to everyone that is going to help, thought about helping, and wished us well on our way!
We can do this...I can feel it!


I have had a request for some tips on clipping coupons. I started clipping coupons a little over a year ago. I has hardcore for about 3 months, then Isabella came along and well she fraked it all up. One of the four or five NY resolutions I have made to myself is to start clipping and be an avid sale hound and get my grocery bills down to $75 bucks a week. I wanted to go for $50 bucks a week, but I just don't see how that is possible with 2 baby butts still in diapers. I figured $75 a week will save us $100+ a month which will be great in the long run.

So couponing is tricky. However, anyone can do it.

You need to really save up a couple of weeks worth of coupons to really get any good deals. I usually by 3 papers each week. I get one set of coupons from my mom so that gives me 4 sets of coupons to stock up on items. What they say - buying in large quantities is the better deal, is true in most health & beauty situations. (I once bought 12 bottles of Pantene for .45 cents a piece, yes- I had to buy 12 of them, use 6 coupons, do 2 transactions, and got back $10 in UpRewards...but hey .45 cents a piece is DA BOMB!)

Get some kind of binder. Whether it is the baseball inserts or the whole page inserts that you store them in. Get some kind of system. I used to clip every single coupon and put them in the baseball card inserts according to section. I will probably go back to something like this. My friend Aimee does single page inserts and sorts her coupons by SS (Smartsource), RP (Red Plum), and P&G by dates.

The main difference that I see in these 2 methods is that with the baseball card inserts, you can take your binder and go through sections when you see clearance and buy items at an extra discount. The single page inserts is better for if you plan your shopping trips. It also helps you stick to a budget. I would love to use the single page inserts because it would be less time organizing and cutting, but I worry that I won't be able to get the clearance items for cheap, cause my coupons will be at home. This year I might do a combo of both methods. I will probably clip the health and beauty coupons and get a small container for them and keep the others in a single insert page.

I hope this doesn't confuse you. You can find some really good organizing methods if you google. Which ever method you do, make sure it is easy for you and that you understand how to use it.
You can find the section inserts for the baseball card inserts here.

If you have a Facebook account make sure you "like" some pages that publish multiple deals each day. I use different websites to find deals. Some of my favorites are:,,, and I have liked these pages on Facebook, so their posts pop up on my home page real.

 I often post deals in my own Facebook group: Savvy Sweeties. Liking different groups such as this will make it easier for you to find things that you are interested in saving on.

You can also go to and get a list of deals emailed to you each week. You fill out which stores you go to and they email you this great list of all the products on sale, which coupons to use, which coupon pack it's from, and how much you will be saving.

Don't be afraid to print off coupons. They release some really great coupons with high values off of 1 items all the time. I got boxes of Special K for 1.00 a piece a couple of weeks ago. You can only print 2 coupons per computer. I have a MAC and I cannot print Brick coupons or Target coupons. Which is a bummer because matching Target coupons with manufacture coupons is a great way to save. The software is not compatible with MAC. I used to be able to print Target coupons but they changed software, so for now it's a no go.

Many stores will let you double up their store coupons with manufacture coupons. This is called stacking. Meijer (ecoupons), Walmart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS and Target are a couple of these places. This allows for double the discount.

Rite Aid has a new set of coupons each month online that you can watch videos and get. They are called Video Values. You sign up, watch a video for a product (range from 45 seconds to 5 minutes), put in the code they give you, and then print the coupon. Another thing to know about Rite Aid is their UpRewards are now being loaded to your card automatically. (UpRewards is the "cash back" you receive from buying certain products. They can be used 24 hours after you have bought the item(s)) You can opt out of this and get them printed on your receipt. I opted out, only because I like to know exactly how much I have.

If you link your CVS card up with an email you can get a bunch of coupons emailed to you, that you can also use with other manufacturing coupons. They also have a coupon machine at CVS. You swipe your CVS card and it prints out new coupons once a week. I often use these with items that they have put on clearance. You can easily get shampoo or other CVS brand items for less then a dollar.

Take your time. Plan out your first couple of trips. Write them down and do a store run. Make sure you have all your coupons in order and be patient at the check out. Make sure that all your coupons scan and that you are friendly with the cashiers so that it doesn't bite you in the ass later. Going early in the morning is probably a good bet, since they won't be too busy. Weekends are the roughest - and if you can't make one the first or second day of a sale, make sure you go after the weekly truck has come in to restock items.

Many people don't like having to deal with the UpRewards, Walgreen's points system, or CVS cash but that is where you can really get the deals. It's somewhat of an investment, but you can use the "store cash" on your next week's sales. Just remember Rite Aid (UpRewards) you can use 24 hours later, Walgreens you have to earn a certain amount of points for "store cash", and CVS cash can be used at your next transaction.

I am sure that I have missed something and if I think of it, I will do a second post. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me an email: 
Remember to take your time and have fun. You are going to be saving TONS of money for your family and others!! I supplied a year and a half of health & beauty aids, laundry soaps, oral care, feminine products, and cereal for $250 bucks. I donated to family, friends, and church. Good luck and get to saving!!!