Wednesday, December 30, 2009

after Christmas sales

My favorite shopping day of the year is after Christmas. I love getting all those wonderful goodies at 50% or more off. I have a favorite floral store that I go to every year and add to my Christmas items. The ceramic platter, three birds, three snowmen, trio of whimsical Christmas trees and the "Joy" ceramic items all purchased there at 50%. The red cupcake holder I was eyeballing before Christmas at Target but I wasn't going to pay $15 for it, so I got it at half off. Melamine bowl ($2) and new coat for Zoey ($6)from Old Navy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Cookie Day .... but they aren't Aunt Barbara's cut-outs

I'm posting late because my kids wanted this on my blog. Christmas cut-outs for Santa. I cheat. I buy pre-cut cut-outs from GFS. I have made cut-outs before, but they just don't turn out like my Aunt Barbara's cookies. She makes the best, I mean the best. Nothing has compared to her cut-outs ever, and I have tried cut-out after cut-out just to make sure.

Santa doesn't mind though.
Even Bear lasted about 10 minutes with this project.
Sophie wanted her grams to help.
Brock using a "new" technique.
I just realized Brock made a "peace out" sign to me with his fingers. Where do they learn this stuff?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ore-Ida Easy Fries - a review

So here we are 4 days before Christmas and I'm writing a review post on french fries. I was in walmart one day close to lunch time and a guy came in and snatched up 4 of these boxes as I was standing there staring into the cooler. I asked him if they were good. He said they were wonderful. Of course, any french fry is a friend of mine. What, microwaveable, get out!

The verdict: Pretty good for a very quick 4 minute addition to your meal. Better than I expected that's for sure. Not mushy like I expected. As good as oven baked, no, but a very good quick passable option. And purchased on sale, not a bad price.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

simple, easy Goodwill find hostess gift

You've all seen them at garage sales. Many times when I got hunting at our goodwill store, I find them. These cute glass dome cheese plates. Sometimes with a wooden plate, sometimes with the pretty marble slab, like the one below. $6. Decorated up with some ribbon, burlap and a bell. Add a block of cream cheese, some hot pepper jelly and voila, a wonderful hostess gift.

If the wooden plate looks bad, keep the glass dome, toss the wooden plate, get a pretty plate from Home Goods and you have instant charm and whimsy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Almost 10 ...... plus a kit kat cake

Bear turns 10 on the 20th. We always have to do something a bit early to celebrate because people get busy with Christmas. We said to him, would you rather have a big party and a small gift from us, or would you rather have a big gift from us and just a couple friends for a sleepover. After 2 minutes he chose the big gift. Everything on his wish birthday/Christmas list this year seems to be over $100. So I'm glad he chose wisely.
Fun cake with kit kats on the side [I used 11 candy bars] and the top covered with mini M&M's.
Throw in a brother and couple of your best buddies and you have a fun, nice [relaxed] birthday. His friend on the right really isn't that small, he's just sitting down in his chair while the others are on their leg or standing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

clean your sink & garbage disposal

Every month I do a thorough cleaning of my disposal. I cannot stand the smell of a dirty sink disposal. I have a special sponge I use just for this purpose because it's so gross. I also use a product called Disposer Care which is fabulous and can be found at Wal-mart.

Put on a clean sponge and dedicate this sponge for garbage disposal cleaning only. Go down into your sink with the disposal and underneath the black rubber part. You will be amazed and grossed out at the same time.
Next, follow directions for the disposer care container.

Put it down into the drain, package and all.

You get this great bubble action and the best smell ever.

Patiently wait while it does it's job and have the kids watch too, it's fun. It will fill up the extra sink too.

when it's all finished, it will look like this [below] and then just rinse clean.
No nasty smells coming from this sink.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

holiday parties ... kids style

my hand gets twisted pretty easily when someone asks for help with a school party. i do love organizing a party, searching for new games, and pulling it all together. i usually have a friend who signed up to do the party and then asks for help and i usually just end up planning the entire thing. and that's okay cause i'm controlling like that.

This year for Brock's 3rd grade holiday party, we're playing a book game called lefty and righty. There are several versions of this story. you can read 4 of the versions here. Each child brings in a new paperback book, age/grade appropriate, gender friendly, and wrapped in paper with no name on it. During the party all the kids sit in a circle and someone reads the story. Whenever they hear the word "lefty" they pass their book to the left, and whenever they hear the word "righty", they pass the book to the right. At the end of the story, all the kids unwrap their new book. Of course, if it's something they don't like, they can switch with another friend.

Every December I hit our local Scholastic Outlet for 50% off books. My kids get a small pile of books under the Christmas tree, and their elves usually bring them a book or two to read. This year I picked up several neat books for just a couple dollars. You should check and see if there is a Scholastic Warehouse Sale near you. Now you never know what you'll find at a sale, but there are paperbacks, hardbacks, stocking stuffers, computer games, gifts and gadgets, cookbooks, plush animals, science experiment kits, Klutz items. you just never know. You sign up on line and you get a coupon for $10 off $75 or more. Believe me, you can rack up $75 pretty easily, even at 50%!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

teacher gifts

this is hard. thinking of clever things a teacher might like ... 3 teachers, plus 2 enrichment teachers. really i love spreading holiday cheer, but this kind of stresses me out. i could take the easy road and buy gift cards, but Christmas i like to get a bit more personal. Sophie's 1st grade teacher we've had three times, i know her well. Brock's 3rd grade teacher, Cole had last year, i know her well too. i really feel like getting more personal this year and not doing gift cards. something fun and whimsical, i'll save the gift cards for the end of year present. so this is some of what i decided to do.

in supporting the ever wonderful etsy, darling, small ornaments from tracybdesigns

this is completely and totally fun. i'm giving these to all our teachers [5 of them], the secretaries at school and some of my friends. i purchased the cards only so i can print on my own computer. i found the little plexiglass containers at hoblob for $1.77. What a cool and fun gift. from meckmom and on etsy.

got a few simple recipes, tins at hoblob half off this week.
caramel crunch - i'm going to drizzle chocolate over it too.
you can find the recipe here at Good Housekeeping.
an updated, classy version of rice krispy treats with heath bars found at Oprah.

also found neat plastic polka dot Christmas bowls on sale at hoblob this week and some pretty disposable food containers. all items are going inside, along with some handmade by me jumbo paperclips and bookmarks. this make me happy and i didn't break the bank to give everyone a little something.

this is what it is all about ~ sharing