Saturday, January 31, 2009

good deals and freebies...

A Healthy Home Kit that sounds really cool!

Get gift certificates to restaurants for a fraction of the price ($5 for a $25 gift card), my good friend Olivia has the details for this offer from Allstate insurance.

Get awesome steals at when you use the code HALFOFF for an additional 50% all items!!  Woo Hoo!!  (shoot, did I already spend my daughters allotment this month???)  Wait! Go quick!  Sale is only through 02/02/09!

well, I leave you with these, I must check out Old Navy...

Friday, January 30, 2009

oh! how busy I've been!

I feel like I have not gotten to blog all week!  Nor have I gotten to read many of my favorite blogs lately.  Oh, I must have missed out on so many great sales, deals, freebies, crafty ideas, recipes, green living tips, coupons, child rearing stories and tips....

I have been focusing on setting up my new shop on Etsy.  I have built a little stock pile (I was pretty much bare bones since Christmas) and have changed my product line name.  I thought Soap by Erin was just a little too dull.  I have chosen Sweet Sydney Bean.  Simple, pretty and sweet.  This name has a very special meaning to me.

Check out my shop!  Leave me a comment about what you think.  Should I change something, add something, fix something?  Is there anything you think is outstanding? Do you have any advice for me?

Keep in mind I am still adding to my shop and you will see new products every few days.

For my faithful readers, leave me a comment about my new site, SweetSydneyBean, and Wednesday I will randomly pick one of you to send a special product to!  If I cannot link your name to a blog, please leave me your email or be sure to check back wednesday!!

Thanks!  and wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

just a few freebies today...

Get a Gardeners Idea book free from Proven Winners.

Free Sleep Kit from Tempurpedic.  It includes a DVD, a sample of the memory foam (any craft ideas for that one???) and more.

Free coupon for Diet Dr Pepper!!

Get a sample of Yo Yo lip gloss and catalogue.

Sign up for the free sample of Chex Mix!

and, Jane has a great link to Cesar Dog food!  (we still want to get a dog this year....)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Albertsons Ad Sneak Peak!!

free TP if you have any Scotts $1/1...

Orville Reddenbocher Popcorn in .75 when you buy 4, think we have coupons  from recent ad or print this here for .25 profit!!

Check out the Grocery Gathering for your favorite local stores!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Money is going to be tight for the next while.  I am going to keep my grocery shopping to a minimum and cook what we have.

meatball subs (featuring meatless meatballs my dear husband picked up at Trader Joes)
grilled onions and peppers
oven fries

No Hurry Vegetable Curry from Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker 
(hey look, its for sale on the left- wadd'ya know!)

Home Made Pasta Sauce , Ill do my own variation. ( I have 2 gallon(?) size cans of tomatoes from Costco and have been meaning to use them...)
frozen peas

stir-fry veggies w/ noodles This looks good..
morning star farms asian patties

pizza night - I plan to make from scratch, cheeseless
veggie tray (seriously this time!)  

Crock Pot Vegetable Lasagna 
yes, from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker
steamed veggie of some type
bread in the machine

fun toppings; canned chili, broccoli, canned tomatoes, ect.

Check out The Org Junkie for more super fantastic menus!

groceries to buy:
green pepper
eggplant or red peppers, something cheap?
garlic- fresh
frozen peas?

and the award goes to...

A huge thanks to Karla from Karla's Bonanza for appreciating my silly writings and awarding me the Lemonade Award.

I enjoy reading Karlas blog and seeing what awesome and stylish deal she finds at her local San Fran shops.  Secretly, I think I live through her beautiful finds!  Oh, how I wish our Thrift Stores were as awesome in my small town!  

So, I now get to choose 10 blogs that I enjoy and seem to also make 'lemonade out of lemons'.....

1. Jane from All Together Beautiful for her wonderful and positive views on life and raising a family.
2. Olivia from Shopaholic In Rehab for sharing with us her daily struggles trying to surviving life while being frugal and living it up in this fashion first, fast paced world.
3. Rachael from Beans and Rice who always posts the sweetest family pictures and the greatest frugal (and yummy!) recipes.
4.  Laura at Bloggin Momma who always makes me laugh with her amusing posts and great, frugal ideas as well!
5.  Sandy at Sandy's Space who always has inspirational postings and pictures.
6.  Michelle at Saving Some Green always has wonderful frugal ideas and great deals and freebies. 
7.  Amy at NW Frugal Weightloss is so inspiring and positive and full of fantastic recipes and ideas.  Her blog is awesome!
8.  Andrea at Momma In Flip Flops2 always has the very best reviews and giveaways.  Another place I 'dream' shop!!
9.  Debra from Beyond Prenatals does a wonderful job teaching us how to care for our bodies before and after children.
10.  Loretta at Vegan Footprints is such an inspirational blog full of healthy life tips and positive writings.

ahhh, well, just 10 is all I get to pick, but there are so much more I read and love.  Thank you to all of you who post positive and inspirational thoughts.  You make our days brighter!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

free magazines

One of my readers asked about the company where you can earn free magazines by watching commercials.  I haven't checked into them in a while, but they are AdPerk.  Unfortunately, things don't look good for them right now, they only seem to be offering one magazine.... Field and Stream.  It does say to check back often for more offers...  Sorry, Dena!  Hopefully they get more soon!

Try Remedy Magazine free, it is a decent health based little magazine.  I always find a good recipe or two in mine!

Get Cosmopolitan Magazine for free!

Try a natural parenting magazine Kiwi, I really love my subscription!

Decorative  Arts magazine sounds fun, I can always use ideas!

Ohh, Town and Country is offering 3 free issues.  I might have to grab this one!

and Traditional Home....   okay, I'll stop now!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a few freebies...

Free bag of Rice Works chips. (coupon)  Yum!

Get a sample of Turtle Chex Mix!

Free subscription to Blender magazine.

Ohh, try new Quaker True Delights granola bar.  fancy!

Some really cute Gardenburger posters here!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

another great sale!!

Killer Sale at The Childrens Place right now.  They have an ADDITIONAL 50% off winter clearance items.  Many tops and bottoms $3 or less.  Looks like a flat rate of $5 shipping and rumor has it if you use code SA19 at checkout you will get an additional 15% off.

I dont recommend trying to purchase anything till late tonight when less people are shopping.  I have had my laptop up on the kitchen counter for over an hour navigating through their site.  They are so bogged down right now its not even worth it!  

High quality brand new items at cheaper than consignment prices delivered to your door!  I am just so easy to please!!

EDIT:  after waiting all afternoon for their slooow site, I finally finished.  I timed out numerous times but was very patient as I knew these deals were too good to pass up!

For $32 SHIPPED (including tax)I got:

matching avocado velour sweat set
matching red velour sweat set
matching retro floral type yoga top and bottom
coordinating fleece pant and long sleeve top
another long sleeve top
2 tank tops

11 really super cute high quality items.  woo-hoo!  I'm super excited!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday!

Per my New Years Resolution, I have started my Tackle It Tuesday postings.

Last tuesday I choose to start on one of the worst projects in our home; our daughters room. With a combination of her birthday and Christmas being very close together she got bombarded with gifts and toys abound! Wanting her to be able to play with EVERYTHING, we allowed her to keep all of her precious toys out. Then this happened.

On the couch here is everything I took out of her closet. Originally I had bagged up any clothes that didn't fit her and labeled it. Small stuff goes to storage and bigger stuff for later gets organized in her closet. Now that her clothing is bigger and takes up more room, AND now that she has lots of toys I had to think of a new plan....

It took me most of the week picking away at things, but it looks lovely in there now. Everything has a home and there aren't so many toys available to take out that she does not know what to do with herself or even what to play with.
If you can see, I labeled cardboard boxes and am keeping toys in there. I will 'cycle' through her toys; when she gets board with something, in the box it will go and out will come more!! (no, shes not spoiled at all!)

And for her clothing, the stuff for the future that I get really good deals on (ie; garage sales, thrift store sales, clearance, ect) I have back in plastic bags, labeled and stored under her crib. You cant even tell it is there with the crib skirt!!

We finally were able to order carpet for her room (for those of you that know us)! We decided not to carpet her closet, the cost of her closet alone was $300-$400. I am hoping there will be enough scraps after installation we can use those, or just purchase a remnant and do the closet ourselves later. We found a certified green carpet that is helf the price of what we were originally looking at!!! Its not as nice, but we were never going to be able to afford $1400 to carpet a small bedroom. Yippee, no more playing on sub-floor, we are so excited!! It should be in by the end of the month.

Next is a closet system for her and to finish the moulding in her room!

and for next week....

I have chosen 2 smaller projects for this week; the cork board above our kitchen desk, and 'S's changing table. The coark board has everything in the world pinned to it!! and her changing table has a few items I need to put away and decide what to do with still, ie; leftovers from last week. I'll post the pics next tuesday!

Does anyone else have any orginazition goals for this week? I would love some inspiration!

Monday, January 19, 2009

silly little things...

I just found this fun little tool on another blog and wondered where my writing skills were at.  Scary.  I was happy to see I am at a Post-Grad level!  

Are they kidding??  Maybe Im not a dummy after all!!  :-)

Try it, its fun!!

(ps: the smiley face may have bought my level down just a little...)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Ta Da!

I have not been to Albertsons in weeks.  What a tragedy!!  I even passed up the double coupon week, can you even believe that???  Well, I was the 24 nurse on call to our deathly ill cat, and that had more priority.  I guess its a good thing we are stocked to the hills on pantry items!!

Maybe I can go this week....

Cantaloup .48 lb, I think thats good?
Kellogs cereals 1.75
Old Orchard Juice 1.34 w/ in-ad coupon!! (remember we can use our own coupons with these)
Spend $20 on participating items, get $5 back... always has potential!

Check out the Grocery Gathering for your local grocers deals.

Menu Plan Monday

Oh what a busy time it has been.  

Taking care of our cat Dave has just plain taken it out of me.  He is doing wonderfully now.  He will eat softened kibble, with a little canned of course, and hes able to jump up on our bed now!!  I am now a pro at giving insulin injections as well!

I have also been super busy working on my soaping and Etsy site.  Soon, I will share it with you all!  I am so excited!!

Skipping out on my weekly menu planning always sounds like a good idea but in the long end is NOT NOT NOT!!!

Every night this past week my husband asked me what I had in mind for dinner, because like a good husband he checks my blog and knows our weekly menu.  Since I didn't plan last week it was more of a hectic chaos trying to decide what we could make for dinner.  I won't be skipping menu planning any time soon again!

our favorite No Hurry Vegetable Curry from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker
brown rice

Slow Cooked Ziti Casserole also from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker
fresh green beans

stir fry
soba noodles

bread machine bread

pizza night- back to cheese-less for me
veg tray


leftover buffet (or we'll cook together!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

help! need parenting advice.

My very good friend Olivia needs some parenting advice.  Her almost step daughter is 11 and has sparked some much needed help in the parenting department.  

Check out her post, I bet any advice can be helpful!!

Thanks guys!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Juice for Tots! Frugal Friday.

I (of course!) had a coupon for Motts for Totts juice and was able to get a really good deal on it. We give our daughter her liquid vitamins and omegas in a sippy cup full of juice every morning, so she is drinking a lot of juice.

After inspecting the Motts for Totts Juice, I learned that it is lower in sugar because it is mixed with water. How simple. And, you know me, I tried to make some myself. I can easily buy regular on sale juice, or even organic, and mix it with 40-50% water. This will almost double the quantity of juice so I thought it would be a great idea to freeze the excess to use later, pre mixed!

So, the juice is now half off of my sale-after-coupon price!!

I used some spaghetti sauce jars (trying not to use chemical leaching plastic when I can), made sure they were really, really clean, and poured in half juice and half water. I can use one now and throw the rest in the freezer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a few coupons...

Some really good Advil and Centrum coupons.

A free coupon book from Eat Better America!!  They always have great coupons.

South Beach $2/1 Snack Delights.

South Beach Fiber Fit granola bar $2/1 coupon.

keeping those goals in sight...

Its that time of year again where most of us want to shed those extra holiday pounds we have packed on.  Or that baby weight, or those pounds that creep up on us as we sit in front of a computer all day....

Most of us are simply not realistic when it comes to how much we can loose and how we are going to do it.  I just read a wonderful simple set of rules on one of my new favorite inspirational blogs Frugal Weightloss.  Amy really has things layed out in such a simple and effective manner.  She makes it fun and easy!

Military Commissary

Check out the Grocery Gathering for your favorite store!

Did a quick trip to my local Commissary yesterday to grab some applesauce, which I forgot!  I was able to use a few coupons that were close to expiration though;

Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream 2.83 (I used my no-longer-available $3/1 coups)= .17 profit
Quaker 'Natural' Granola bars 2.00 (used my coupons from recent paper) = $1
Celestial Seasonings Chammomile tea 1.59 (used paper insert for .55/1) = 1.04
Totinos Pizza Rolls .99 (used $1/1 no longer available) = .01 profit
Kashi Crackers 1.50 box (use a .50/1)= $1

I was also really excited to see some low prices on Organic Produce!!  It was pretty picked clean, but I was able to get a few thing;

Organic DAnjou Pears .58 lb
Organic Golden D. apples 1.56 lb
Organic Carrots 5 lb bag for 1.96

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

not a recipe for beans and rice

Last night I threw together a super quick meal of Beans and Rice. I threw a box of Trader Joes Spanish style rice (any flavor rice would do!) in my rice cooker, added what it instructed and plugged my cooker on. When the rice was done I opened up a can of Ranch Style black beans, dumped it on top and put the lid back on to warm them.

I served this with Peach salsa as we were out of mango chutney. It was fantastic, healthy, cheap and really, really easy!

Sale at JoAnns!

Did a little shopping at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday. I discovered that all Christmas items were marked down 90% off!! I only got a few things; wrapping paper at .39 and wreaths at .29!!

Wrapping paper is always useful, although not the most environmentally friendly way to give a gift...

Those wreathes will look great next year hanging on each one of our doors!! We have an insane amount of exterior doors, and not even a big house! I just counted, 7 exterior doors!! Silly, huh?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Albertsons Preview Ad

Here it is;

a few decent buys; (before any coupons of course)

Quaker items will be 1.50 each 
Select small boxes of Kellogs cereals will be 1.25
JollyTime popcorn is $1( if you have not printed the $1/1 coupons yet, do so!)
Mission tortillas will be $2 (use $1/1 coup here)
Ben and Jerrys ice cream is 2.99 (if you have not used the $3/1 coupons, are they no longer being offered?  I dont see them...)

check out the Grocery Gathering!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Super Sample Sunday

I got a couple of good ones this week. The ziplock vacuum sealer might come in handy if I can get some replacement baggies at a good price. How I love to freeze food!!

What did you get?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

out and about and ready to play!!

(again, I apologize for the poor picture quality, the late, dark evening seems to
produce poorer pictures. my new handy-dandy phone is just so simple to snap a pic,
email it to myself and post it no cords needed!!)

Okay, thats an exaggeration. But, he is doing much, much better.

Dave ate on his own today!! He made a 'number two' yesterday. And, here you see, he just ventured out into the living room!! It has been over a week (full 7 days) since he has done each of these. (except the #2, he did one of those last tuesday, sorry, TMI)

He has been such a sick baby. Just a mess really. He is down 9 pounds from 6 months ago. We never thought we would have to force feed him with an oral syringe just to keep him alive!

We are both so thankful he has made such a huge turn around. We will be able to sleep better tonight.

something I needed for free...

My only trip out this week was to run to Rite Aid for a glucose meter for my very sick kitty.  I was hoping to find a deal and with a little help from the pharmacist I did.  This one was on sale, had a coupon on it (she dug to the back looking for a box w/ coupon) and offers a rebate on the rest of my cost!!  Free!  I only paid $5 out of pocket at Rite Aid and will get that back.  

While I was there I grabbed the 10 Soy Joy bars for Free after Rebate.  Of course I brought my $3/10 coupon for a $3 profit.  They only had mango coconut left, so I got 10 of those.  Tried one on the way home, and, eh, not terrible.  I much prefer the flavor of 'energy' and 'power' bars though.

after tax; appx $2 profit

Friday, January 9, 2009

make your own; bath net

My daughter is now at the age where she loves playing with bath toys.  After her recent 1st birthday and Christmas she now has more than a hand full to clutter up the tub.  

I researched bath nets on-line and discovered that they are all ugly.  At least not worthy of the $20 w/ shipping certain places are charging.  I made a note to myself to look at netting the next time I went to the fabric store.

Last week I unpacked a bag of satsuma oranges and looked down at the packaging.  Huh, I thought.  I went and pulled some suction cups off a shower shelf that we were not using, tied it on with little bows, and Viola!  My own bath net.  Free.