Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Careful, the Kids Are Watching, an article from Debt-Proof Living

Click on the link below to read a great article from Mary Hunt. There is a great list in the article about teaching our children by example.

Thanks Mary for the great reminders!

Careful, the Kids Are Watching

Monday, November 29, 2010

A New Year's Challenge--Read through the Bible in 90 days!

Read the Bible in 90 Days with MomsToolbox beginning January 3

NOVEMBER 29, 2010

Are you ready to read the Bible in its entirety… in 90 days?

I am here to help you do just that!

If you want to read it all, I have a team assembled to help you read it every word, from start to finish, straight through from Genesis to Revelation, just a like a novel.

This is not a study program. It is a reading program designed to help you read every word. You can go back and study whatever you like, however you would like, later.

Click on the widget below to learn more and sign up!


$25 for $50 at Coldwater Creek

Coldwater Creek U.S. Inc. Deal of the Day | Groupon Houston

Build-A-Bear Deal: Select animals only $7 + FREE shipping

CyBEAR Monday Savings: Select animals only $7 each + FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more*. View online
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Build-A-Bear Workshop®
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Doorbuster Deals at Expressionery.com

$25 for $50 Worth of Kids' Clothing During the Patsy Aiken Raleigh


Patsy Aiken Designs Deal of the Day | Groupon Raleigh / Durham

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Small 2011 Printable Calendars

Are you always looking for a calendar? Digging through your purse or pocket, trying to figure out what day October 3rd falls on this year? Check out the following sites for very compact printable calendars that you can carry with you anywhere.

I saw these first on Lifehacker.

Good deal on movies from Amazon.com (Stocking stuffer alert!)

Check out Amazon.com as they are offering The Blind Side DVD for ONLY $3.99.

This item will ship for free with Amazon Prime.

You will also be eligible to recieve a $4 credit for eligible movies and TV shows on Amazon Video On Demand after you order The Blind Side one credit per customer.

There are several other options there for less than $10.

I don't know how long this will last . . .

180s Adjustable Ear Warmers 2-Pack

I don't know how much time you spend outside, but these things are great! And for this price, you can keep them on hand.

180s Adjustable Ear Warmers 2-Pack for $10 SHIPPED.

Click here for the deal: Woot® : One Day, One Deal™

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chocolate Crumb Bars

This recipe was shared on FaceBook by my friend Kim. Her daughter made them for her Home-Ec class. Many kudos to CAROLINE for sharing the chocolate love tonight.


2 sticks margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups (12 oz. pkg) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking pan.

Beat margarine until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 2 cups crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared pan; reserve remaining mixture. Bake 10-12 min. or until edges are golden brown.

Combine 1 cup morsels and sweetened condensed milk in heavy-duty saucepan. Warm over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Spread over hot crust.

Stir in nuts and remaining morsels into reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over chocolate filling.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Vista Print Return Address Labels $3.10 shipped!

Don't miss out on this for your holiday labels.

I ordered these:

I opted for "express" shipping (7 days) and they are coming to me for $3.65! They will be here just in time to get the Christmas cards rolling out!

$3 in free mp3's from Amazon MP3

Just login using your Amazon.com account and download away!
I was able to get a Christmas album for $1.99!

Use Code GET3MP3S and Get $3 in MP3 Downloads

Use code GET3MP3S and get $3 good for albums or songs at Amazon MP3.

2 Piece Fashion Nurse Scrubs XL (18/20) for $4.99 + Shipping

Home Made Dog Treats from The Big Red Pot

Bethany, over at The Big Red Pot, has a recipe for Home Made Dog Treats. . .just in time for the holidays.

By the way, if you don't follow her site, you should. She sends out about an email a day, packed with money-saving goodness.

Check it out here: The Big Red Pot

The Big Red Pot - Serving Up More Than Just A Good Meal!: Home Made Dog Treats

$10 off $10 at Hallmark

$10 off $10 for moms or moms-to-be $10 off $10.
Click the link below to sign up. You also have the option for 25% off your next purchase of personalized cards or party purchase on Hallmark.com

Click here to sign up: Hallmark Sign up

Four Ways to Watch Out for Scam Artists

Great tips from Mary Hunt of Debt Proof Living

Four Ways to Watch Out for Scam Artists

Thanksgiving Freezing Tips

Thanksgiving Freezing Tips

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
Here is a question I received that I believed warranted answering for everyone--

Hi- I LOVE "Saving Dinner"! My husband loves the food even more :) Here is my question: how feasible is it to freeze any Thanksgiving side-dishes in advance (ie cranberry sauce, casseroles, even stuffing)? Thanks! I am busy with a new baby AND hosting this year!

From, Flybaby Barbara

Hi Barbara!

Great question. You know how I'm all about doing things ahead for the holidays. And I'm all about the freezer, too. Can these two things be compatible and make for an even easier holiday? The answer is... yes and no. Some things just need to be done freshly and some things freeze beautifully, so let's take these things one by one:

1--The Turkey. Yeah, it freezes, but the quality will not be the same. This is one place where I will say make it fresh the day of. I make it the easy, juiciest most delicious way if I do say so myself. And the best part? You don't stuff it and you don't baste it. If you need the recipe (and you do!) go to savingdinner.com for the Thanksgiving Menu-Mailer--it's totally FREE, with recipes, grocery lists, timelines and even decorating hints for your table.

2--Cranberry sauce. Go ahead, knock yourself out! Again, I have a great recipe for it and it freezes beautifully. For the record, I've bought bags of fresh cranberries and frozen them in the bag I bought them in, used them about six months later and they were great too. Or you could save yourself some trouble and buy the canned variety.

3--Stuffing. I can tell you from personal experience that stuffing freezes fairly well. It can dry out a bit, but if you'll thaw it overnight in the fridge, then drizzle a little melted butter and broth over the top, cover it with foil and heat thoroughly through, it will work fine and no one will be the wiser.

4--Gravy. Good gravy, yes! Gravy is a wonderful thing to behold and it freezes fabulously. Here's a secret for you that I have in the Thanksgiving Menu-Mailer--extend your homemade gravy with some storebought stuff. Oh yeah, that's the best cheating secret out there. No one will know (your secret is safe with me!) and you too, will own the Endless Gravy Boat. This is important stuff when you're worried that your father-in-law is going to hog all the gravy!

5--Pies. You can freeze your pies--or you can buy them frozen, LOL. This is one place where I would either have people bring them or buy frozen myself. Having had a Thanksgiving baby myself (my son was born November 21st, 16 years ago!), I remember doing Thanksgiving and having my mom bring the pies.

6--Mashed potatoes. In my book, they are a non-freezable item--quality and texture suffer big time. I would make these fresh in the morning and put them in my crockpot on low all day. BUT, and this is the big BUT; TEST YOUR CROCKPOT FIRST with a pot full of taters (you can make cream of potato soup out of them later) to make SURE your crockpot won't burn them. All crockpots are not created equal and it's through trial and error that we learn our own crockpotty appliance's nuances.

7--Veggies. You can freeze sweet potato casseroles and green bean casseroles too. Those are not my particular favorite Thanksgiving veggies, but if they are mainstays at your table, rest assured, they freeze fairly well. May get a little watery on top, but easily blot-able with a paper towel and a little finesse.

8--Rolls and Butter. By all means, freeze the both of them. They freeze well, thaw well and quality does not suffer.

That about covers it. Hope it helps and Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Love, Leanne

PS: Want to WATCH me make Thanksgiving dinner? Check outwww.savingdinner.tv or buy the DVD! And don't forget we have aThanksgiving for the Freezer menu also!!

www.SavingDinner.com with Leanne Ely
Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buy one holiday drink, get one free. Nov 18-21, 2-5p.m.

Free Holiday drinks at Starbucks! Yum!

Share a Red Cup of your favorite Holiday Coffee at Starbucks | Starbucks

East Coast Ladies' Retreat Reflections

It is hard to put on "paper" what the Lord did in my heart at the East Coast Ladies Retreat at Gateway Church. I had the opportunity to have my sister Erica with me for this retreat and that was a special blessing. The laughter, the fellowship, the music, the speakers, the late-night run to the Cheesecake Factory . . . it all adds up to a wonderful time.

Because we are a host church for the retreat at Faith Church, we get to see things from a different perspective. I so appreciated the Gateway ladies' hospitality, their kind words, their planning, and their organization. Everything--from the dismissals to the meals to the vendors--flowed so smoothly.

But the thing that I think was most evident was the "spirit" at the meeting. It was obvious that the church as a whole, but especially the Gateway ladies, had bathed this retreat in prayer. The sessions from Mrs. Trahan and Mrs. Capaci were amazing. They are BOTH testimonies of God's grace. They BOTH challenged me to stretch myself as a Christian. Mrs. Trahan's recall of the Scriptures put me to shame. I am thankful that BOTH of the speakers focused in on my relationship with the Lord, realizing that if THAT relationship is right, then my relationship as a wife, mother, daughter, employee, etc. will be in the right perspective. I am so thankful for times of refreshing . . .

The trip to Virginia Beach seems like a long one, but the travel time was well worth the blessings received.

I am looking forward to "Southern Grace" in 2011 at Parker's Chapel Church in Greenville, NC.

Monday, November 15, 2010

$12 for $24 worth of activity kits from Travelkiddy.com

Today's Eversave Deal--$12 for $24 worth of activity kits from Travelkiddy.com to keep your kids occupied during your holiday travels (and any other time, for that matter!)

Click here for the deal: Eversave Raleigh-Durham | Eversave

Why You Should Teach Children to Cook

Why You Should Teach Children to Cook
By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I'm a firm believer in mixing together kids and kitchens. Cooking with our children provides opportunity for teaching valuable life skills, quality "talk-time" to learn what's going on with your kids, and it's a great memory maker.

Time in the kitchen with your children teaches time management, organization, math, nutrition and cooperation. It also increases their awareness of healthy eating, menu planning and budgeting. Allowing them to help you in the kitchen might mean your kitchen doesn't stay as neat and clean and it could take longer to make a meal, but years later, it pays off in huge dividends, especially when your children start to choose healthy foods over fast food all on their own--it happens, I promise!

There are countless object lessons you can use with your children while you cook together. For example, one meal might focus on the importance of teamwork and working together for a common goal (or recipe) as a family. Another teaching opportunity can be found in the necessity of completing the steps of a recipe in order. With older children you can compare this to the order of life and the importance of age appropriate curfews, chores, and expectations. Or how about the significance of following directions? Intentionally leave out a few ingredients in a recipe to illustrate the point and discuss this with your child.

Getting kids excited about learning to cook will serve them later on in life when it's time to strike out on their own. Learning to cook will save your grown child a lot of money and help him or her eat a lot better than their peers. Many young adults who were not exposed to the kitchen when younger eat poorly and have no clue what to do in that room with the big appliances.

The act of cooking allows us as parents to share and laugh and bond together. Counselors have counseled many a parent to do some kind of activity while having a conversation so your child doesn't feel like he's "put on the spot". Conversation over cutting boards and sinks of suds can allow you and your child to talk about school, friends, choices, and dreams without the intimidation of a one-on-one sit-down.

Children grow up and leave the nest too soon. These moments together in the kitchen can become cherished memories--don't miss out!

Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reilly's Patch Performance

This was recorded on my phone. Sorry for the poor quality.
Proud of my kids!

Bento Lunch Boxes, Best Lunch Containers, Eco-friendly Coolers for School, Work

Has anyone used these?

Are they worth the cost?

Bento Lunch Boxes, Best Lunch Containers, Eco-friendly Coolers for School, Work

God and the Ushers

My little man, who is 7 (and 3/4) had a part in one of the Patch Club program skits last night. DH was talking to him about the program. Dad asked how many people were there. Little Man's reply . . . "Only God and the ushers know, dad!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gifts of Food

There are some really great ideas here!

The holiday season is fast approaching. Thanksgiving in three weeks away. Invitations to family get-togethers, church potlucks, office parties, and the like will start trickling in if they haven’t already. And it’s always fun to have a little something to bring to the hostess or to share with friends and coworkers.

And after the Holy Spirit, food is the Great Comforter.

Gifts of Food (Ultimate Recipe Swap) — Life As Mom

20 Holiday Cards for JUST $1.99 from VistaPrint

SPECIAL OFFER - Get 20 Holiday Cards for JUST $1.99!

Holiday Cards

10 Free Tote Bag Patterns and Tutorials

Totes make great gifts. They are so easy and make great reusable "gift bags!" Here are 10 free Tote bag Patterns and Tutorials from Skip to my Lou!

10 Free Tote Bag Patterns and Tutorials | Skip To My Lou

Free Apron Patterns

Searching for a fun and inexpensive gift?

Look no further. . .

Free Apron Patterns | Skip To My Lou

Food Face Dinner Plates

Holiday Gift Idea: Food Face Dinner Plates | Pioneer Woman Home & Garden | Ree Drummond

8 Free Printables for Thanksgiving

These are absolutely amazing!

8 Free Printables for Thanksgiving

If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to start planning. Printing some of these free designs will make your guests say wow!

8 Free Printables for Thanksgiving | Living Locurto - FREE Printables, recipes, party ideas and crafts.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pillsbury Crescent Layer Bars

I think I may have found my new quick and easy "go-to" dessert recipe!

The Big Red Pot-Pillsbury Crescent Layer Bars

Thanksgiving Tablescapes ~ Kid Style

There are LOTS of really cute ideas here for Kid-Style Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Tablescapes ~ Kid Style

They’re Baaaack – Shoulder Pads

From Blissfully Domestic

They’re Baaaack – Shoulder Pads

Furoshiki gift wrapping

This is pretty cool!

Free Flip Flops from Orbit Gum

Orbit has a new fruit-based gum in a variety of tropical flavors. Pick up a Pack of Orbit gum and get a free pair of exclusive flip flops!

Plus, bring the tropical flavor to your phone with the Orbit Mixmaster and Free Ringtones!

40% off the List Price of Any Item – at Borders

Check out this "make your own sale" high value coupon.
Thanks to Hip2Save.com!

Borders: 40% off the List Price of Any Item – Hip2Save - Not Your Grandma's Coupon Site

Starbucks Coffee Gift Basket for $25!

Great deal.
And ships free Site to Store. . .

Walmart.com: Choice Cafe Gift Basket with Starbucks Coffee: Gift Baskets

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Letter from Your Daughter

A mother passing by her daughter's bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then she saw an envelope propped up prominently on the center of the bed. It was simply addressed, "Mom."

With the worst premonition, she opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

Dear Mom,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new boyfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I've been finding real passion with John and he is so nice

Even with all his piercing, tattoos, beard, and his motorcycle clothes. But it's not only the passion mom, I'm pregnant and John said that he will take care of me and we will be very happy.

He already owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. He wants to have many more children with me and that's now one of my dreams too.

John taught me that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone and we'll be growing it for us and trading it with his friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so John can get better; he sure deserves it!!

Don't worry Mom, I'm 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Some day I'm sure we'll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren.

Your daughter,

P.S. None of the above is true.

I'm next door. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card which is in my desk drawer.

I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home.

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