Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby Quilt

I am just about ready to send this baby off to its new home. It is a gift for friends who recently had a baby girl. It was so simple to make - just one big log cabin. I used some fabric that I had used to make a quilt for the new baby's older sister 4 years ago.

Christmas Budget

I have been thinking and saving a lot for Christmas. I really am going to try and not put any Christmas gifts on the credit cards. To do this, every month I had been putting a certain amount aside. I have never set a monetary amount for what I want to spend. I have always gone by the number of gifts I get for each kid. This year I am going to try and limit it to $250 a kid. This may seem like a large amount to some people and to others a very small amount. I certainly have no problem not spending the entire amount it I feel I get great prices on somethings and I reach what I feel is the present quota in my mind. We usually get the kids a big present each and then about 5-6 medium to small gifts each from Santa Clause. We give them one gift and they give each other a gift. I usually have the boys give books to each other. Santa does fill their stockings with 1 or 2 "toys" the rest is underwear, socks, toothbrush, etc. I started to feel bad about the amount of money and toys they get for Christmas, especially after reading some people's blogs that stated they only gave 1 or 2 presents or only spent $200 on 4 kids. I thought that I would cut way back this year but the more I thought about it, I realized we are in a position where we can afford to spend what we do and we like doing it. I shouldn't change tha way I am raising my children because someone in the blog world does it differently! It boils down to comparing yourself to others. I am bad with this and I need to work on that!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mad Scientist Party

We celebrated my oldest son's 8th birthday with a mad scientist party. It was a blast! The kids seemed to really enjoy it too. I found a lot of great ideas here. We converted our garage into the "Mas Lab" and I hide all of our junk with tarps. We had five science experiments that the kids circulated to; they played with pop rocks, made lava lamps, made oobleck, made slime, and exploded film canisters. I certainly couldn't have pulled it off without the help of my dear darling husband and very generous friends who helped man the stations. I had enough people helping that I could just float around and get extra supplies for the stations, snap some pictures and move the kids along. I had a good time planning the party and it certainly wasn't expensive to pull off but it did take up a lot of time and wasn't "simple". I love doing parties like this but it does take time and effort. I was nervous that we might not be able to pull it off because the youngest came sown with a virus, flu, or very bad cough(doctors aren't sure what it was) earlier in the week.. Thankfully he has recovered and the party went off without a hitch. I do have to say I am glad it is over and I can now just collapse! Thanks friends for helping!!!

Grocery Shopping

Alright I blew it this week! I spent way over my $125 grocery budget. I did get good prices on things but I also spent more than I wanted. I did go to 2 different stores, Price Chopper and Walmart, and I did have to buy some bigger purchases this week. I had to buy wipes, pull ups, cat food, cat litter, yard bags, and Ziploc bags. These items, even with coupons, cost me over $55! I also had to buy some things for our big birthday party this week and I did have extra money set aside for that but everything starts to add up!!! My biggest expense has been snacks for the kids. I don't think I buy expensive snacks but what I do buy adds up and the kids go right through them! I definitely need some ideas for cheap, HEALTHY snacks that my boys like! I need to get back to some baking like muffins and cookies to put in their lunchboxes and to have on hand for snack time. All in all I spent a total of $225! I now have $30 left for the month with a week until the end of the month. We can do it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We are gearing up for my oldest son's 8th birthday party. This year we have decided to have a mad scientist theme. It was inspired by two things. First we got a science experiment book from Target for $1 this summer and had tons of fun with the experiments. Then I stumbled on this blog : It is going to be so much fun and it is really not costing alot. Two things I love! Stay tuned for pictures and a detailed explanations of what we planned.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Week

This week is so crazy! I can't even begin to get my head around everything that has to get done. Because of that, I am taking this week off from posting my weekly menu. I'll catch you all up next week when I have a free moment to breathe again!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One County One Book

I have not a free moment to post anything in a few days. The family and work has been keeping me on my toes. I also have spent the last two evenings catching up on some reading which brings me to the point of this posting. My library has been doing One County One book for the last few years. Every year I try to read the selected titles before I vote. This year the finalists are:

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
World Made by Hand byJames Howard Kunstler

I have read Skeletons at the Feast about a year ago and really enjoyed it. I just finished reading Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and loved it. I think it is going to be difficult to decide on what book to vote for. Because of this program, I have read some really awesome books that I most likely won't not have read or even heard about to read. I try to vote on the book that best fits the reason for the program not just because I liked it. The trouble I have been having is I can't really find a good description of the purpose for the program. According to my library's website, the purpose is to "encourage the entire community to join together in reading, discussing, and participating in programs associated with THE SAME BOOK!" To me that is too vague for me. Oh well, I still have some more reading to do and I still have time to ponder the most appropriate book, in my mind at least, to vote for.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Alright another week another menu. Another crazy week for us! I do have to say that since I started menu planning, we have really cut down on wasting food and eating out! It is a great way to keep me on track.


Breakfast - pancakes or mini bagels

Lunch - turkey or pb sandwiches

Dinner - meatloaf, mash potatoes


Breakfast - cereal or mini bagels

Lunch - turkey or pb

Dinner - left over from last night


Breakfast - cereal or toast
Lunch- turkey or pb

Dinner - raviolis


Breakfast - toast or mini pancakes

Lunch - turkey or pb

Dinner - My oldest son's birthday! He gets to chose the meal and hasn't yet decided on what he wants.


Breakfast - mini bagels or toast

Lunch - turkey or pb

Dinner - smoked sausage

Saturday - NYC trip all meals will be eaten out but I will pack some snacks and drinks for the road.


Breakfast cereal or toast

Lunch - ??
Dinner - roasted chicken

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Two cords of wood stacked!!!! It only took us three hours and that was with three of us. It is is now time to relax.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Grocery Shopping Trip

I need a few staples today so I decided to make the trip my weekly shopping trip. This way I won't have to go out again this weekend. Again, I won't bore you with the specifics but I did get some great deals and I saved almost $80! Price Chopper was running a few good B1G1 free deals so I stocked up on a few things. I got four loaves of Freihofer's breads and got 4 free. I got 2 packages of Pede raviolis and got 2 free. I got a bag of Thomas' mini bagels and got 1 free. I also got 10 boxes of Barilla pasta at 10/$10 plus a $1 off 10 coupon. Nice. All in all, I think I am just about set with my stockpile. My freezers are just about full and my cupboards are bursting! It is a nice feeling. I have also earned .40 off my next gas fill-up.

As for my grocery budget, I decided to track the monthly spending, not weekly spending. I have just over $260 left for the month out of $600 so I think I am good. I will certainly still try to bring it in under an average of $125 a week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

No TV Week

We are on our second day of no TV for the week. I have become very frustrated with the amount of TV my children will watch if allowed. I have always tried to limit it but it seems to have gotten easier to let them turn it on. My oldest son, especially does not hear ANYTHING when he is watching TV and I really feel he has stopped playing because of all of the TV he watches. Starting Sunday, I made this week "TV free week". Yesterday was a bit hard but we got through it. There were many times where it seemed easier to give in and let them watch TV but I stuck to my guns and we made it. After dinner the whole family, instead of turning on the TV, went outside and played a game of freeze tag. This evening, after dinner, my oldest son had some trouble finding something to do even with all of my suggestions. He did finally become involved in a board game with his brothers and they played together so nicely!!! I am sure the rest of the week will work out just as well. Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CVS Trip

Another good week for me at CVS. Here is what I got. For more ideas check out here.

Transaction #1

Colgate 360 Toothbrush - $2.99

Tone Soap -3 bars -$1.88

Toothbrush coupon - $1.00 off

Tone Soap Coupon - $1.00 off

Total with tax - $3.26

Got $3.00 in ECB PLUS another $4.00 in ECB!!!

Transaction #2

2 Secret Deodorants - @2.99 each

Secret coupon $1.00 off

ECB - $3.00

Total with tax - $2.46

Got $1.00 ECB

Transaction #3

4 Progresso Soups - $3.19 each but it was B1G1 free

Used $1.oo off coupon

Used $5.00 ECB

Total with Tax - .38!

This transaction is the best I have every done. Think of it - 4 soups for .38. That is like a little less than .10 a soup. WooHoo! It did help that I got that random $4.00 in ECB.

Menu Planning Monday

Alright - here is our week- it is a busy week too! Check out more menus here.


Breakfast - muffin tops or toast

Lunch - Both Big boys are buying at school!

Dinner - Pieorgies (husband teaches and we have a scout meeting at 630)


Breakfast - Muffin tops or toast

Lunch - Choice of turkey or Peanut Butter sandwich

Dinner - Chicken (tiger cub meeting at our house at 6)


Breakfast - cereal or mini bagels

Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Dinner - Left over Chicken (soccer practice starting at 530)

Thursday - Husband's Birthday!

Breakfast - Pancakes or toast

Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Dinner - Chinese Food (Oldest son has b-day party to go to at 5 and I have Meet the Teacher Night at my work)


Breakfast - Mini pancakes or mini bagels

Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Dinner - Dinner at parent's to celebrate our October birthdays - husband and oldest son


Breakfast - Cereal or toast

Lunch - ?

Dinner - meatloaf

Again all of our dinners include a vegetable, fruit and some type of carb. Lunches also include a fruit, crunchy snack(pretzels) yogurt, and maybe a cookie for dessert. I am having trouble coming up with lunch choices for the boys to bring to school. They seem to enjoy the turkey or peanut butter sandwiches but I am getting tired of making them. I guess I feel they need more variety but the two older boys buy their lunches sometimes and my younger son eats lunch at the babysitter's three time a year. So I guess they are getting the variety there!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Grocery Shopping

I did pretty good with grocery shopping this week.. I have decided not bore anyone with the actual specifics of everything I purchased but I will include good deal I got. I got a box of Fiber One bars at Walmart for $2.68 plus a $1 off coupon. I did go to Walmart and Price Chopper this week. I spent a total of $109.64. I did not get everything I needed so I will have to make another trip out tomorrow for some basics but I am sure I can get everything I need for $20 or less. Price Chopper does have a double coupon special running but you need to get a Price Chopper double coupon to get the special. They were in the newspaper this past Thursday but there were only 2. I did think about buying extra papers but never followed through with that. Oh well, another time. I will post my final weekly tally tomorrow.

Warrensburgh Garage Sale Wrap Up

So another Warrensburgh Garage Sale is over. The day always goes by so fast! My friend and I figured out we have been going for the last 10 years with 2 separate years off. Over the years I have gotten some awesome things. This year I got some good stuff but nothing big and nothing to get too excited over except for my wall mounted coca cola bottle opener. I have been looking for one at the garage sale for the last three years. It was only $6 which made it even better. Now I just have to figure out where to put it. Over all I think I did pretty good and even got a Christmas gift for my husband and two of my boys. Now another 364 more days until next year's garage sale!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Garage Sale

This weekend is the annual Warrensburgh, NY Garage Sale! For the past few years, my girlfriend and I have been going to it. In the last 12 years we have only missed two or three years all due to pregnancy or new babies. We go up north Friday evening and spend the night without our spouses or kids. It is such a great time and the deals I have found have been incredible! I am hoping, this year, to find a new comfortable chair for our family room and maybe some new kitchen chairs.The picture above is the dining room buffet and wall shelf I got for a steal last year. $30 for both! I did have to paint and distress it to get it the way I wanted but it was worth it!