Friday, January 30, 2009

Hooray! The Bloggy Giveaway carnival was a huge success! I can't believe I had over 600 entries in only a matter of days! I guess a lot of people really do love Rachael!

And funnily enough, the winner of my giveaway (#481) is another "Rach": Rachel Cordeiro! Congratulations! I sent you an email, but if you didn't receive it, please contact me.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! Just like last time, the Bloggy Giveaway carnival has been so much fun. I entered a bunch myself, and am hoping to win something this time! :)

Be sure to stay tuned to my blog; I will have a new giveaway starting up next week!

Here's a few good freebies for you. Hurry on the magazine subscription! They always go so fast.

Get a free subscription to Body and Soul magazine.

Quaker True Delights is sending a free sample of their new granola bar. Scroll down to the button that says "get a free sample".

Hyland's is offering free samples of their Calm's Forte and Leg Cramps with Quinine remedies.

Register and get a coupon for a free Boost Kid Essentials nutrition drink.

Get a coupon for a free can of Ensure here.

Get a free full version of computer game Build-a-Lot. Click "buy now," choose the $19.99 option, then use code FREEBUILD at checkout.

Try Gas-X Thin Strips for free.

If your children are interested in setting up a lemonade stand to raise money for charity this year, visit this Sunkist site to get a free stand and materials.

These next to kind of look like the 'unreliable' kind, but it is worth a shot!

Ravage furniture is sending out a free sample of their furniture polish.

Take the Lion's challenge and compare Lion's Den energy drink with Red Bull. Where it says "company" there is an option for "individual."


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Well, I guess if you wanted answers, tonight was not the night to get them! Instead I just have a bunch of questions...

What the heck is up with Faraday? Was the blonde 1954 "other" the sister of the woman that he messed up back in London? When he said she looked familiar I was either thinking that sister that Desmond spoke to (but she'd be too old, right?), or maybe Charlotte's mom? And why didn't she move her mouth when she talked? lol
Update: I read that Mrs. Hawkings' (the crazy old lady from The Constant who would seem to be Faraday's mom in Los Angeles) first name is Eloise. The blonde's name in this episode was "Ellie", that would be an easy fit. Maybe she looks familiar because she's his mommy!

Who cares what really happens to Charlotte, but my question is: is Daniel really in love with her? Is he sincere about anything?

Des and Pen's little Charlie...named after Charlie on the island or Penny's dad? I'm sure it's "our" Charlie, but it's just ironic.

The best part of the night? When Locke stumbled upon the young Widmore...I was so tickled by that one!! And now seeing how calm and civil he treated Desmond, is he really the bad guy? Is Widmore the good guy and Ben the bad one?

Maybe Sun is the one that has it right.

I've already been all over DarkUFO to try to find some answers...someone mentioned, is the h-bomb what was behind the concrete wall in the Swan station? That seems a little severe to me...after Desmond turned the key, no one would have been able to survive...but this is the island we're talking about. Sigh.

Does anyone have any answers?

I love Diet Dr. Pepper! Click here to get a coupon for a free 2 liter or 20 oz. bottle.

Monday, January 26, 2009

First, if you are new to working deals at Acme, please read the background info on one of my earlier deals posts. This will explain how the coupons double & how to print two copies of the printable coupons.

Sorry for the delay on these deals again this week. So much going on here! Unfortunately, there aren't any stellar deals this week. You can score some free croutons and a few cheap snacks, maybe for your Super Bowl party. Here's what I can see:

Non-coupon deals:

Acme is running their "Favorite 4" promotion again, where you can choose 4 meat/seafood products from a list of over 30 options, and pay $19.99 for them, no matter what the individual package price may be. You must buy 4 and they must have the "Favorite 4" label on them. Each choice is supposed to be enough to feed a family of 4. Some of the items include 2 lbs. of 80% lean ground beef, 2 lbs. of Italian sausage, Whole frying chickens, Gorton's Frozen fish sticks or fillets, etc. See the front page of the circular for more details.

Acme Instant Oatmeal is on sale for $1.59 a box.

Printable coupon deals:

Marzetti Croutons are on sale for $1 each. Use the $0.50 off 1 printable here (will double to $1 off) to get them free.

Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn is on sale buy one get one free, with prices up to $3.39. Use two of the $1 off 1 printables here to get them for $0.69 each.

Hunts canned tomatoes are on sale for $1 each. Use the $1 off 3 printable here to get them for $0.66 each.

Wanchai Ferry Asian dinner kits are on sale for $3.99. Use the $1 off 1 printable here to get them for $2.99 each.

32 oz. Peach or Light Strawberry Yoplait Yogurt is on sale for $2.50. Use the $1 off 1 printable here to get them for $1.50 each.

Newspaper coupon deals:

Nabisco Snack Crackers are on sale for $2 each. Use the $2 off 2 coupon from this Sunday's paper and get 2 boxes for $1 each. There is also a coupon on the back page of the circular to give you free Kraft shredded, chunk or Cracker Barrel cheese when you buy 3 boxes of crackers. With one coupon, you would pay $4 for 3 boxes of crackers and 1 package of cheese.

SuperPretzel soft pretzels and Pretzelfils are on sale buy one get one free, with prices up to $4.29. Using the max price of $4.29, use the $1 off 2 coupon from this Sunday's paper and get 2 boxes for $1.65 each.

Post cereals are on sale for $2.50. Use the $1 off any 2 coupon from this Sunday's paper and get 2 boxes for $2 each. Honey Bunches of Oats are included in this sale, but it doesn't specify if the "Just Bunches" variety is included. If it is, use two of the $2 off 1 printable here to get them for $0.50 each!

Beechnut Stage two baby foods are on sale 10 for $4. There is a $1 off 10 coupon in a recent insert, making 10 jars $0.30 each!

10 oz. packages of California pistachios are on sale for $3.88 each. There are a couple different $1 off two coupons from recent inserts making them $3.38 each.

Rachael Ray really fascinates me. Mostly just because she is everywhere. You walk into a department store and Rachael's smiling face is all over her own brand of pots and pans. Turn on daytime television and she has her own show, turn on Food network and she's *everywhere*. Unfortunately for her, she's even got her smiling face plastered on the tabloids at the grocery checkout. Now, the second reason she fascinates me is because people really, really like her or hate her, hate her, hate her. Obviously, enough people really like her recipes that she has churned out a ton of cookbooks.

I have a bunch of Rachael's books and I have to say that we really like most of the meals from them. Sometimes the recipes can be pricey to make, but they are almost always very easy and fast to prepare. Here at Queen Mother Blog, I'm giving away a brand-new copy of Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2 cookbook.

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is post a comment with your email address so I can notify you if you win. If you are worried about spammers, just type your email something like this: QueenMotherBlog{at}gmail(dot)com & you're golden. This giveaway is open to residents of the US & Canada.

**Want up to FOUR extra entries?**
1. Add my button to your site! Look over to my right sidebar where it says "Grab this button!" and copy and paste the code somewhere on your site. Then come back and leave me the link to your page in a comment.
2. You can post about my giveaway on your blog and then leave the link to your post in a comment. Though I would love a fancy write-up, a quick link on one of your posts will do!
3. Subscribe to my feed and post a comment letting me know.
4. Follow my blog and post a separate comment letting me know.

Just be sure to post separate comments for each additional entry, as I will be using a random number generator to choose a winner from all of the comments.

I will be accepting entries until 5 PM EST on January 30th, 2009. The winner will be notified by email and also a post here on the site.

When you are done entering here, be sure to check out all of the other giveaways going on this week at the Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival! Good luck!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I had mentioned this earlier, but here it is! My new, professionally-designed blog! I think it looks great, and has a lot of cool features. You can now add my button to your site (copy the code where it says "Grab this button" and paste it where you want!). There is even a cute little logo up by your address bar to tell you that you are on my site. It's called a favicon, and I think it is the cutest thing ever.

Can you tell I'm excited! And just in time for the giveaway carnival tomorrow. Can't wait!

Thanks a bunch to Vanessa at Paperback Designs for working with me and designing this for me. I love it!

So please de-lurk and throw me a comment to let me know how you like the design. I also added a new site search feature so you can search for posts instead of having to click through the labels.

*PS- I know the "resources" link up top isn't working yet--I'm putting together a list of all of my favorite deal-seeking, money-saving resources and it will be there for your reference soon!

It is a busy-blog day for me. New layout, giveaway tomorrow, working on the Acme deals...but here are a few quick freebies to start your week:

Create a pledge for your little one at this Gerber site, and afterwards they will mail you a free spoon and you can print a $3 off Gerber food or Graduates coupon and a $5 off Good Start formula coupon.

Get a free sample of new Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal here

Sign up for Betty Crocker emails and get a free sample of Chocolate Turtle Chex Mix

Enter the mailing list here and receive a coupon for a free 4-pack of Hansen's Organic Junior Water.

Quantities of this are limited, but try signing up for a free sample of Tigi's Rockaholic hair creme.

Purina Beneful is offering a free subscription to their Dog's Life magazine (looks like the "subscription" is one magazine).

Costco is offering a free sample of their Kirkland Signature diapers. You do not need to put in a Costco #.

Rachael Ray's Nutrish dog food is giving away another free sample here. This is a different form than last time.

Freebies 4 Mom has a great post here about how to get 6 free Valentine's photo cards shipped to your house, yes, totally free!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

photo by adam*b

Here's a few random deals for you:

CVS-  Apparently this deal is different for some regions, but here in New Jersey, CVS will give you $3 in Extracare bucks for purchasing any 3 Hallmark cards (ends Saturday).  Of course, in the ad they show the fancy singing cards, but you can buy 3 $0.99 cards and get $3 in ecbs, making them free!  The best part?  This deal is limit FIVE, so you can get 15 free cards!  Just note that you might want to split your transactions up to spend less out of pocket (and avoid having one $15 extra buck; I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a bunch of little ones than a big one like that).

Walgreens- Check out this post over at Money Saving Mom to see how you can get paid $9 to get free Orajel Cold Sore patches.  This is why I save coupons for items that I don't regularly use...sometimes they help you make money!

Target- MSM also has a post on free Ocean Spray juice at Target.  These might be a smidge more than free for us, because it seems in Jersey our prices are higher than most other areas (really?).  I have also had "your mileage may vary" instances at Target with them accepting both a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon for the same item, so you might want to print a copy of their coupon policy and have it with you.  I find that the young cashiers generally give you no problem at all ;)

Printable coupons-  Kashi has $2 off coupons for boxes of their new TLC cereal bars (click where it says "get coupons").  These were on sale at Acme last week for $2.99 (I think they still are), so you can pick some up for less than a dollar each.  While you are there, look at the top where it says "join the community."  I had signed up with them before and I received a sample pack in the mail the other day with a free cereal bar sample, a coupon for a free box, and a bunch of $2 off coupons.  They do stuff like this periodically, so it is worth signing up!

Coffeemate has a $1.50 off one printable.  The liquid is usually on sale for $1.99 at my store--pretty sweet deal!

Like to buy organic?  Sign up for Seventh Generation emails and you can print coupons, such as $2 off any diapers or wipes.  Random organic product coupons are available for print here, the $2 off any two Organic Valley coupon looks pretty decent...I like their milk!  Also check out this site for more organic product coupons.

Enjoy!  Love, Bay

Sigh. The new season of Lost has begun. And when Lost is on, it has a tendency to consume my thoughts. I don't know why, ever since I started watching Lost in the first season, I got sucked in to the trippy-ness. If you are not aware, there are message boards upon message boards of super eager fans posting all of the cool hidden clues (called "easter eggs") and debating their theories of what's what.

Back when I worked the 9-5, it was almost impossible to do anything the morning after Lost. While I should have been catching up on the previous day's emails I was sneaking over to DarkUfo's really cool site and watching freeze frames of Lost and emailing them to my like-minded co-workers. I know! I'm terrible.

When I was in the hospital with Rayna, two days after she was born, I was stressed that my visitors were not going to leave in time for me to watch the new Lost.

Ok, enough embarassing confessions for one post. You may not have noticed, but I was so amped for Lost to start I even missed Works for me Wednesday! But one of the reasons I love Rocks In My Dryer is that Shannon loves Lost, too. The one thing I would share with her Lost-lovin' readers is one of my favorite Lost-related blogs. This is not one where you will find any real spoilers, freeze-frame images, or any of that stuff. What you will find is a little poking fun at Lost-serious-ness. The Misfit is Here always had funny posts on the imdb message boards for Lost, and I loved when he started his own blog. Yes, the punctuation will drive you mad and yes, it might just be a waste of time, but his site always makes me crack up. My favorite post? His recap of There's no place like home.

Enjoy! Love, Bay

PS- My thoughts on last night? I loved seeing Ana Lucia...I was just telling my sister that I love when the dead ones pop up! I was really hoping for Boone, Shannon, or Eko though. And I'm stoked to know that Desmond seems to be a really important guy in this season. I *love* him!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

photo by Victoriapeckham

Hooray! I told you I had exciting things going on in January and you probably think it is like...hmm, I was going to make a cricket chirp joke here, but I've mentioned before, crickets aren't very funny. Well, so, it has been a bit quiet this month without any crazy rollicking deals, but I really do have some fun things happening....

I'm getting my blog designed as we speak! I've been wanting a custom blog design from day one, but I was trying to hold off until I could see if this blogging-to-the-public thing was for me. Well, since it is, I'm getting a pretty new design from Vanessa at Paperback Designs. Look for it to go live sometime at the end of the week!

THEN, on Monday, it is time again for the Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival! Last time was so exciting, I had about a million people visit my site for my giveaway, and I entered about a million contests myself. I didn't win anything, but that will change this time! So husband be warned, I will be spending way too much time entering the hundreds of giveaways that will start on Monday! And yes, I will be having my own giveaway here as well!

There might be more exciting things, but that's all I can think of right now. Just wanted to let you know :) Love, Bay

Monday, January 19, 2009

First, if you are new to working deals at Acme, please read the background info on one of my earlier deals posts. This will explain how the coupons double & how to print two copies of the printable coupons.

These are a little late this week; I wanted to wait until I had this Sunday's coupons to figure them out, and I haven't had a free moment 'til now! There doesn't seem to be killer freebies, but there are some decent deals.

This time I'll start with the various circular promotions this week, since there are a lot of them!

On page 6 of the circular is a coupon for Free Silk SoyMilk (62 oz.) when you buy two participating Kellogg's Special K items. The cheapest two patricipating Special K items are Special K blueberry cereal at $2.33 and the Special K crackers, bites or bars at $2.50 each. So you spend just about $5 on two Special K items and a Silk SoyMilk half gallon.

On the back page of the circular are some $1 off coupons when you buy related items. For example, Wish-Bone Salad Dressing (16 oz. size) are buy one get one free at $3.39, plus there is a $1 off Fresh Express Salads when you purchase the two Wish-Bone dressings. To me, the best deals for the week are:

Country Crock mashed potatoes (24 oz. homestyle or garlic) are on sale 2 for $6. There was a $1 off one coupon in Sunday's paper and there is a corresponding coupon for $1 off any meat purchase when you buy the two Country Crock side dishes. Assuming you are already purchasing some meat, that makes these $2 each.

Skippy Peanut Butter 15-16.3 oz. jars are buy one get one free at $2.99. Use the $0.75 off two coupon from this Sunday's paper, it will double to $1.50 off, so they will be $0.75 each and there is a corresponding coupon for $1 off an Acme brand jelly.

Ragu Pasta Sauce (select varities, 16-26 oz.) are buy one get one free at up to $2.99 each. Buy the two and the corresponding coupon is for $1 off any Acme brand pasta.

Also on the back page of the circular are two soda coupons:
1. Receive a free 6-pack of 16.9 oz. bottles of Coca-Cola with coupon when you purchase 3 12-packs of Coke cans at 3 for $11. If you use My Coke Rewards, you can redeem 35 points for a $1 off a 12-pack coupon, use your back button to print the coupon twice (it will generate a new coupon, but will only do two per redemption). Using three $1 off 12-pack coupons and the circular coupon, you would get a 6-pack of bottles and 3 12-packs of cans for $8 total.

2. Save $2 off any 2 Pepsi 24-packs with coupon. These are on sale for $6.99 each, so with coupon you would pay $5.99 each.

Printable coupon deals

There is a General Mills promo going on this week, where $5 will come off your order instantly when you buy $20 worth of participating products. This is one per transaction, but you could do this a couple times in different trips if you needed to stock up. I really like these deals, because the money comes right off your total at the end, instead of being a coupon for your next transaction that you have to hold on to and try to remember to use before it expires.

Remember, the $20 worth is BEFORE coupons! There are tons of printable (and regular) coupons out there for General Mills products that you can use to get a sweet deal. Visit SmartSource, and Box Tops for education coupons for some printables. Here is an example deal that you could do:


Two boxes of Betty Crocker Muffin mix at $2.50 each. Use this printable for $1 off two boxes.
One box of Bisquick at $2. Use the printable here for $1 off.
Two boxes of Multigrain Cheerios at $2.50 each. Use two of the $0.75 off one box printable here and it will double to $1.50 off each.
Two cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls at $2 each. Use the $1 off two printable here.
One multi-pack of Fiber One yogurt at $2.50. Use the $1 off one printable here.
One Savorings frozen appetizer at $3. Use the $1 off one printable available here.

Total before coupons: $21.50. Total after coupons: $13.50. Total at register after $5 comes off: $8.50!

Other coupon deals

Daisy Sour Cream 16 oz. are on sale for $1.66 each. Use the $0.50 off 1 coupon from Sunday's paper. The coupon will double to $1 off, making it $0.66.

Glaceau Smart Water one liter bottles are on sale for $1 each. There is a $1 off 5 bottles coupon from a recent insert, making 5 bottles $0.80 each.

Soy Joy bars are on sale for $1 each. There is a buy one get one free coupon and a $3 off 10 coupon from recent inserts making these either $0.50 each or $0.70 each, respectively.

Scotties tissues are on sale for $1 each. There is a $1 off 5 coupon from a recent insert, making 5 boxes $0.80 each.

Swiffer Duster starter kits are $3.99 each. Use the $1 off coupon from the Home Made Simple booklet and they are $2.99 each.

Non-coupon deals

Wild Harvest organic herb packs are $2 each & Wild Harvest organic baby carrots (1 lb. bag) are $2.

Acme Frozen Pizzas are on sale for $3 each.

Mott's Apple Sauce 24 oz. jars are $2 each.

Tuttorosso Pasta Sauce 26 oz. jars are $1.66 each.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Last week's dinners were pretty uneventful. Marc was not looking forward to the frozen chicken and rice dish, but it defrosted well and was pretty tasty. Still have no idea where that recipe came from! Also, somehow last week I never ended up making the spaghetti and I can't even remember why? But you'll see it again this week...

Monday- ...ta-da! Spaghetti :)

Tuesday- Tilapia filets with breadcrumbs, capers and lemon juice

Wednesday- I'm going to try some variation of this potato dish. I like it because I have TONS of potatoes right now so I will just shred some and use them instead of frozen. It also looks like I could throw in a bunch of extra veggies.

Thursday- I have two roasting-type chickens in my freezer that I have no idea what to do with. I think I'm going to try the recipe Laura at orgjunkie was making last week for Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken.

Friday- There is a random box of frozen kale in my freezer, too. I really have no idea why I bought it, but I think I can sneak it into this lasagna instead of the box of frozen spinach. Using jarred sauce will save some time, and I think the strong flavor from Italian sausage will make us not notice that it's kale instead of spinach.

Saturday- Out!

Sunday- Leftover extravaganza =)

Be sure to check out the other menus at Menu Plan Monday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

During this pantry organization series, we have been working on getting our freezers and cabinets organized and inventoried so that we can use what we have on hand. Not only does this save you time and frustration, but obviously the first step to using what you have is to know what you have. If you haven’t inventoried your freezer and pantry yet, you can read my earlier posts here, here and here.

I think that the best way to use what I have on hand is to menu plan. This not only helps me keep on top of what I have, but it saves time and money, too. Even if you don’t follow it religiously, or if you make a very “loose” plan for the week, I would bet that it will help you on those days when you might just make a call for pizza delivery because you have no idea what to make. Not that delivery or take out is evil of course, but it can totally negate your money-saving efforts if you do it too often.

1. Figure out what to use- Once you know what you have, look through your fridge and produce and see if you have anything that is expiring soon or any products that are half-open and will need to be used asap. If there is something that needs to be used quickly, plan to use it early in the week. Also, look at anything you might have way too much of. Make note of these items, too.

2. Decide how you will plan- First, decide how many meals you are going to plan: breakfast, lunch and dinner, just dinner, etc. I only plan dinners, since lunches are either smaller portions of leftover dinner, or sandwiches/soup and then breakfast is pretty straightforward. Larger families seem to benefit from each meal being planned. Now, figure out how you will write your plan. I write mine on my blog, some people write theirs on a calendar (on the fridge), or you can print one of these printable forms and keep it in a recipe binder.

3. Come up with ideas- Now that you know what you have to use up quickly, you have some starting points for your meals for the week. Need help figuring out recipes or meals that use these items? Allrecipes has this recipe finder, that allows you to put in items that you want or don’t want in a recipe. Have a near expiration cream cheese brick, canned tomato sauce and some ground beef? Put those ingredients in the “items you want” section and you will find a casserole recipe like this one. Of course, you can also get as creative as possible to use up anything you want.

I have found that participating in Menu Plan Monday has helped me stick to coming up with a menu plan for the week. Even if you don’t write a blog, stop by and check out some of the other menu plans to get some inspiration and/or recipes.

And remember, your inventory efforts are not to enslave you to making meals from these items only! Of course you can choose exactly what you want to make for the week; the inventory can also just help you know what you might need to pick up at the store.

4. Just write it out- Now that you have gone through all of the steps above, you just have to write out your plan and stick to it.

I hope that this little series on pantry organization and using what you have has helped you get a little more organized and save some money this year. I know that it has really helped me! Love, Bay

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There are a bunch of freebies popping up- I guess the drought we had over the holidays is over! Here are some new ones including some free magazine subscriptions (I love those). Don't feel like filling out your address a million times? Check out my post on Roboform.

Get totally free subscriptions to American Baby and Baby Talk magazines.

Join Moms Meet (free) and get a free subscription to Kiwi magazine and $5 in coupons for Earth's Best baby food.

Free subscription to Forbes magazine if you fill out the short survey (and these Rewardsgold magazines always come).

or Rewardsgold is offering a free subscription to Working Mother magazine.

Sign up and P&G will send you coupons and samples of Head & Shoulders.

Get a free Poise liner or ultra thin here.

Joico will send you a free sample of shampoo & conditioner if you register (you'll need to confirm an email).

MapMyRun is offering a free sample of Febreze Sport, specially designed for athletes.

Your dog can try a sample of Rachael Ray's Nutrish dog food.

Got a little one working on potty training? Request a kit from Pampers (includes $5 in coupons) & a kit from Huggies (includes a dvd & $2 coupon).

Enjoy! Love, Bay

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I am still working on my pantry/freezer project, and here is the third step: clean and inventory your freezers, just like your cabinets. Freezers tend to hold big meal potential, so it is important to know exactly what you have in there. I have my freezer in my kitchen and a small chest freezer in my basement. As you can imagine with my fear of my basement, I do not visit that chest freezer very often. So when I inventoried it, it was the same method as the basement shelves. I made this large sign (just like my pantry sign) for the chest freezer, that way Marc can update it easily and I can see it from far away.

It's very scientific right, "huge box of hot dogs" lol, but it works. For my upstairs freezer I used the same forms that I used for the cabinets and I have them posted right on the door of the freezer. You could always put it in a binder or some other handy place if you don't want it showing.

This is the last step before my next post on using what you have. If you need a little visual inspiration and you have the time, Denise at The Centsible Sawyer has a video about menu planning and it starts with her inventorying her freezers:

Obviously, before we get into using what you have on hand, feel free to inventory any other areas you may have food storage. I chose to not do my fridge, because of the rapid turnover of items (I'd be updating it constantly) and I have a pretty good idea of what is in there. So finish up your inventories and I'll see you back here for how to use what you have on hand!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I was really stoked about this little invention for wfmw, until my husband came in and called it "totally ghetto-fab." Well, if you have a bunch of feeding related objects that seem to populate around your dining room table, maybe this will work for you.

One thing I never seem to have around is enough bibs. I also always have a can of puffies hanging around the table that never makes it back to the kitchen. So I decided to add a little storage pocket onto the back of my high chair. First, check the back of your high chair. You probably have some extra holes where you could adjust the straps. My high chair is a Chicco.

I took a tote bag (it was one of the freebies from a few weeks ago) and cut the straps off the front, so I had two long straps that I could thread into my highchair. If you thought things through more than I did, maybe you'd turn the bag around so the logo wasn't showing. Oh well, no one is really seeing this anyway. You could also use a gift bag if you don't have a tote bag. Stick the handle straps through the holes in the high chair:

On the inside of the high chair (inside of the seat liner) secure the straps. I just criss-crossed mine and stapled them. Nothing really fancy:

Put the seat cover back on, and fill your storage bag with those items you need near the highchair:

I don't think that it is very unsightly, especially since no one sees the back of my high chair:

Maybe this won't work for every type of highchair, but maybe it gave you an idea to add a bit more storage where you need it!

Check out the other Works for Me Wednesday posts at Rocks in my Dryer!

Here's how you can score a good deal on two packs each of Huggies diapers and wipes!

From Sunday's paper, grab the two $1.50 off Huggies diapers coupons and the $0.50 off Huggies wipes coupon. If you buy more than one paper, or have another Huggies wipes coupon floating around, you can use one of those as well to increase your savings. Also, print one of the $5 off a $25 purchase coupons available here or here. (I used the second link and signed up so I had a more "legit" looking coupon...I'll explain in a minute)

Head to RiteAid and pick up two tubs of Huggies wipes and two Jumbo packs of diapers. Use your coupons above. Be sure to hold on to your receipt. Now, go to the RiteAid Single Check Rebate website by clicking here. Scroll to January 2009 offers and click "view offers". Submit for rebates #29 ($2 back on 1 Huggies Jumbo, Pull-ups or Goodnights), #30 ($2 back on 2 Huggies wipes), and #48 ($10 RiteAid gift card back for purchasing $25 in Kimberly-Clark items). Their rebate submission process is really easy. If you want more information on it, click here.

That's it! After your coupons and rebates, you will then have two tubs of wipes and two packs of diapers for only $4.46 (my store had the wipes at $3.49 each and the diapers at $9.99 each). If you had an extra wipes coupon it would be only $3.96 total. Have no coupons at all? You could still submit for the rebates and it be $7.96.

My experience doing this deal: For some reason, the RiteAids near me seem to be in the stone ages. They are no where near as advanced as CVS or even Walgreens. I registered with the RiteAid website to get the $5 off $25 coupon, and it printed about 7 pages of coupons for RiteAid brand items. I stuck that whole thing in my coupon folder so I had it with me when I went to RiteAid. When I got there, my (elderly) cashier took one look at the $5 off $25 coupon and called the manager saying "it wouldn't scan." She didn't even try! The manager looked at it incredulously until I whipped out my stack of new RiteAid coupons and said "yeah, they emailed me all of these coupons for signing up on the website!" She was very friendly and told me that she never heard of it before and that is great, she was going to do it herself. So there you go. Just be a little extra prepared, because it seems RiteAid doesn't get a lot of crazy deal ladies like me. ;)

I found out about this deal here on MoneySavingMom. Hope it works for you, too! Love, Bay

Monday, January 12, 2009

First I have to say that participating in Menu Plan Monday over at really worked well for me last week. In my ongoing quest to organize my pantry and freezers, I am also trying to be more mindful of using what I have on hand. Since I already knew what I was making, it saved time and saved me money by not really buying anything extra.

On Monday we had the Chicken Tortilla Soup and I have to say that we really enjoyed it, even as leftovers. Marc thought that it was "spicy, but not too spicy" because I have accidentally made some outrageously overly-spicy (to the point of being inedible) meals before and this one was perfect. I didn't have a can of tomato sauce so I used a can of condensed tomato soup and half a can of water and it came out great. It was also a good way to use up those bottom of the bag nacho chips.

So for this week, which is pretty busy, my meal plan is not too exciting at all:

Monday- Out for dinner!

Tuesday- Both going our separate ways, so we will polish off leftovers...I have tons.

Wednesday- Pepper and onion steak over rice - I have some "eye of round" steaks in my freezer that I have had no idea what to do with. For this recipe I'll just cut them into strips.

Thursday- I have a pan in the freezer of rice with stuffed chicken breasts that I made a while ago, when I guess I had extra time or energy (when the heck was that?) and I'm going to cook it up and eat them. I can't find the recipe, but it definitely came from's freezer recipes somewhere.

Friday- Spaghetti

Saturday- Finishing off the leftovers from these couple meals (oh, the joys of cooking for two, when every recipe is for four)

Sunday- Football! And a family birthday party, so I'm off the hook for cooking :)

Check out the other (and probably way more interesting) menu plans over at Menu Plan Monday!

Friday, January 9, 2009

First, if you are new to working deals at Acme, please read the background info on one of my earlier deals posts. This will explain how the coupons double & how to print two copies of the printable coupons.

Unfortunately, this week the deals are slim. The best buys look like the Campbell's soups with newspaper coupons ($0.40 each) & maybe the $19.99 meat deal:

Non-coupon deals:

Arctic Shores frozen uncooked shrimp are on sale for $10 a two lb. bag.

12 roll packs of Scott or Cottonelle toilet paper are on sale for $5.88 each.

8 oz. packages of Acme chunk or shredded cheese are 50% off, with sale prices between $1.34-$1.49.

Acme is running their "Favorite 4" promotion again, where you can choose 4 meat/seafood products from a list of over 30 options, and pay $19.99 for them, no matter what the individual package price may be. You must buy 4 and they must have the "Favorite 4" label on them. Each choice is supposed to be enough to feed a family of 4. Some of the items include 2 lbs. of 80% lean ground beef, 2 lbs. of Italian sausage, Whole frying chickens, Gorton's Frozen fish sticks or fillets, etc. See the front page of the circular for more details.

Printable coupon deals:

Poland Spring Aquapod bottle packs are 2 for $4. Register and receive a printable for $1 off 2. That makes these $1.50 each. (Not in NJ? Check the map here for the right Aquapod coupon for you.)

General Mills new cereal varieties (Banana Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Chex, Fiber One Frosted Shredded Wheat and Honey Kix) are on sale 4 for $10 and will print a coupon good for a free gallon of milk (up to $4.50) on your next purchase. (You can always run back in and get the milk with the coupon!) Use two of the $1 off two GM cereals coupons available here (there is also a $0.75 cents off Kix coupon at that link that may be valid on the Honey Kix), here or here and get four boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk for $8!

Pillsbury Flaky Biscuits are on sale for $1 each. There is a $1 off any 2 Pillsbury product coupon here, making them $0.50 each.

Bush's beans are on sale for $1 each, use the $0.55 off 3 printable (will double to $1.10) to get 3 cans for $2.10 ($0.70 each).

Progresso Classic Soups are $1 each. use the $1.10 coupon here to get it for free, or the $1 off 2 coupon here to get them for $0.50 each.

Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer cleaner is on sale for $3.99. There is a $1 off coupon here making it $2.99. It also is part of a promotion where you buy any 5 SC Johnson items listed in the circular and $1 will instantly come off your total at checkout.

Glade Plug-In Warmers are also included in the SCJ promotion and are 2 for $3. There is a coupon here that is buy one get one free, so you will only pay $1.50 for 2.

Viva 6-pack paper towels are on sale for $5.88. Use the $0.40 off coupon available here (will double to 80 cents off) to get them for $5.08.

Newspaper coupon deals:

Purdue Chicken Short Cuts are $4.49 each. There is a $1 coupon in a recent insert making them $3.49.

10 oz. packages of California pistachios are on sale for $3.88 each. There are a couple different $1 off two coupons from recent inserts making them $3.38 each.

Campbell's Condensed Cooking soups are on sale for $1 each. There are $0.40 off two and $0.30 off 4 coupons from recent inserts that would make these $0.60 each for two and $0.85 each for four, respectively.

Campbell's Calorie Classic soups are on sale for $0.80 each. There are $0.40 off two coupons that would make these $0.40 each.

Campbell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle condensed soups are on sale for $0.60 each. There are $0.40 off four coupons that would make these $0.40 each.

Find anything else? Post it in the comments ;) Love, Bay

Thursday, January 8, 2009

image by Pamela Haywood

Hooray! My 100th post! It went by really quickly, I guess I am a very prolific blogger. Not only is it a kind of blog tradition to celebrate your 100th post, but it is customary to post a list of 100 totally random things about yourself. This is where my mom is reading and getting very nervous, lol. Feel free to just skip over this if you're tired. I understand.

1. My favorite color is brown.
2. My first job ever was working under the table for a now-defunct Indian food caterer. Food was great, but always made me sick.
3. When I was a teenager everything used to make me sick, I couldn't eat french fries.
4. When I was pregnant I loved me some french fries. Especially pizza fries.
5. I have been to Washington DC three times.
6. Star Trek, the original series, is my favorite show of all time.
7. Lost is my current favorite show.
8. I have to go on message boards after each new Lost episode so I can see all the easter eggs I missed.
9. In the Star Trek episode "Requiem for Methuselah", Kirk falls in love with a "perfect" woman (really an android) named Rayna.
10. I had already liked the name Reyna, but chose the Star Trek spelling instead.
11. Marc was not aware of this until after the name was chosen.
12. My coffee table top is made of tiles so you never need to use a coaster or a hot pad.
13. I used to be in love with David Cassidy.
14. It didn't make me popular, considering this was the 90's, not the 70's!
15. I have a Master's degree. Just threw that one in to impress.
16. My all-time favorite movie is The Scarlet Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour.
17. I first saw it on the last day of school my junior year of high school. How's that for a memory?
18. I wear jeans almost every day.
19. My favorite cereal is Lucky Charms.
20. I can't eat just one bowl.
21. I once rescued a goldfish. I worked next to a preschool that shut down, and the goldfish was left in his tank, and everything else was cleared out. Once I discovered him, I took him home.
22. I called him Libaninho.
23. My first car was a light brown '87 Thunderbird.
24. I liked to look 'goth' in high school.
25. That generally doesn't fly in Christian school.
26. I could watch the Food Network all night long.
27. I really watch almost no tv, however, except for scheduled shows.
28. I love dalmatians.
29. Mojitos taste even better to me when in Miami.
30. I've never been to California.
31. My honeymoon was in Mexico.
32. My makeup collection is huge, but I almost never wear the stuff.
33. I love to play games.
34. My favorite are card games, like rummy 500.
35. When my friends are getting married or having a baby I stalk their registries and make suggestions.
36. My wedding dress was white and red.
37. When Marc proposed I never said yes.
38. The ring didn't fit, so that was my main concern.
39. I have an addiction to cheese. Especially stinky ones.
40. A perfect meal for me might just be cheese, crackers, wine and chocolate.
41. The saddest movie I can think of is Imitation of Life.
42. My mom always had me watching a lot of old movies.
43. My first-ever internet handle was Dragongurl.
44. I cried a lot when Sonny Bono died.
45. I look like my dad. It was more obvious before I started having my brows waxed.
46. Every season I watch Survivor.
47. I wasn't allowed to listen to the Beatles as a kid, but I did anyway.
48. My mom says I have a problem with authority.
49. I do not dispute that.
50. Frida Kahlo fascinates me.
51. I have the same birthday as Frida.
52. And George W. Bush, Sylvester Stallone and 50 Cent.
53. I only wear really long earrings.
54. It took my husband a long time to realize this.
55. Marc is a notoriously bad gift giver.
56. The nickname Bay is short for "baby".
57. I was the baby of the family.
58. I only like cooked onions.
59. My bedroom furniture is from Ikea.
60. I could play the original Nintendo Legend of Zelda for hours.
61. I know that I am a huge nerd.
62. I think nerds are cool.
63. The only food I really don't like is blueberries.
64. Everything I like gets discontinued.
65. My Starbucks drink is the White Chocolate Mocha.
66. Getting comments on my blog are as exciting as presents on Christmas.
67. I have an all-too-strange fascination with the Borgia family.
68. I do not have a set opinion of Lucrezia Borgia.
69. If I were making a Borgia movie, Ryan Reynolds would be Cesare and Scarlett Johanson would be Lucrezia. I also think that makes it more interesting.
70. The only celebrity I'm told I look like is Phoebe Cates.
71. If I could go any place it would be Rome, Paris and Disney World. In that order.
72. I don't know if there is anyone who loves Epcot's World Showcase more than me.
73. My first trip to Disney wasn't until I was 18.
74. Marc and I met in a mall.
75. I used to see him everyday when I bought my large Cherry Coke.
76. He initiated conversation by showing me a special nickel.
77. He will be very mad that I wrote that here.
78. When I was little, my brother and I used to play Nintendo together, but he'd have to have some type of serious handicap to make it fair.
79. I could also just watch him play for hours.
80. A Dyson vacuum is worth the money for its bug-sucking-from-a-distance capability.
81. I used to cue up Dark Side of the Rainbow and watch it with my dad. It is now available easily on youtube, saving lots of effort, but lacking the theatrics.
82. My favorite part is "Great Gig in the Sky" with the tornado. Rocks my world.
83. I get "rocks my world" from Bret Michaels. Watching the Rock of Love shows is my one guilty confession.
84. The heat doesn't work right in my house and the kitchen is refrigerator-cold in winter.
85. I was never any good at sports.
86. Or music.
87. I didn't like school until college.
88. My first class was History 101. I was 16.
89. I somehow managed to scrape through all of my college with only one math class, and I got a D grade, no less!
90. I never took the SATs.
91. When I was 17 I sold a beanie baby on ebay for $300.
92. I own 3 red coats.
93. Reading is my favorite thing to do.
94. I am really bad about communicating with friends.
95. I still sleep with my blankie!
96. I don't ever take the "biggest and best" for myself. Thanks to a little childhood story called The Hollow Pie.
97. One time I pulled my sister's earrings right out of her ears. You might say I have a temper.
98. My baby has the same temper.
99. I love monkeys.
100. I really didn't think I would reach 100. I kept thinking, I'll just do 33. 41. 66. I made it!

Are you sleeping? Lol...Love, Bay

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hooray! A bunch of good freebies available! Don't feel like filling out your address a million times? Check out my post on Roboform.

Free sample of Gold Bond Ultimate lotion

Kotex is giving away a sample of their Lightdays thin liners

Click the "free samples" button to try Emergen-C

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is great stuff, try it free

Get a free sample of Barbara's organic cereal

Quaker will give you a sample of your choice, Chocolate or Cheddar mini-rice cakes

Try Mary Kay's "The Miracle Set" for free- single applications of 4 different products

Get a free year's subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine

Another Pampers code: HAPPYHOLIDAY089 = 3 points

Also, are you a member of Right@home? I received a gift pack in the mail with a Ziploc vacuum pump with bags and some good coupons for other SC Johnson products. It was a nice surprise! Apparently I entered a contest like this one and was one of the first 5,000 people to request. Try it and you could win a gift pack of Ziplock Big Bags.

Here are some perfume samples, keep in mind they are usually those one-time, little gauze pad things, but if you want to give them a try...

Lacoste Pink

Celine Dion Sensational

Hugo Boss choose for men or women

This is a strange one, choose a weird scent

Enjoy! Love, Bay

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Today is the second day of my series on Pantry/Freezer Organization in a bid to help us be more aware of, and use, what we have on hand. Too often I am *sure* that I have something and when I start making the meal and realize that I don't really have everything I needed. I went through all of my main kitchen cabinets and you could read about that here.

The next step should be to go through your pantry, if you have one, and clean-up/organize/inventory this as well. Some blessed people have a pantry room, still-blessed people have a pantry closet, and then there is the basement shelf-user like me. I know that I am still fortunate to have excess, and a place to store it, no less, but humor me a little bit here. My basement has crickets. Not just one or two, but rather a large community of them. Thank God they don't sing, but that also makes them a creepier variety, the cave cricket (don't click if you are faint of heart).

We are coming up to cold enough temperatures that I will have a few months of peace before I begin to see those nasty buggers again, but my fear of huge, jumping, attacking spider-creatures makes me wary of my basement in general. Unfortunately, my laundry area and pantry/storage are in the basement which means just one thing. My dear husband is in charge of anything basement related. I almost never venture down there, which can make this 'pantry organization' time a bit challenging.

So this is what we had to do. I had to venture down there! Marc and I went down together and he pulled things out while I 'listed' them and decided if anything could go upstairs. You can be sure that I ran back upstairs as soon as we were done! I was trying to figure out a good scenario where I could have the "inventory" list someplace visible where I could see it at a glance (without going in the basement! lol) and that Marc could update it himself. So this is what I came up with:

It is basically just a big ol' list that we posted on the inside of the basement door. It isn't fancy, and it barely seems organized, but it works for me. Of course, you can still use any inventory sheet like this one I mentioned yesterday.

For more ideas, check out Works for me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Part of the series that I am just starting about pantry/freezer organization is to use what you have on hand. Through my cabinet cleanout I found tons of stuff that I didn't know I had, and then annoying things like two opened canisters of bread crumbs. I am going to start participating in Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday, which is where tons of bloggers put up what they are making for the week. One so it helps you be more organized by being a bit accountable to stick to a menu plan, and two because you can pick up a bunch of new ideas and recipes from other people.
So here is my plan for the week:

Monday- Chicken Tortilla Soup in the crockpot - found the recipe here

Tuesday- Penne with jarred vodka sauce, and I'll add some cooked bacon (I have just a few strips left), peas and parmesan

Wednesday- I have a frozen meatloaf from when I made one and made an extra to freeze. I used this recipe from Paula Deen, but used turkey instead of beef and eliminated the green pepper. It turned out great.

Thursday- I bought some pesto to make this Tuscan Chicken Simmer from Kraft food and family. For some reason I always really like their recipes, lol.

Friday- Turkey Tetrazzini from an old Family Circle magazine. If it turns out good, I'll post the recipe here. ;)

Saturday- Going out!

Sunday- Clean out leftovers/eat whatever the football friends bring over!

So we'll see how these go! Check out the other menu plans at Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Here is my series on pantry organization that I have been promising. The idea started because my food supply seems to have grown out of control to the point that I am not even sure what I have. I am breaking down the project into two main steps, 1. Cleaning and taking inventory (segmented by cabinets, pantry and freezer) and 2. Using what you have.

It is pretty funny, because just around Christmas when I was trying to figure out what I should make for get-togethers, I decided to inventory all of my cabinets and I mentioned in a post that I was going to start a pantry project soon, that just might help some of you, too. Later that evening, I get a call from my mom telling me that she has an idea to go through her cabinets and make a list of everything she has, because she really has no clue! So I thought, because I am not at all dramatic, that it must be destiny.

In the next couple of days we will go through the pantry (which for me is in my basement) and the freezer. First, start with your kitchen cabinets.

The first step:

  • Go through your main kitchen cabinets (you may want to break this down if you have a lot, I don't, so I pulled everything out that I had) and pull items out.
  • Group items into a logical order and into segments that work for your needs. When I was grouping my items, I put all canned goods together and stacked them by type, like a row of beans, a row of tomatoes, etc.
  • Wash out the shelves. Dry mixes have a way of spilling out and I am terrified of attracting bugs, so I also wiped down any sticky can bottoms, etc.
  • Discard any items that are seriously out of date and set aside anything that you know you will not use, so you can donate these items or pass them on to someone who will use them.

Next, take inventory while you are stocking:
I found it easiest to inventory my items shelf by shelf as I was stocking it. If I had done the inventory while everything was still out on the counter, then I wouldn't necessarily know where the items were at once they were put back.
  • Assign one piece of paper to each cabinet (I broke down my main cabinet into three sheets, one sheet for each shelf). You can use any lined paper, or you can print an organizing form like this one. I used that one (it says "freezer inventory" but obviously you can cut that off) because I like the system of putting a slash for the item being 'in' and then making it an x when the item is 'out'. This is easier than crossing out a number and then re-writing it.
  • As you are returning items to their new homes, write in the size and quantity as you go. I made one cabinet of all baking and staple items, such as flour, baking mixes, rice & potatoes. My main 'can' cabinet is three shelves of canned goods, like beans in a row, canned tomatoes in a row, etc. Use whatever grouping is logical for you
  • When everything is back in place and your lists are written, tape them to the inside of your cabinet door, so you can easily check the list for something and see what you need at a glance.

That's it! Here are some pictures of some of my cabinets now that they are cleaned out:
The can cabinet:
Baking cabinet:
Dry staples cabinet:
Close-up of the filled-out lists:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I know that my blog tends to be pretty bogged down with "deals" and a great many posts about coupons, cleaning or things that you may consider to be less than fun. (Who doesn't think organizing drawers is fun?)

I've seen memes on other people's blogs before, but if you don't know what one is, here is a very rough little explanation. Meme (pronounced 'mem,' or sometimes 'meem', but never 'mimi' lol) is a word coined by author Richard Dawkins to define a 'unit of imitation.' It real definition is much longer, but in the blog world, a meme is pretty much a set of questions that different people answer so you can learn more about them. I found this meme on a good blog called 'Patrick's Place' and here it is.

Here is his 'Saturday Six' post and here's my answers to the six questions.

1. Have you ever been asked to speak in front of an audience? If so, what was the occasion and how do you feel you did?

I've had to speak in front of groups before for school related things, like student teaching and public speaking classes, but for an "audience" I guess I would say having to give a speech at my sister's rehearsal and wedding. I gave a really good speech for the rehearsal and then I couldn't come up with anything good to say for the wedding (I couldn't just re-use the speech, because it was the exact same crowd). So I guess it is a mixed bag for me.

2. If you were asked to appear on David Letterman’s show, do you have a “Stupid Human Trick” you could perform?

The only little trick I have is that I am double-jointed in my hands, especially my right one. I can bend my fingers at the top knuckles, ew!

3. If you were asked to be in a circus, would you be more comfortable as a clown, a trapeze artist, a tightrope walker, a juggler, an animal trainer, or the ringmaster?

I guess an animal trainer so I be with the animals and treat them humanely. But I am very anti-circus, so this whole theme of the 6 questions doesn't really appeal to me! lol

4. Take the quiz: What Circus Act Should You Perform?

You Should Be a Puppeteer

You are an entertainer - pure and simple.

You know how to engage an audience. You are a natural storyteller.

You are naturally dramatic, even when life doesn't call for drama.

Luckily though, you save most of your drama for your stellar performances.

5. How old were you the first time you visited a circus? How did you like it?

We were living in Rhode Island, so I would have had to be about 5, and I didn't particularly like it. I remember there was excitement about being at the circus, but some guy sprayed us with a water bottle (it was hot) and I remember it got into scrapes I had on my leg and stung! So that is the memory I took away from the circus.

6. How often would you describe your real job as a “circus?” Do you think it seems to be getting more or less like a circus?

My real job here as a stay-at-home momma is definitely a circus, most of the time. If keeping up with my little acrobat baby (she'd be the expert roller) isn't enough, I have a wild man of a dog that is acting more crazy by the day. So it seems to be getting more and more circus like!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

image by faeryboots on flickr

Happy New Year!

I'm so excited for 2009 and just want to say thanks for reading/subscribing/stopping by and blessings to you this year!

Much love, Bay