Friday, March 30, 2012

tie dye or tye dye?

Hmmm, as I have been sharing these pictures, I can't decide how to spell it. In my mind, neither look right!

My kids' absolute favorite way to do math, is BAKE! Makes complete sense, right?

Ethan found a recipe that he was dying to try.

 It was kind of a comedy of errors. First, thanks to couponing, I have 101 cake mixes. But not one of them was white! I wasn't sure if the jello would dye a yellow cake mix so we got a couple of white mixes.

Then, I thought I had a container of jello's...until Harmony let me know that she gave those away to the food drive. Pffft!

So I made sure to pick up some more jello.

We were in working at the table one day, when I hear Ethan yell, "no Mason, bad boy!"

He got all the boxes of jello out, used his teeth to rip open the pkg and dumped them on the floor.

So it took us awhile to actually make the cupcakes but it was such a fun project.

They were really simple.

Make cake mixes (white ones!) following the directions on the package. Divide the batter evenly into three bowls. Pick out the 3 jello flavors/colors that you want.

**Each cake mix only requires a half of the box of jello. So we doubled the recipe so that we could use the whole thing. **

Mix a different color into each bowl. Line your cupcake pans. Then spoon the different colors of batter in a pattern. Be careful not to put too much of one color in, so that they will look tye (tie) dyed.

It was fun to watch my kids do this. One was quick and messy. One was a little more careful. One was very methodical and made the "perfect" bottom layer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

product review & a giveaway

So I am not the best about being green. I forget my reusable bags, buy way too many water bottles...

I love Bento's but am sooo not creative like other people are. Usually everything just goes in without any sort of creativity to it!
How cute are those boys?!

But in my efforts to be a little better about both, I look for containers that are affordable, but also sturdy. It is important for me that they seal really well. I am not a big fan of cleaning up spills in backpacks or lunch bags.

I found this great container at Target (the online price is $6.99). It is a Nuk container, but I *believe* that it is a Gerber brand. Sorry I know that is not that helpful but...

The top has this little tray that you can personalize. I put a picture of Ivan & his brother in. I think this is so much easier for him to find in a sea of lunch bags that are all very similar! If you don't want to have their photo on, you can simply put a piece of their artwork or something else in. Fun. In that small container on top is great for keeping a set of utensils and a napkin!

Inside there were 3 sections. One with a lid (that sealed BEAUTIFULLY!) and then the others don't. I loved this and it made packing his lunch so easy.

Ivan's peaches didn't go anywhere!!

While I liked this for lunches, I can see so many possibilites for this! Art supplies, a church kit, travel kit with little toys, a way for my boys to bring Legos, school supply kit...the possibilities are endless!

Because I am loving these boxes, I wanted to give 1 away! A long with a few other bento accessories. Easy shmeasy items, that take no creativity! (:

How to enter:
Leave a comment with your name and what you would do with yours if you won. Lunch or something else...

I am trying to move away from my California Clippin' fb page and just be on there as Martha Wannabe. So please be a follower of that one for an extra entry.

For additional entries, post it to your facebook page, post it on your blog...whatever you have. Every one will give you another entry. However, you have to do a SEPERATE entry for each one. I know it is annoying but I do it with a number generator.

Giveaway ends next Friday April 6th...sometime during that day (:

Sunday, March 25, 2012


As a Mom, I pride myself on being there for my kids 24/7. It is my job, that is what I do.

But sometimes,I want to be more than just Mom...I want to be Marie.

The women in my neighborhood, have started going out once a month. Unfortunatley, something has prevented me from going every time.

So even though yesterday was a little crazy, I made sure to get out of this house!

I had a great time hanging out with friends and celebrating a friend's birthday.

It was also nice to not have to make my own dinner!

All I can say is I am not going to miss the next matter how tired I am the next day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

stockpile cooking

What do most couponers have? Besides an insane amount of paper clutter? Well that would be, a stockpile. No matter how big or small, there are some things that are pretty easy to get for pennies on the dollar.

When I found this recipe, and looked at the ingredients, I knew it would be good for couponers. Why? It uses chili (we are chili snobs and will only eat Nalleys) however, Hormel regularly puts out coupons for .50/2 and they are consistently on sale for $1. So we are looking at around .50 for that. Next, refridgerated biscuits. Another item that regularly is on sale and has coupons. Or there are always the store brand. Taco seasoning is another item that I consistently get for free.

**This recipe calls for ground beef but to save money, you could leave it out, no problem!**

This recipe was found in this magazine that I love and adore.

Here is the recipe:
Taco Biscuit Bake

1lb ground beef
2/3 cup water
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 tubes (12 oz each) of refrigerated biscuits (*note, I used the Wal Mart Great Value brand of biscuits and they were only around 8 oz. So I ended up using 3 instead of 2 tubes. Mostly you just want to cover the bottom of your dish)
1 can chili (15 oz)
1 cup shredded cheese ( I never measure and just throw on what looks good. Is there ever a thing as too much cheese?!)

In a large skillet, cook ground beef. Drain and return to pan. Stir in water and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil and stir a couple of minutes longer.

While that is cooking, grease a 9x13 pan. Quarter your biscuits and place at the bottom.

Combine hamburger mixture with chili and cheese. Pour on top of biscuits.

Bake uncovered at 375* for 25-30 minutes

This was all that was left...My kids devoured it!

Sides could be a salad, corn, spanish rice...or all of them. You can also add sour ceam and green onions to the top of your casserole.


Almost every day, I am asked for advice...

How do I coupon? How do I save money on produce? On meat? How can I cut my grocery bill? How can I get my spouse to support me? Where do I start?

So I changed the whole theme of my blog to money saving/coupons. I wanted to help. I still do. But can I tell you something?

There are TONS, of blogs & facebook pages that are devoted to coupons & money saving. Whenever I go to share a deal...there are 50 others who have already shared it.

I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

Saving money & coupons are important to me. But it isn't all that is important to me. I have 1001 other interests.

I am more than happy to help anyone get started & or continue with coupons. I just don't want to constantly focus on it.

I am going to go back to my roots. The reason I started this blog in the first place. To share my love of  homemaking as a whole. 

There is a lot more to homemaking then just keeping the budget. Unfortunatley, I am not very good at any of them. lol What is that saying, "jack of all trades, master of none?" something like that anyway.

Always talking about money, frankly gets a little boring (: So lets liven' things up a little, shall we?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

time flies...

Wow how time flies when you are sick, your kids are sick, you're trying to get your homeschool more organized, your life more organized...

Or maybe blogger just has the wrong date for my last post. There is no way it could have been the 29th of February!

Now it is the middle of March. Seriously, how does that happen?

Awww...well anyway.

My husband has been gone for a little over a month and with all the things going on in our lives, my budget is all but out the door.

It is time to reign it in my friends.

Everyone in the military gets paid on the same days. The 1st and the 15th. So when it comes to planning my grocery budget, I plan for every two weeks.

Well you know what today is, it's the 15th, which means its time to get back in the saddle. How do I do that? By organizing my huge stack of coupons, planning my trips & planning my meals by what is at the store.

How do you keep your grocery budget on track?

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