Friday, April 30, 2010

Scrap Steals

I love deals. I love unexpected surprises. I love to scrapbook. That's why this site is a dangerous one.

www.scrapbooksteals.com

It's a partner website to www.babysteals.com, and there is also a www.kidsteals.com as well. The premise of each site is the same. Every day, new deal. Limited quantities. Awesome stuff.

The scrapbook and baby sites also have blogs on them, which occasionally have additional steals on them, not listed on the regular website.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Honey Mustard

I made this for dinner last night. It was fast and easy and completely delicious. Added bonus: you cook it on the grill, less dishes!

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup course ground mustard
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp steak sauce

Combine all of the above in a bowl, used a little more than half to marinate chicken pieces (I used breasts), reserve the rest to brush on the chicken midway through grilling.

This recipe would make for a fabulous homemade salad dressing too. :)

It's almost summer, time to fire up that BBQ!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Steals

I found another new website. Okay, well it isn't new. New to me, though. I came across it this week, through a friend on Facebook. It's very similar to another one I've posted about here, mamabargains.

Every day, at 9am MST, they post a new deal. Shipping is reasonable, and the items they carry are fun!

www.babysteals.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

Almond Joy

I should have known better, really. It's my own fault. But I couldn't help it. I love, love, love the look of dark wood. I don't, however, love the look of dark wood covered with dust.

My formal dining room table is something that makes me divinely happy. It is dark and sorta rustic looking. It goes perfectly with the mustard colored walls and Tuscan vineyard feel to the room (not that I've ever been to Tuscany, but this is what I think it must be like). It's big, big enough to seat my whole immediate family and then some. It is precisely the reason I wanted a formal dining room in the first place. It's grown up furniture.

But it's prone to dust collecting since it doesn't get used all the time. Since it is real, solid wood and I loooove it, I have to take care of it. I have tried many different wood cleaners/dusting products in the past. Most left a waxy film that I didn't like. Or they made the wood slippery or sticky. Then I tried this, and fell completely in love.

Method's Wood for Good, made with almond oil. Not only does it work like a dream, it treats the wood kindly and keeps it nourished. It smells heavenly too. Love this stuff.

It is a little more expensive than the other wood cleaners, but it is worth it for several reasons. First, you will probably find that you use less of it than the other cleaners, I know I did. Second, it is actually good for the wood. It doesn't just clean it, it helps protect it. And in the dry high altitude climate we live in, wood takes a beating. And third, once you try it and smell it, you won't go back. Promise.


Normally, I only share products that have coupons readily available, because, well, I am cheap. But this is not something I am willing to be cheap about. I love my table too much. Occasionally it is on sale, but not often. It is available in many stores, but can also be found online, some of the sites that carry it offer deals and free shipping.

I like things that make cleaning a little more pleasant, and this does. Happy dusting!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mocha

I got something fabulous in the mail yesterday. A coupon for coffee creamer. I've professed to my love of coffee many times in the past. I love, love, love coffee. And I love coffee creamer. There is one in particular that I adore above all the rest. But it's only available during the holidays. Peppermint Mocha. Mmmmmmm.

I stockpile the stuff, no lie. During the after Christmas sales, I hit up the dairy case and buy as much of that creamer as they have. I mourn the day I use it all up. And eagerly anticipate the next year. Waiting.

I start checking for it in October. Sometimes it gets released before Halloween, but usually not until closer to Thanksgiving. Some stores never seem to carry it. Others put it in a different place and send me on a hunt.

Love. This. Stuff.

I didn't just get a coupon in the mail yesterday though. I got news. Wonderful news. The kind of news that made me almost giddy with joy. I couldn't wait until my husband got home, he'd be excited too.

It's no longer a seasonal creamer. They are going to start making it year round. Bless the people at Coffee Mate.

Here's a link to their website and of course there is a link for a coupon. You simply must try this stuff. Just don't go buying it all....save some for me, please?

www.coffee-mate.com/products/PeppermintMochaFlavorLiquid.aspx

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Murphy's Oil Soap

I love this stuff. My kitchen, dining room, entry way and bathroom are all hardwood. I love the look of hardwood floors, but they do take a fair amount of work. You have to be careful with them too. I've learned that the hard way.

I used a floor cleaning system with a squirty mop and disposable pads (you can probably figure out which one I'm talking about) for the longest time. It was okay. Just okay. The floors often had a slippery finish to them, or sticky. They never were just clean. And over time, it turned out to not be the best thing for the wood. The finish started to wear away. I had to find something else. (And, I really need to have the floors stripped and re-varnished, but that's not happening anytime soon....that pesky money tree needs to start growing faster.)

I bought Murphy's Oil Soap to clean an old china cabinet I have, and figured that I'd try it on the floors. It works great, far better than anything else I have tried. It doesn't strip off the finish of my wood floors. I still use the disposable pads to clean for quick jobs, but I have a spray bottle of diluted Murphy's instead of the solution they want you to use with the system. It was costing me over $4 a week just in solution. Mostly I love this stuff because it's the cheapest way to clean my wood floors. One bottle lasts months.

Here is a link to their website, and on the right hand side is a link for a coupon...because I love coupons. :)

www.colgate.com/MurphyOilSoap/products/original-formula


My floor is to the point now where a quick cleaning won't get it done. I need to grab the bucket and get down on my hands and knees. Scrub. The. Floor. About once a month. With the Murphy's, my hands don't get dried out, and I can clean all the base cabinets in the kitchen at the same time. If only that bottle came with a magic cleaning fairy attached...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Scrappy

Hi. My name is Kelly. It has been 18 months since I last scrapbooked.

I have an addiction. I'm in recovery. I want to slip sometimes, like today. But I was good. I love, love, love little tiny stickers and baubles and fancy papers and glitter. I love to scrapbook. Good lord, it is an expensive hobby. I had to stop.

Ashley has a magnificent baby book. Seriously, it's that good. I shudder to think how much it cost to put it all together. Aidan's pales in comparison. Ally is only six months old in hers. And poor AJ, well, he doesn't even have one yet. I figure with him, I will just do a digital scrapbook. Because to pay to print our hundreds of pictures and buy all the stuff for another scrapbook would be prohibitively expensive. I keep telling myself that he won't care, right? He's a boy. They don't care, right? Right???

But Ashley....oh, that scrapbook. Magnificent.

Sorry, I got distracted there for a minute.

Anyway, I was perusing the aisles at Michael's today in search of owl stuff for the owl birthday party that my owl loving little girl is having this weekend. I needed googly eyes and wanted some owl stickers. My quest was made more difficult by the fact that they are changing over the entire store's inventory right now. There were boxes and carts full and people sitting on floors with scanners all over the place.

But then I pulled around the end of an aisle and heard the "Oooooooooooooooo". You know, the angels singing from the heavens noise.

Endcaps, four of them, crammed full of clearance items. The old stuff had JUST been put there to make room for the new stuff. New clearance stuff. My heart began to race a little. Then I remembered what I was there for. Owls. Owls, Kelly. Only owls.

I found them. A lot of them. For WAY cheap. Like, I am so glad I waited until the last minute to get birthday stuff even though I swore I wouldn't ever ever do that again, cheap.

I was good. I left all the other stickers there. 4 endcaps of them.

I'm ignoring the voice in the back of my head telling me to go back to Michael's and scavenge for more. To finish Ally's scrapbook and buy one for AJ. I'm ignoring it.

That doesn't mean you have to. Seriously. Fabulous finds are there to be had.

Run. Do not walk to your nearest Michaels. I might get there first. That voice....it's a convincing one.

I just might be out of recovery.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strawberry Cupcakes

This is one of the recipes that I make all the time, especially during the summer when strawberries are in season and easy to find. I've yet to meet a person who doesn't love, love, love these.

- a pound of strawberries, stems removed and rinsed
- stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour

Put the first five ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend completely until strawberries are in tiny pieces. Add dry ingredients.

Fill cupcake pans 2-3 way full, bake at 325 for 20 minutes. (They are fairly dense cupcakes, but make sure they are set)

- 4-6 large strawberries, stems removed
- stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 lbs powdered sugar

Blend first three ingredients under smooth and creamy, add sugar a little at a time until it's the desired consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes and let set at room temperature.

Store in the fridge, if you don't eat them all first.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rubbing alcohol

Part of the joy of having children (or a messy husband for that matter), is that over the years I have gotten pretty darn good at stain removal. I have what essentially amounts to an arsenal of stain removers, most of which aren't marketed as such. Things you have around the house already most likely. Things you probably never thought of using as stain removers. Things that work way better than the stuff they advertise on tv.

One of my personal favorites is rubbing alcohol. Maybe that's because my husband left a ballpoint pen in his shirt a few weeks back and tossed it into the laundry. Yes, I probably should check the pockets before anything goes in a machine. But seriously, do you know how many pockets a family of 6 has?!?! Obviously I didn't check the pocket that contained the pen and in it went. It made it through the washer undetected and into the dryer. That's where many things do their best work. Crayons, ink, gum. They love a nice warm spinning environment.

Fortunately we had a controlled ink incident. Somehow, and I'm not sure quite how, the pen didn't explode completely. The damage could have been a lot worse than it was. Still, having said that, it took a few of the BIG bottles of rubbing alcohol to undo the damage.

If you have a ball point pen explode in your dryer (or write unintentionally on any article of clothing for that matter), use rubbing alcohol. Pour it straight on the item, let it sit for a minute of two, then gently rub and rinse with cold water. Repeat until ink stain magically disappears. Really, it is magic. Rewash clothing before putting anything with rubbing alcohol on it in the dryer.

If you find yourself with a dryer full of ink spots, you can clean the inside of the dryer with the rubbing alcohol too. Do not pour the alcohol in there though! Put some on a cloth and rub the spots until the ink comes off. Use only as much as you need and rinse the areas cleaned well after you remove the ink. Rubbing alcohol is flammable!

It works on permanent ink too. And just for the record, kids and Sharpies don't mix well. ;)

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