Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Discount on Cloth Diapers (and MORE!)

Yep, that's my son in a cloth diaper when he was 4 months old, so cute... I know, I know!!!

I have previously posted about the pros and cons of cloth diapering, and yes, I understand that it isn't for everybody--- but IF you are considering switching to cloth, or adding to your diaper stash, my FAVORITE online cloth diaper store is having a BLACK FRIDAY SALE!

Visit to browse from the convenience of your own, warm home!

Here is an excerpt of the discount details from Baby Crunchy:


Best deal to be had on Black Friday– SAVE 15% on Black Friday by using coupon code blackfriday10 during checkout!!!!**

Buy 5 bumGenius 4.0′s and Get 1 FREE! Use code BUY5GET1 (cannot be stacked or combined with other coupons).

Always free shipping over $30 within the US.

FuzziBunz perfect size sale CONTINUES. Save an additional 15% off with above black friday code making each Small and Medium diaper less than $13/diaper!!!

We will also be offering specific products (aden + anais, born free, breathable bumpers etc) for Saturday/Sunday and cyber Monday may bring back the 15% off coupon. Check back for details.

**Small print– Coupon valid from 12:01am eastern 11/26/10 until 3 am 11/27/10. Valid while supplies last– NO Rainchecks will be issued– sorry!

We have flip’s w/ aplix in stock. We have them listed under covers– if you would like to make a package with them (1 cover, 1 insert OR Day Pack etc- shoot me a quick e-mail {} and it should be no problem to switch provided we still have the stock). We will be checking our e-mail frequently this weekend to provide excellent customer service."

Do you cloth diaper? We are stocked and ready to diaper our newest addition (due to make his/her appearance in February) with BumGenius 3.0's and Econobum! Are you interested in giving cloth diapers a try?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homemade Mac & Cheese

YAY! I finally found the recipe!!!

Homemade Mac & Cheese (Stouffer's knock-off recipe)
Serves: 4

1 cup of skim milk
5 teaspoons of all purpose flour
2 cups of shredded cheddar
2 teaspoons of butter
1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni

1. Whisk the flour into the milk in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat.

2. Add cheddar cheese, butter and salt, and stir often until cheese begins to melt. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Whisk the sauce every few minutes to make sure the sauce becomes smooth and thick.

3. While the sauce thickens, prepare the macaroni as stated on the box.

4. When the cheese sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, pour the pasta into a bowl and gently stir in the cheese sauce. Pour mix into a greased dish.

5a. Bake at 350* for 25ish minutes and serve immediately.

5b. Cover and freeze. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350* and bake for 50-55 minutes.

6. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

FREE Lip Gloss

THIS Bath and Body Works coupon is among my favorite of the year!

Purchase ANY B&BW item in the store and get a FREE lip gloss. Hurry the coupon expires on 10/31.

PS: In my experience, some B&BW stores do NOT adhere to the one coupon per person rule stated on the coupon. This may be a great little addition to your Christmas gifts! Hey, you'd be able to claim that you started your Christmas shopping in OCTOBER this year!!!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Warm-You-Up Meals

Tomato Sauce

I made a batch of homemade tomato sauce yesterday, and tonight we are warming our bellies with a pie plate brimming with Baked Spaghetti a la homemade tomato sauce! Yum!

I shopped at Gordon Food Service for a few of the key ingredients. I wanted large cans of tomatoes that were purchasable without a warehouse membership.

The ingredient list for homemade tomato sauce: Canned tomatoes (I chose diced), canned tomato puree, Kosher salt, garlic (I chose fresh, but you could choose garlic salt and omit the Kosher salt), Basil, Oregano, Italian seasonings and spaghetti sauce seasoning packets (for thickening).

I first opened all of my big cans, and I scooped out just the tomatoes with a slotted spoon.

I placed the diced tomatoes into my blender and pulverized them!!!OK, I did accidentally use the crushed ice setting- and these bad boys were blended into oblivion in 4.3 seconds... literally! (If you happen to love tomatoes as much as I do... this step smells AWESOME!)

The more tomatoes that I sifted out of the large cans, the more difficult it became to separate the diced tomatoes from the liquid, so I pulled out my favorite little strainer (circa: 1997, my first purchased 'move out on my own' item!) and sifted the remaining tomato pieces.

I reserved the juice for later (even though I just wanted to chug it!!!) The remainder was surprisingly about 3 cups of juice! *NOTE: I only added one can's worth of tomato juice into the tomato sauce. I am saving the remainder for another recipe.

OK, I far over estimated how much tomato puree I would need, and to add cherry on top (so to speak) I underestimated the size of my stock pot (8 quart).I used 1/3 of the large can (4 cups) of the puree in my sauce. I still think that it was more cost effective to purchase the large can ($4.50) and use 1/3 and freeze the remaining 2/3 for another sauce making day!

We are HUGE fans of garlic in our house! One full head of garlic minced was yummy, but next time I may add more... or I may just add more when I add my ground beef or ground turkey to the sauce!

Along with the freshly pressed garlic (bottom), I added 1 1/2t. Basil(left), 3t. Oregano (top), and 3t. Italian seasonings (right). I also added 2t. of Kosher salt (not in the photo!).

Sheepishly, I'll admit that this photo is actually NOT the truth! I added just TWO packets, three seemed excessive, and after taste testing the final product... TWO was the perfecto amount!!!

Mix all ingredients well, and it looks beautiful... just like this!!! I wish you catch a whiff of this!!!

I simmered the sauce for 3 hours, happily stirring every half hour or so.
I must admit, I snitched a couple of spoon-samplings... just to make sure it was STILL yummy! Rest assured, it was!

I daringly (since I've experienced Ziploc bag fail) measured out 3 cups (24 ounces since jarred sauce is portioned at 26 ounces/jar) of homemade tomato sauce per Ziploc.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive (10) 3 cup portions!
I'm looking forward to making hearty pasta dishes like: lasagna, spaghetti, baked spaghetti, and chicken Parmesan.

Recipe Recap:
(with my pricing)

(2) 6lb/6oz Cans of tomatoes. (3.49/can = $6.98)

4 Cups of tomato puree. ($4.49/can, 1/3 can = $1.50)

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Basil. (unsure of cost, we already owned this spice)

3 Teaspoons of Oregano.(unsure of cost, we already owned this spice)

3 Teaspoons of Italian seasonings.(unsure of cost, we already owned this spice)

2 Teaspoons of Kosher salt.(unsure of cost, we already owned this spice)

(2) Packets of spaghetti seasonings. ($1.01 for McCormicks = $2.02)

Total: $10.50 for (10) jar size portions.

Personal Notes:
We make several cold weather dinner dishes that call for tomato sauce. Normally with coupons I can purchase sauce for $1-ish per jar pretty easily. But what I like about the homemade sauce is that it magically seems *special*! The 30 minutes that it took me to prep and package the sauce was time well spent!

***Thank you Beth and Patrick for sharing your yummy recipe with our family!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Comfort Food

Note: It seems the website has recently changed, and so I will find my printed copy of the recipe and will add the ingredient list/directions asap! Sorry for the confusion!

Last week, as the cool crisp air settled in for good, I got the hankering for some piping hot comfort food (can I get an amen?). I happen to LOVE Macaroni and Cheese, passionately, especially Stouffer's brand- but I hate finding freezer space for the family sized tray, plus homemade is almost always a healthier option!

So I did what any sensible, well stockpiled on pasta and cheese bargaineer shopper would do, I Googled "Stouffer's knock off Mac & Cheese!" Brilliant, yes, I know!

I came across a website called Top Secret Recipes, and inside I found a plethera of brand name recipes as well as restaurant favorites... including a recipe for Stouffer's Mac & Cheese!

Last week I made my first attempt a recreating the famous Mac & Cheese, and it was a BIG hit!
The ingredients are simple; milk, flour, butter, salt, pasta and cheese, glorious $.17/brick from Meijer, Kraft cheese!!!

The recipe and simple directions can be found right here!

I'm thinking that I may make a double batch of the sauce next time, freezing them individually, and then I can thaw and boil the pasta when I've acquired a M&C hankering- getting dinner to the table much faster than a frozen pan!

What do YOU think? Will this homemade version of M&C hit YOUR spot?

Friday, September 24, 2010


I've just updated the Local Ladies section on my right sidebar. These Michigan bloggers are FANTASTIC in bringing you and I the most current and up to date information for local deals! (Thanks again ladies, my wallet sincerely thanks you!!!)

In recent months I have become addicted to Facebook, and I'm hopeful that YOU, as readers, could shine some light on some of YOUR favorite Facebook deal sites! Where do YOU peek on Facebook?

"Local Ladies:" Meet Shopping Cart Diva's

Meet another 'Local Lady:'

Sarah, the blog author of
Shopping Cart Diva's (.com), is a Michigan blogger who loves to share information about HOT online deals as well as local match-ups and she also posts frequently on Facebook!

Sarah, thank you for taking the time to help others to save BIG!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Courtesy of

3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. chocolate chips

*Yep, that does seem like a long list of ingredients, but other than pumpkin puree and nutmeg, these rest of these ingredients are pretty standardly found in any kitchen!


Preheat oven to 400*. Lightly spray muffin pan or use paper liners.

Mix sugar, oil and eggs and then add the pumpkin and the water. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture followed by the chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes. This recipe makes 12 traditional size muffins or 24 mini muffins!

Personal Note:
I am in LOVE with these muffins not only because they are easy to make and are filled with chocolate, but especially because they are super tasty (and I don't like pumpkin pie... at all!!!) and THEY DO NOT CRUMBLE INTO A MILLION PIECES WHEN YOU EAT THEM!!! (Toddlers, the floor and muffins are often a tough combination... wink!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Roasting a Pie Pumpkin

Here is the final product from my surprise plant that our neighborhood squirrel hid in our front flower bed. Hey, the squirrel may have destroyed my son's favorite little pumpkin in 2009, but he definitely made up for it in 2010!

Since our pumpkin ripened a little bit early, I decided to go ahead and bake it, rather than parking it on the porch for another squirrel to devour! Plus I have always wanted to try to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (miniature, of course) and I've heard that the pumpkin shortage of 2009 is lingering into 2010- so what better time to try my hand at pumpkin roasting!

First I washed our pumpkin and cut it in half.

Next, I scooped out the seeds and inner membranes- just like caring for ol' Jack!

And since I'm already aware that growing pumpkins are fun and rewarding, I saved a few seeds to drop into my garden next year!

I removed the stem, and placed the flesh sides down on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake at 375* for 1.5 hours.

The scent is amazing! This is what the pumpkin looked like coming out of the oven!

Beautifully baked!

The pumpkin flesh scoops from the pumpkin skin so easily!!!

Seriously, every last bit of pumpkin flesh is yours for the baking!!!

Lastly, I pureed the pumpkin,

and packed it (pre-measured for my muffin recipe, of course) in freezable portions for ready to bake goodness!

Note: My average sized pumpkin yielded 4 cups of pumpkin puree, about 1/2 a cup more than a traditional sized can of pumpkin puree.

I also picked up a couple of pie pumpkins at the local farmer's market for $1 each. I have also seen them at the local grocery store for $2 each!

Whatd'ya think? Will YOU roast your own pie pumpkin this year?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Perfect Day For...

Apple Crisp is so YUMMY!
(Originally posted Fall 2009)

I decided to bring Apple Crisp to our weekly Life Group meeting, and a single batch (serves 6) would NEVER be enough... so I doubled the recipe.

I washed, peeled, quartered and sliced 16 medium sized apples.

I placed all of my apple slices in a lightly sprayed 9 x 13.

Since I had only planned to make a single batch, I had only set one stick of butter out on the counter to come to room temperature. I pulled a second stick from the freezer and I microwaved it on defrost (watching carefully for a puddle to start forming from the inside) until the butter nearly became room temperature. (tricky, tricky!)

I then measured 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar (3/4 cup per batch)- but my brown sugar had a few lumps. So I put my brown sugar in the microwave for 30 seconds and I was easily able to smush my lumps into the standard brown sugar consistency. (More tricky-ness!!!)

Next, I added my two sticks of butter, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of quick-cooking oats, cinnamon and vanilla to taste!

Apple Crisp is not a beautiful dessert, especially pre-baked in this picture! But all 12 servings were consumed before I could snap a final picture! Hmmm, maybe I'll have to bake this again later this week, especially while apples are inexpensive and in season!!!

Recipe Recap:
(single recipe version, serves 6)
4-6 Apples. Core, skin, quarter and slice.
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour.
1/2 Cup quick oats.
3/4 Cup brown sugar.
1 Stick of butter.
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla

*Layer as instructed above. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes.

If you think you'd enjoy my Apple Crisp, check out my home made
Apple/Pear sauce!