Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pintrest Yummo

Do you Pintrest? Yep, I thought so, I am also on the addictive Pintrest, and I must ask my self, how on earth did I ever get along with out it? Seriously, it's my new obsession! Here is my first real gotta try it out recipe that I found, it's super easy with three steps:

Preheat oven to 350; smoosh 1.5 squares of break-apart refrigerated cookie dough into the bottom of each well. Place Reese cup upside down on top of cookie dough (or an Oreo!). Top with prepared box brownie mix, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 18 minutes! HEAVEN.

Want to follow us, just search on pintrest couponsahmiam or lisa christensen, I am always wanting to try new recipes and new things with my kiddos!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Long-Term Produce Storage...Kind of...

A few weeks ago I posted about growing green onions on your windowsill and I am still doing this, and the onions are growing for the 3rd time since cutting.  I was seriously so excited when I found that it worked.  Well, this week I found a new tip that I wanted to share.  It is a way to preserve your celery and have it last at least 4 weeks.  

Photo of wrapped celery from
If you wrap your celery in tin foil before placing it in the fridge it will last for weeks, and  it will still be fresh and crisp when you pull it out!!  This is where I learned this from.  Crystal Young, the blogger I learned this from, also stored broccoli for 7 weeks wrapped in tin foil, and heads of lettuce for at least 6 weeks!!!

Crystal is a Christian mother of 10 and she decided to feed her family from her food storage for 3 months without going to the grocery store.  They didn't go to the store (except for more baby formula and her husband's deodorant) and she cooked all her meals and snacks from scratch.  She also blogged about her success' and failures at 3monthspreparation.blogspot.comI sat and read through her 90 day challenge for 2 hours last night.  I was inspired by her words and motivated by her skills!!  Crystal has such wisdom and faith and sees God's hand in all she does for her family.  I strive to have the faith of someone like her.  

There are so many ways to save money and to live frugally and I am still learning everyday.  I get so excited to learn a new trick and I hope you find them useful too!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crockpot Greek Yogurt

Make your own Greek Yogurt in the crockpot using this tutorial from One Good Thing.

this is how you would make it if you have a yogurt maker too!

Aunt Jan's Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Aunt Jan's Peanut Butter Pie
  • Graham Cracker Pie Crust (store bought or homemade)
  • 2/3 cup Peanut Butter (crunchy or creamy, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 8oz. Extra Creamy Cool Whip
  • 8oz, Cream Cheese
Beat all ingredients together until smooth (about 1 minute). Spoon into crust. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving. This pie can also be frozen. Thaw at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Free Printable Fathers Day Coupon Book

Father's day is coming up and all dad really wants is a couple free slobbery kisses by the kiddos and maybe a free back scratch from you. So, ditch the idea of getting him a new tie or gift certificate for the garden store and make him this adorable and FREE ticket book!
CLICK HERE to download your complimentary ticket designs! You can put the tickets loosly in an envelope or make a small booklet, like I did, shown above! To make the booklet, cut down {red} cardstock to 4.25x11, placed the tickets on top, and folded the cardstock over! Then, secure closed with two hole punches and some ribbon!
Have fun with this simple, modern craft to make dad feel like king for the day!thanks,

Monday, May 14, 2012

25 Handmade Graduation Gifts {Printables & Tutorials}


Give handmade gifts for graduation!

Handmade gifts rule!  You know they do!  Check out these fabulous printables and tutorials before you even think about going to the store to buy a graduation gift.  You will be shocked at how easy you can create a gift to remember!
Graduation is an exciting time in life!  It’s time to celebrate with friends and family as young graduates look forward to their bright, bright futures.  Many have fond memories of school friends and would love to have a gift to remember them by…like awesome Instagram strips or a photo throw pillow.
Others are super duper excited about the future and looking for inspiration for their own home or dorm room.  Printables can add a positively pretty touch to any desk or wall.
Check out these graduation gift ideas…   
  1. Star Wars Lego Graduation Party {Printables} – Living Locurto
  2. Fabric Gift Card Cozy – Make It and Take It
  3. Instagram Photo Strips – CNet
  4. Dr. Seuss Quote {Printable} – Balancing Home
  5. Vintage Pillowcase Laundry Bag – In Color Order
  6. Laptop Bag – Me Sew Crazy
  7. iPhone App Magnets – Infarrantly Creative
  8. T-Shirt Quilt – Blessing Overflowing
  9. Photo Throw Pillow – BHG
  10. Awesome Bookplates {Printables} – Frecklewonder
  11. State Pride Print – Lolly Jane
  12. Fabric Covered Stenciled Journals – The Girl Creative
  13. Felt Initial Notebooks – Everything Etsy
  14. Mini Polaroid Necklace – Polish The Stars
  15. Carpe Diem Wall Art {Printable} – Snickerdoodle
  16. Yearbook Candle Holders – A Beautiful Mess
  17. Business Card Holder – The Crafty Cupboard
  18. Duct Tape Wallet – Crafty Nest
  19. Canvas Photo Collage – Crafty Et ceteras
  20. Money Lei – Pioneer Party
  21. Wristlet Key Fobs – Prudent Baby
  22. Graduation Cupcake Toppers {Printables} – Simply Silhouettes
  23. Decorative Dry Erase Board – Make and Takes
  24. Fox Bookmarks {Printables} – Lemon Squeezy
  25. Passport Cover Tutorial – HungryHippie
Get creative and share handmade gifts with all the graduates on your list.  They will remember you for it…in a good way. :)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Crockpot cooking


Strawberry Cream Puff Pastry

Strawberry Cream Puff Pastry
Type: Dessert
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Strawberry Cream Puff Pastry
  • 1 Package Puff Pastry Sheets
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Package softened Cream Cheese
  • Glaze
  • 1 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 -2 tsp milk
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F and set out the puff pastry to thaw. Once thawed unfold and roll out to a 13×9 rectangle.
  2. In a large bowl mix together softened cream cheese, strawberries and sugar.
  3. Spread Cream cheese mix on the puff pastry leaving 1/2 inch bare on the long end.
  4. Roll up the dough and moisten the seam with water to seal. Refrigerate for atleast 20 minutes.
  5. Slice roll into 1/2-3/4 inch slices. Place on a parchement lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Feel free to glaze with plain or chocolate glaze and serve.
  1. Mix 1 tsp of milk into the Powdered sugar (and cocoa -optional) to form glaze. Add milk in small amounts until it reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over pastries
WordPress Recipe Plugin and Microformatting by EasyRecipe

Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F and set out the puff pastry to thaw. Once thawed unfold and roll out to a 13×9 rectangle.
In a large bowl mix together softened cream cheese, strawberries and sugar.
It will resemble this. Smile
Spread Cream cheese mix on the puff pastry leaving 1/2 inch bare on the long end.
Roll up the dough and moisten the seam with water to seal. Refrigerate for atleast 20 minutes.
Slice roll into 1/2-3/4 inch slices. Place on a parchement lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Yum! Perfect!
Feel free to glaze with plain or chocolate glaze and serve. ENJOY!

A Mother’s Day Project – Handprint Tiles

Until I became a mother, I never really understood the importance of homemade gifts. Yes, I liked getting something homemade and I like to give something homemade to grandparents when I can. This will be great for mom and grandmothers for Mother’s Day.

All you need is an 8 inch tile, a plate holder, and some paint. That’s it…oh, and pencil.

First, you need to paint some black (or your choice of color) paint on your toddler’s hand. They’ll giggle. You’ll have a moment of panic when you wonder if this is washable paint and what everyone at church will think if it’s not. Then realize its acrylic paint and will easily wash or scratch off. *Sigh of relief*
If your child is too small to hold still for this project, you could also use a foot – which seems to work better for small babies.

Practiced a few times before we you take the plunge.

I penciled out the verses that I wanted to use.
“Grandchildren are the crown of old men…” Proverbs 17:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6
Have a quick moment of panic when you realize that you just called your mother-in-law “old.” Then comfort yourself with the fact that it’s a Bible verse, so God really said it and not you. Amen.

It’s a good idea to let your toddler “paint” while you work on this…otherwise, you could have weeping and gnashing of teeth…and a small child grabbing the paint pallet and running to her bed. Bad things man, bad things.
covered the table with newspaper.

Choose the color of paint you want – I went with green, red, and blue. Trace over the penciled words with your smallish paint brush. It might take two coats, depending on the color you use. That’s why I went with darker colors.

To add a little something-something I painted a small heart inside the hand print.

It’s a good idea to write the name of the child and the year on the back. You’ll want to remember. You might tell yourself you will remember, but you won’t. 10 years from now, you’ll have forgotten about the day you did this and you won’t have a clue whose hand that is – for all you know, it could have been a passing neighbor child.  I used a Sharpie pen to write it.

So, here they are done. They aren’t perfect. I sorta wish I had used stencils, as my handwriting isn’t that great. But, they are pretty cute…you could jazz them up any way you like. You could use paint pens instead of tracing. You could just do a hand print in the center with a pretty tile and heart…I just like Bible verses throughout the house.

*This post is linked at Proverbs 31 Thursday at Raising Mighty Arrows, at Frugal Friday on Life as Mom, at Tip Me Tuesday on Tip Junkie, at Frugal Tuesday Tip on Learning The Frugal Life, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Works For Me Wednesday on We Are That Family, and at Weekend Whatever on Your Thriving Family.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Crowdtap: Apply to Host a Grill Mates Party

go to here to sign up for Crowdtap.

Have you had a chance to join Crowdtap yet? Crowdtap allows you to tap in to engage with brands, test products, and earn cash while helping charities at the same time!
For a limited time, select Crowdtap members can apply to host a Grill Mates Party and snag a FREE McCormick’s Grill Ambassador party kit!
If selected, you will receive the following items:
* Party Booklet
* Grill Mates® Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade
* Grill Mates® Slow and Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub
* Grill Mates® Montreal Steak Seasoning Blend
* Grill Mates® Molasses Bacon Seasoning Blend
* Grill Mates® Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce
If you are a Crowdtap member, login to your Crowdtap account and click on the “New Actions” tab. You may then find an application to host this party. If you do not have this action in your account, do not fret. Keep in mind that by simply signing up, logging in every day, inviting your friends, and participating in actions, you’ll earn points towards the next level.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hy-Vee Deals Week of 5/9-5/16

1.77 Jif peanut butter select varieties 17.3 or 18 oz. (limit 3) Use $0.55/1 – Jif Peanut Butter Product – (…. no longer able to print!)

2/5.00 Fresh blueberries 4.4 oz. pkg.

2.49 Organic kiwi fruit 16 oz. pkg.

.59lb. Sliced ripe watermelon

1.18lb. Garden fresh green beans

1.98 Dole broccoli each

3/5.00 Dole salad blends or caesar kits all natural select varieties 5 to 12 oz.

3.77 Folgers coffee select varieties 10.3 to 11.3 oz.

1.88 Ocean Spray juice cocktail select varieties 64 fl. oz.

$2off when you buy any four Kellogg’s cereals 8.7 oz. or larger Purchase of 4 required.
Limit $2 off with coupon. Limit 1 coupon per customer.

.78 Hy-Vee pop select varieties 2 liter (deposit where required)

2/3.00 Hy-Vee kettle +cooked chips select varieties 8.5 oz.

2/1.00 Propel  fitness water select varieties 710 ml. only $.50 each

2/3.00 Hy-Vee pops select varieties 12 ct.only $1.50 each

1.38 Sunrise Growers strawberries16 oz. pkg.

.69 Hy-Vee frozen vegetables select varieties 12, 16 oz. or brown rice 10 oz.

1.88 Hy-Vee sweet cream butter regular or unsalted quarters or block 16 oz.

1.88lb. Boneless skinless chicken breast Hy-Vee 100% natural

online ad:
2.59 Post Grape-nuts or Shredded Wheat select varieties 15 to 24 oz. Save $1.00 off any one box of Grape-Nuts Nuggets or Flakes Cereal.

3.28 Nutella Hazelnut Spread 13 oz. $1/1 Nutella 13 oz+coupon

Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards ~ New 25 Point Code

Here is a new Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards code worth 25 points!  You can always use your points on the site to enter their sweepstakes and instant-win games. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chore Box

Toys that are not picked up go in the ransom box and they have to pick a chore to complete to earn it back! A great lesson in personal responsibility.

DIY: Frozen Treasures Summer Excavation Activity!

Today’s DIY “Frozen Treasures” is so simple and inexpensive, and it will provide hours of entertainment for your kiddos. With hot summer days just a blink away, this activity will keep your child’s little hands busy as well as frosty and cool!

To create Frozen Treasures, here is what you will need:

  • One large plastic bin. You can find these at dollar and discount stores or most likely have one around the home.
  • Small plastic toys such as cars, dinosaurs, blocks, etc. They should be waterproof!
  • Food coloring or water color paints.
  • “Tools” such as toothbrushes, child safe hammers, and spoons.

Here is what you do!

  • Fill the plastic container with water.
  • Add in the small toys.
  • Place in the freezer. Wait 15 minutes, then add some splashes of food coloring or water color paint. Note: if you don’t wait until the water is starting to freeze then your colors will all mix and turn into a big brown tub of water. Wait until it is starting to freeze to keep your colors from running together.
  • One the water is frozen solid, remove from the freezer.
  • Using the tools, your child can “dig” and “excavate” for their treasures and dinos! You can also give them cups of warm water to help melt the ice, or water colors to continue to paint the ice!
It will take hours for this block of ice to melt, creating long lasting fun! Your kids will love digging and chipping away at the ice to try to get to the treasures, and the ice will cool them off at the same time. This hands on activity will pique their imagination as well as strengthen their fine motor skills.
So grab a bin, fill it up, and get in on the fun!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

Here's what you need:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Note: not hot chocolate powder, but the unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
Here's what to do:

1.  Put butter, sugar, milk and cocoa powder in a large sauce pan.  Bring ingredients to a rolling boil while stirring continuously.  Boil for one minute and remove from heat.

 When my daughter saw the whole stick of butter and 2 cups of sugar
being added in this step she commented, "This isn't really a healthy recipe is it, Mom?"
(No, sweetheart, but sometimes mommies 
like a yummy chocolate-y treat to make it through a rough day!)

2.  Stir in peanut butter and vanilla and mix until blended.  Add quick oats and stir until combined.

3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Drop mixture by tablespoon-full onto the waxed paper.  The cookies will harden as they cool.  (I often pop them into the fridge for a bit to speed up this process)

Pepperoni Pizza Roll Ups

Here's what you need:

  • Package of crescent rolls
  • String Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Marinara Sauce for dipping 

Here's what to do:

1.  Cut your string cheese into pieces (I found that thirds were a good size).

2.  On each crescent roll triangle, put a few pieces of pepperoni (we used three) and a piece of string cheese.

3.  Roll them up and bake according the directions on the crescent roll package.  I folded up the ends just slightly before baking so the cheese wouldn't ooze out too much.

That's it!  Super easy and a nice alternative to the pigs in a blanket with hot dogs.

The Solutions to The Problem: preschooler string beads/markers and they've dried out.

The Problem:  Your kids leave the lids off their markers and they've dried out.

The Solutions :  We have two markers and they've dried out.

for this dilemma.  The first tip is from Valerie of Inner Child Fun

 "When markers start to dry out, dip the tips into white vinegar and set so that the tips are standing up. Wait about 5 minutes, then blot the marker tip on some paper until the color starts to show. Place the cap back on, and let sit overnight"
Another tip is from Trisha at Inspiration Laboratories.
  "When markers start to dry out, you can also dip the tips in water and paint with them. It will have a watercolor effect"

The Problem:  Your preschooler keeps trying to string beads, only to have a tough time managing holding the string and getting the beads on.

The Solution:  tape one end of the string to the table!  Now your little one only has to hold one end of the string and they have their other hand free to pick up beads and string them on.

Peeling Crayons (the easy way)

Wanna hear a secret??? 
Did you know that if you soaked crayons in water the wrappers peel right off?  Yep, it's true.  I tried it!  We were going through our crayons, separating all the broken ones out to do some recycling with.  I don't know about you, but I get real tired, real fast of peeling those wrappers off....crayon all stuck under your nails and all.  So, I thought, "okay, if paper gets wet, it gets soft".
 Not brain science but a most incredible moment for us!  OH YEAH! 
 Here is the proof.

Can you see the papers simply peeling right off??? 
p.s.  the Crayola brand peels the quickest.  These had only soaked for about 10 minutes before they began to peel off. 
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