Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day

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Today is Giveaway Day at the Sew, Mama, Sew blog! I am so excited about this day--hundreds of blogs/shops are giving away handmade items or crafting supplies to lucky winners. I can already see how I will be [wasting] spending my day!

In an effort to play along, I am giving away two sets of two fat quarters--yay, two winners!
To win one of the sets, please comment on this blog post with one interesting/unusual fact about yourself--that makes for fun reading for me:-)

Fine print: this giveaway will be open until May 31, with the winners randomly drawn on June 1. International commenters are welcome! Please include an email address in your comment if your email is not available in your profile.

Don't forget to check in on Giveaway Day and see all the wonderful handmade items that are being given away!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The results of my fat quarter swap

I promise it didn't take this long to get all of my fat quarters from my recent swap. I simply forgot to take a picture, and then once I did, I forgot to post it! The fat quarter was so much, and I was thrilled with the number of people that participated. Sadly, one or two participants didn't follow through, but overall the success rate was good:-) The ladies I swapped with were so generous, and some even sent me a little extra!

Top row, left to right, fabric from Mo and Katy
Bottom row, left to right, fabric from Annie and Beth(who started it with the suggestion in the first place:-)
Now I just have to get up the nerve to cut into the fabric!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Big Fat Check

I received a big fat check in the mail today, and all because I shopped online. How did I do this? One word: Ebates, an online Cash Back Shopping site. Using Ebates is simple--you go to the website, select one of 1,000 stores to shop at, and click on the store which sends you to the store to shop but also opens a 'ticket' in Ebates. Once you place an online order, you will receive a percentage of the money you spent in a rebate. The amount varies by store, but can be as little as 1% or as much as 20%. Ebates offers cash back and coupons on a wide variety of stores, including some of my favorites like Target, Gap, JoAnn Fabric and Crafts,,, and Joseph A Banks (for Nathan). And just for signing up at Ebates, they will give you a $5.00 rebate! Note: for you to receive that $5, you MUST make a qualified purchase through Ebates. But many of us shop online, so how hard could that be? You can also earn more money by referring your friends to Ebates. But you might have guessed that by now:-) So, please, check out Ebates--sign up, do something shopping, recommend it to your friends! What a great way to get a Big Fat Check!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cheap Baby Food

My little Boy is old enough now to eat baby food--and that can take a lot of our weekly budget if I am not careful! He seems to be eating more than his sister is :-) Thankfully, I learned with Girl how to make my own baby food and save tons of money in the process!

Packaged baby food is expensive--even the generic brand at Target is $0.87 for two containers of 4 ounces of food (considered "Stage 2" baby food), or 10.9 cents per ounce. I recently purchased 1 lb. of organic carrots for $0.99 at Target. After cooking the carrots and pureeing them, I filled an ice cube tray PLUS had enough for three of the small baby food containers. I am not certain of the exact amount in ounces, but let's guess on the small side, and say that each ice cube is 1 oz., and the containers were only 2 ounces. My 16 ounce ice cube tray, plus 3 two ounce containers, totals 22 ounces of baby food. At $0.99 for the carrots, I paid 4.5 cents per ounce. When you realize that the carrots were organic, and that organic baby food costs even more than 'regular' baby food, the savings are enormous!

Of course, there is time involved in the cooking and preparing your own baby food. The savings, however, are worth it! I love knowing exactly what my little boy is eating, and that I am saving money in the process. I would highly recommend Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron--though some of the information is dated, the book is an encyclopedia of information about baby food, with a guide in the back that tells you when you can introduce certain foods as well as how to prepare them. It was out of print, but I found a barely used copy for a great price online. I also love my Oxo Good Grips Ice Cube Tray. It has a lid that keeps the baby food from being contaminated in the freezer. Saving money and providing healthy food for my children Works for Me!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Skirts for twins

My dear friend, K, has twin girls who just turned a year old. For their birthday, I made matching skirts using this pattern. I purchased the fabric at the Patsy Aiken outlet here in Raleigh for a great price, and hope to make a dress or skirt for Girl out of it as well. They turned out really cute!

Note: since the fabric was at least 60" wide, I did not use the entire width like the pattern requires. I cut the fabric to be about 36" wide, so consequently, the skirts are not as full.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A successful CVS run

I have not shopped at CVS in awhile, simply because I have been busy, and have not felt an overwhelming need to take advantage of their bargains (i.e., none have blown me away). But I had some Extra Care Bucks that are about to expire, along with a $5 off $25 coupon, so I hit CVS last night.

I bought:
4 jars of Ragu
1 jar of Skippy Peanut Butter
1 box of Lipton Decaf Tea
1 Nivea body wash
1 Nivea lotion (Beautiful Legs)
1 Sensodyne Pronamel
1 Colgate Wisp (4 pack)

Total cost before coupons: $33.80
I used my $5/25 coupon, $7.50 in ECB, and 5 coupons (including a Nivea "Buy One Beautiful Legs get Body Wash free")
Total cost after coupons and ECBs: $13.21--a 61% savings
PLUS I earned $8.00 in ECB, which gives me an 85% savings

Not too bad!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Creamy Chicken Salad

Just as an aside--I hate condiments. I don't like mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup. I eat my sandwiches and my burgers plain. I don't dip my french fries in ketchup, and only in the past few years have 'grown up' enough to eat salad dressing on salads. Since chicken salad is commonly made with mayonnaise, I did not eat chicken salad. Then I found this recipe, and I have a chicken salad that I will eat! These measurements are approximate, so please adjust it to your personal taste:-)

Creamy Chicken Salad
1 1/2-2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 small can diced green chiles
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt (may add more to taste)

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Taste to see if more chili powder or salt is needed. A dash of red or black pepper would be a nice addition. If chicken salad is too dry, add a splash of milk or cream to the mixture. Serve on bed of salad greens, or on croissants as a sandwich. This chicken salad is very savory and is a nice alternative to the fruity chicken salads that are popular. Let me know what you think!