March 28, 2012

My Silly Obsession

I've got this silly obsession with sprinkles. But how can you not? They are fun in sugar form...with colors. You can't lose. So I have decided to see what I can do with the little party makers (other than the obvious scattering on everything) and here is use #1:

Scrumptious confetti cake made by YOU! By making this yumminess yourself you can do any color combination you please (like red and green 'confetti' for Christmas) or add as much or as little color-power as you wish (I'd rate my cake as a medium on the color intensity scale).

How do you do it?
1. Get your favorite combo of sprinkles (the softer kind work best like these long, rainbow ones here; sugar sprinkles do not work, they melt into the batter and tint it slightly) and...
2. Mix them into the cake batter just before you pour it into your cake pan!

Add however much you want, for my cake I added a little less than 1/4 cup of sprinkles for the one box of cake mix.

Giving into my sprinkle obsession? Oh, I've Got This!

 Want to see some awesome websites? Check out these ones! This post participated in one of their link parties!

The Shabby Creek Cottage

House of Hepworths

Skip To My Lou

TDC Before and After


Tip Junkie handmade projects

March 22, 2012

Saving Money with a Price Book

When I first got married I had ABSOLUTELY no idea when I was bagging a bargain or when the grocery store was ransacking my wallet. Obviously it was alarming. So, I tried a caboodle of things that did not work well. My latest effort has been to strut into the grocery store, list in hand, determination on my brow, and...not buy much of anything or staunchly ignore when my pocket was getting picked. Sad, I know. But a solution has been found in the form of a book!

Price Book

Courtesy: Simple Etiquette with Proper Paige

Definition: A book in which one records store's prices on items so that sale cycles and best deals can be clearly seen.

You can thank Organized Home ( for this beautiful idea. It will help you save money, find your target price for each item, find sale cycles for your favorite stores, and feel great. Here is the layout:

At the top of the spreadsheet (notebook, or whatever else works best for you) there is the product, in this case Cheese. Underneath the product name you record the date, store, brand or description of the product, price and size, and finally the price per unit.
It makes the process easier if you create store codes. For example here are some of my store codes:

KMT- KMart
KRG- Kroger
SMC- Sam's Club
SMT- Smith's
WLM- Walmart

In the Cheese product spreadsheet above the store is HEB which is an actual store name on it's own, no shortening required.
The sections date, brand or description, and price and size are all pretty self-explanatory and simple. The price per unit can be a little tricky sometimes though.
First, you need to decide what your unit for that product will be and make a note of it on that product's page somewhere (my note is in the top right-hand corner). If you look at the price tags at most stores it will tell you the unit price and what unit they are using. Usually the unit is either ounces, fluid ounces, or "per count". An example of per count is paper towels. The count is one roll, or with batteries the unit price is per battery. Here is an example of a Cheerios price tag you might find at the store:

Courtesy: Making Cents of It
The unit price is .263 and the unit they are using is ounces.
Since the stores are so nice as to do all the math for you it can be handy to make note of the unit price while you are shopping then record it in your price book later. When you are first starting your price book, or if you don't have the time to peruse price tags at the store, use receipts! You will need to find out how many ounces, pounds, or counts there are in each product though when using receipts because it is usually not marked on them.
Once you have the price and the size for your product simply divide the price by the number of units and you have your unit price! Going back to my Cheese spreadsheet, the HEB brand Sharp Cheddar cost $4.18 and was 16 oz. So I grabbed my calculator, divided 4.18 by 16 and got the unit price of $.26.
Another good idea for building your price book is to check out your local ads. Most stores make it easy on their websites to receive their ads by email which makes it so you get the ads right when they come out (and it saves paper). 
Now it takes a little time to create a solid price book, but I started mine not too long ago (a month maybe) and it has already been saving me money at the store. Like a few weeks ago I saw that HEB was having a sale on chicken breast so I marked it in my price book and compared the unit price with others I had under chicken breasts and it was a steal of a deal! So I stocked up!

Preventing wallet ransacking? Oh, I Got This!

Want to check out an awesome website? Try this one out! This post participated in one of their link parties.

March 14, 2012

Starvation and the McMuffin

I almost starved a few months ago. Sort of.
Cereal has always been one of my fundamental food groups: Cheerios, Life, Grape Nuts Flakes, Honey Bunches of Oats...the occasional Reese's Puffs. So, when I found out my son (whose only food group at the time was me) had issues with milk I just about cried. What was I going to eat?! Soy milk is brownish and seems closer to alien cocktail than milk in my opinion (unless it's the chocolate kind, then I must admit it is divine) and I can only take so much pb and j.
After munching through a number of unhealthy options I decided I'd try to recreate the Egg McMuffin. I've always loved those things. At first I fried an egg every morning, but there usually wasn't enough time for that. Then I saw a great idea HERE about using a muffin tin to bake the eggs and freeze the put together McMuffin. Genius! But my vision was a little different so after some trial and error, this is what I've come up with:

Homemade McMuffin

Easy, Quick, Warm Morning Goodness!
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 15-20 min.
Yield: 12 muffins

olive oil or spray
12 large eggs
salt and pepper
12 English muffins
sliced ham
sliced (or shredded) cheddar cheese

Items Needed
muffin tin
plastic wrap
3 gallon sized freezer bags

1. Set oven to 350 degrees and spray or brush muffin tin with oil. Be sure to get the sides of each cup well or the eggs stick very stubbornly.
2. Crack one egg in each cup. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all of them.

3. Place in oven and cook for 15-20 min. or until yolk is fully cooked. 

4. While the eggs are cooking set up your muffin making area. 

Get out your English muffins, ham, cheese, two of the freezer bags, and twelve 7 by 9 inch sheets of plastic wrap.

5. Open up 6 of the English muffins and lay them out. Put one slice of ham and however much cheese you want on the bottom half of each muffin.

6. Put the top on all the muffins and wrap each in a sheet of plastic wrap.

7. Mark the date on one of the freezer bags with a Sharpie (it's always good to know with things in the freezer) and place all six in the one bag.

Repeat with the other six muffins and put both bags in the freezer.

8. Pull your eggs out of the oven and let them cool (so that there is less condensation when put in the fridge). 

Place eggs in the last freezer bag and place in the fridge. I tried making up the complete muffin and freezing them but the egg came out rubbery so I've found the fridge to be a much tastier option. If you won't be using the muffins regularly then I would only do a few eggs at a time so that they don't go bad.

Reheating Directions
1. Take out one of the ham and egg muffins. Unwrap, fold up a paper towel and place underneath the muffin. Place muffin and paper towel on a plate.

2. Heat for 30 sec. in microwave, open sandwich and place one egg inside. Heat for another minute or so open faced, close up sandwich, and eat!

Not only do I love these things but my husband does too! That is my main success rate-o-meter. Switching up my food groups so I don't starve? Oh, I got this!

March 11, 2012

St. Patrick's Pot O' Gold Hunt

St. Patrick's day tends to be one of those holidays that tip toes up behind me, pinches me (literally), and runs off until next year. I don't think I've ever actually done something to officially celebrate it. So here's my version of a little St.Patty's celebration:

St. Patrick's Pot O' Gold Hunt

The Plan: Your family, friends, or date munch on the numbered cupcakes, find the secret message cleverly hidden inside, decipher the message, find the pot o' gold, they call you a St. Patrick's Day pro, and you all enjoy a good movie.

The Supplies:

  • typed up clue poem (below or you can create your own), cut into individual strips
  • aluminum foil
  • cake mix of your choice and ingredients needed for it
  • cupcake baking cups
  • cupcake tin
  • white frosting
  • green sparkle gel frosting
  • yellow sugar sprinkles
Pot O' Gold-

  • black cauldron
  • 2 sheets gold metallic tissue paper folded in half lengthwise
  • gold ribbon
  •  popcorn
  • movie (I used Finding Neverland)
The Poem (written by the poet Shela...a.k.a my mom):

  1. For an evening of fun our edible gold
  2. Hides in a room where stories are told
  3. Places for sleep don't house this treat
  4. Nor does it go where water pipes flow
  5. So keep your sights up and look for a screen
  6. And maybe you'll find this pot-o-gold scene.
*note: on number 5 our media room is upstairs, thus the "up" but you can change it however you wish.
The How-To:
1. Tear off two 2 in. wide strips of aluminum foil.

2. Roll up one of the strips of the poem...

...and then roll that in one of the aluminum foil strips a couple of inches in and tear off. Each strip of aluminum foil should be able to do at least 3 poem strips.

Now press the poem wrapped in aluminum foil flat (if there is too much air left then the poem will float in the cupcake batter) and fold each end inwards so that you have a little rectangle. Repeat with the other poem strips being careful to keep track of the order they go in.

3. Make the cake mix as directed on the box, put the baking cups in the cupcake pan and pour the batter into the cups. Now press the aluminum foil rectangle with the first part of the poem fully into one of the uncooked cupcakes. Be sure that it is fully immersed.

Repeat with the rest of the poem, again being careful to keep track of the order. I placed a dot with some of the batter next to the cupcake with the first piece of the poem.

4. Bake the cupcakes as directed on the cake mix box, let cool, then frost them with the white frosting...

...number them with the green sparkle gel frosting and sprinkle with yellow sugar sprinkles.

If you would like to you can be decorative with how the cupcakes are presented. I was pretty simple and used a gold platter with some paper strips on top.

5. Grab the cauldron and place the two folded sheets of gold metallic tissue paper inside so that the interior is covered.

Pop your popcorn, place inside the cauldron along with the movie. Tie a bow on one side of the cauldron handle and put it where you plan on having the poem lead to (where you will watch the movie).

And now enjoy as your family munches on some cupcakes and officially celebrates St. Patrick's Day!

Not getting pinched this time around? Oh, I Got This!

March 7, 2012

Easy-Peasy BBQ Chicken

You are doing your normal daily routine of chasing around after your little one or scurrying to finish one project or another when suddenly you realize...IT'S DINNER TIME!! Panic ensues. Like a few nights ago. No idea what to make. So I came up with this!


This recipe is so easy (as the name indicates) and so delicious! Baking the chicken with the aluminum foil is also a fantastic way of getting amazingly moist chicken for any recipe.

Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Yield: 8 servings (1 serving = 1/2 chicken breast)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 18oz. bottle BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)

Items Needed
aluminum foil
13 x 9 in. baking pan
basting brush

1. Set oven to 350 degrees and line baking pan with aluminum foil.

2. Trim off excess fat on breasts if desired then place in baking pan and brush both sides of the breasts with BBQ sauce.

3. Cover top of baking pan with aluminum foil and place in oven for 20 min.
4. Take chicken out of oven and pull back foil covering (use hot pads). Flip the breasts over with a fork and switch the outer breasts with the inner ones so that they are evenly cooked. Brush the upper side of the breasts with BBQ sauce.

5. Recover with the aluminum foil, place back in oven for 20 min. more or until the center of the breast is no longer pink (you can check this by making a small cut). Serve with extra BBQ sauce.

Putting a yummy dinner on the table with ease? Oh, I got this!

Want to see some awesome websites? Check out these! This post participated in one of their link parties! 

The Shabby Creek Cottage

March 6, 2012

Scrapbooking On A Dime

Scrapbooking. I shiver just hearing the word. Scissors, mounds of colorful paper, stickers, little pin things, hole punches, trimmings, fancy markers, and all sorts of other intimidating visions come to my brain. How on this lovely planet are you ever supposed to keep up with scrapbooking if you are making every tiny detail Martha Stewart worthy? Some women do it. I am not one of them. But I still want to record my family's special moments and such. So what is the answer?


I got the basic idea from my husband's mom (genius). It's much cheaper, faster, and less taxing. This is my Simple Scrapbook for my son:

All you need is a three ring binder, page protectors, colored paper or card stock, markers, and cards you have received.
I saved all the cards given to me from the baby shower before my son was born and any other cards since then to use for scrapbooking. Here are some examples:

Going back to one of the first pages, you can see that I used quite a bit of one card:

This scrapbook does not take up all of my Saturdays. It takes a few minutes and a few dollars for the paper. Scrapbooking on a dime? Oh, I got this!

Want to check out an awesome website? Check this one out! This post participated in one of their link parties. 

Will you be my (belated) Valentine?

Valentine's Day was a few weeks ago now, but this blog didn't exist at the time. These crafts came out nicely though and you can always get an early start on next year!
Anywho, I came up with two main items this year that came out great: lighting decor and a gift for my hubby. Both of the basic ideas for these came from Pinterest.

I saw THIS picture on Pinterest and loved it! So I made my own...

It was super easy and didn't take very long.
  • one box of 70 frosted mini wedding lights (I got all of my supplies from Hobby Lobby) 
  • one 12 pack 10" red doily hearts
  • one 15 pack 6" red doily hearts
  • one 35 pack 4" diameter round doilies (found these in the cake decorating section)
  • one 16 pack 8" diameter round doilies
  • scissors
1. Cut a small X in the center of each round doily (be careful not to crease the doily too much).
2. In a random order stick the head of each mini light through either an X in the center of the round doilies or an opening in the heart doilies (I used one of the two holes on the upper left and right hand sides of the hearts most of the time). If needed you can make a small cut in the heart doilies so that the light head can fit through the chosen opening.
AND THAT'S IT!! SUPER easy. It took me maybe 20 or 30 minutes to complete.

And now for the hubby gift :)
I was browsing around trying to find something meaningful, fun....and cheap. And I found it! Shannon Brown's blog Find Joy in the Journey had a great gift idea of making up preplanned, prepaid dates for the year. For mine I preplanned them but only added up how much each one would cost.
I love this idea because my husband and I have a weekly date night which is always fun, but we usually end up doing the same things for our dates or waist a fair amount of babysitting time trying to decide what to do. This gift gives us one out-of-the-ordinary date for each month to spice things up!

Want to impress your special someone too? Here's how:


  • 1 red paper bag
  • 2 medium sized heart shapes (or whatever decorations you would like on your bag)
  • glue stick
  • 12 printed pages of planned dates
  • 12 small heart shapes (I used a heart punch)
  • a marker
1. Plan the dates for each month and figure out about how much they cost.
2. Make up one page for each date and print them. This is what one of mine looked like:

 April- Shakin’ it!

Dance with Stars Academy
Walk Ins, Couples, Singles are Welcome at any time!!!
Best instructors in town are waiting on you every Wednesday at 7pm-8pm!!!

Shakes at Chik-fil-a :)

All of them were simple and easy just like this.

3. Fold each printed date page into an origami heart. HERE is a great step by step tutorial on how to do it. I'd practice on a blank page first.
If origami-ing is not for you then you could simply fold it a few times into a medium sized square and tie a ribbon around each one.
4. Write the abbreviated form of each month on your small heart shapes and glue them to one side of your origami hearts (or squares). On the other side write how much the date will cost.
5. Grab your bag and decorate it! Now put all your dates inside the bag and your done!

For some of my planned dates I had coupons so I tucked them into the front of the  origami heart they went with. My husband thought this gift was great and is excited to pull a date from the bag each month. Having an awesome time with my husband each month? Oh, I got this!