Archive for April, 2007

Freebie Friday: April 27, 2007

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Don’t forget to download your free menu planner & grocery list for the week!

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to read our article on internet safety and your children. It is an important piece that you shouldn’t miss!

Health & Beauty:

Try 24 hour fitness for 10 days. Free. To get this special deal fill out the form and select a club near you.

To receive a FREE* Trial Pair Certificate for ACUVUE® ADVANCE™, ACUVUE® OASYS™, ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ for ASTIGMATISM, ACUVUE® 2, ACUVUE® 2 COLOURS™, ACUVUE® BIFOCAL, or 1•DAY ACUVUE®, please fill out the form.

Register with AMBIEN CR & Receive a Free Trial.Why spend another sleepless night? Sign up now and receive 7 days of prescription of AMBIEN CR free and talk to your doctor to find out if AMBIEN CR is right for you.

Thousands of women have tried Olay Total Effects and have fallen in love with our moisturizer. We think you’ll love the age-defying benefits, too. If you would like to try a free sample of Total Effects, just fill out the brief questionnaire.

These lathering, dual-textured cloths fight seven signs of aging as they cleanse, condition, exfoliate, and remove makeup. Olay Total Effects Daily Cleansing Treatments have a smooth side that infuses skin with the Olay Vitamin Lipid System (Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5, and lipids). They also have a textured side that exfoliates to reveal newer skin. If you would like to try a free sample of Total Effects Daily Cleansing Treatments, just fill out the brief questionnaire.

Sign up to receive a free seven day sample of Move Free Advanced.

Try a sample of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely Perfume.


Join Regal Crown Club and earn rewards for going to the movies. Free movies, popcorn, soft drinks and more!

If you live near one of the selected cities, you can get passes to an advance screening of Shrek 3 to be held in May 2007.

Receive a free one-year subscription to ShowBoats International Magazine. ShowBoats International sets the editorial and marketing standards for the luxury yacht industry and dominates the market of exclusive yachts. No publisher in the world understands the megayacht market better than ShowBoats International! You will NOT receive any additional magazines and you do NOT have to cancel a subscription. We will not be accepting feedback on this magazine. This subscription to ShowBoats International has been purchased on your behalf by

To get your complimentary one-year subscription to Home Business Magazine (and to find out what FREE trade magazines you could receive), simply complete the following information.

Get a complimentary subscription to Western Outdoors Magazine for one year. Just fill out the survey.

Receive 18 free issues of Boating Life: Boating Life is the authority on recreational boating. Inevery issue of Boating Life, you’ll find new product reviews, sound advice on buying a boat and tips for maintaining your boat. From deck boats and run-abouts to skiboats, fishing boats and pontoons, Boating Life is like the knowledgeable friend you consult before buying that brand-new model, tackling that maintenance project, getting water-sports gear ofr the kids or planning the dream boat trip.

Join the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program. Fostering a love of reading and its rewards, the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is popular with both students in the first through sixth grades and educators throughout America. Last summer, we provided 190,000 free books and participants read 2.3 million books! This year, children can join Jack and Annie from Mary Pope Osbourne’s Magic Tree House on their summer adventure as part of their own journey in our Summer Reading program.Participation is fun and easy for kids to earn free books! They simply read any eight books — library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble — write about their favorite part, and bring a completed Summer Reading in the Magic Tree House Journal tear page to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children can then choose from a list of paperback books. We’re confident there will be plenty of titles they will like.

Have your children start a lemonade stand for charity. To request your free Sunkist Take a Stand Kit please fill out the pledge form.

Families, schools, and organizations alike are invited to see great kids’ movies — for FREE — during AMC Summer MovieCamp®. Available at select AMC Theatres, this fun-filled program brings you: FREE movies from June 27 – August 15*. Shows starting at 10:00 a.m. every Wednesday. A great opportunity for field trips – start planning today. Groups can reserve tickets for all seven weeks of movies, starting on June 20. Check back soon to see our film lineup and download fun kid’s activities like word searches, art projects, and more. AMC KidsPack™ are also only $3.00 for one small drink, one small popcorn, & kids’-size snack. Participating cities are listed on their site.

Get a free book! LIVING BEYOND THE LIMITS: A LIFE IN SYNC WITH GOD. God wants you to experience life to its fullest…but rather than experiencing peace, joy, and excitement, maybe hints of emptiness, boredom, and frustration nag at you. Maybe you find yourself asking, “Is this all that life has to offer?”In Living Beyond the Limits, Franklin Graham focuses on God’s principles and promises essential to a full life. He relates real-life examples of men and women who have put God’s Word in to practice under some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable. You’ll be amazed by their stories. You’ll also be stirred and challenged as never before. Limit one per household. Book shown is hardback, but shipped copy will be paperback.


Host a Pepperidege Farm Spring Dessert House Party. If selected as a host, you’ll get…Samples of Pepperidge Farm Black & White Milano, Chessmen, and other cookies to taste, exclusive coupons to purchase more cookies for your party, ribbon and decorative cellophane to make take-home favors, online dessert recipes and party-planning tips, a free party website, where you can send invites, share photos and videos, and interact with partygoers nationwide & the chance to create and submit your own dessert recipe, featuring Pepperidge Farm cookies, to be spotlighted on

Pet Needs:

Receive a free four pack of The Original Scoopex Pooper Scoopers.

Meal Planner & Grocery List 04.27.07

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Have a wonderful weekend!

042707 Menu Planner

042707 Grocery List

Sour Cream Pork Chops

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Sour Cream Pork Chops

6 pork chops
½ tsp garlic powder
½ cup flour
1 can chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

Season pork chops with garlic powder and then dredge in ½ cup of flour. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in a small amount of oil. Place chops in slow cooker and pour chicken stock over the chops. Cover and cook on low for seven to eight hours. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. After the chops have cooked, transfer the chops to the oven to keep warm. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with the sour cream; mix into meat juices. Turn slow cooker to high for fifteen to thirty minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve sauce over pork chops.

Serve over egg noodles.

Mini Frittatas with Hash Brown Potatoes

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Mini Frittatas

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces thinly sliced ham, chopped
1/3 cup  grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray 2 mini muffin tins (each with 24 cups) with nonstick spray. Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the ham, cheese, and parsley. Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide the frittatas onto a platter. Serve immediately.

Serve with hash brown potatoes and orange juice.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Spaghetti & Meatballs

1 pound spaghetti
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste (minus 2 tablespoons for the meatballs)
½ cup beef broth
1 pound ground turkey
¼ cup breadcrumbs (directions for preparation to follow)
2 tablespoons paste
1 egg
3 tablespoons of beef broth
Handful of parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti and cook as directed or until al dente. The spaghetti will continue to cook in sauce, later. To a large skillet add prepared spaghetti sauce, tomato paste (minus 2 tablespoons), and diced tomatoes, and allow to cook together. Add beef broth and allow the sauce to simmer while you make the meatballs. In a large bowl mix together turkey, bread crumbs, tomato paste, egg, beef broth, handful of cheese, and salt and pepper. Shape into meatballs (any size, just make sure they are all the same size for even cooking) and bake the meatballs for fifteen to twenty minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Carefully remove meatballs from the baking sheet and add them to the sauce. Drain and add cooked pasta to the pan and mix together with the red sauce.

Serve meal with a tossed garden salad.

Breadcrumbs Recipe

Making your own breadcrumbs can be easy and inexpensive. The flavor of fresh breadcrumbs versus the store bought variety is not even comparable. Store your breadcrumbs in your freezer and you will always have fresh breadcrumbs on hand. I keep mine in a freezer-safe container and when I get low, I simply make another batch. Breadcrumbs can be made out of loaf ends, stale bread, hot dog rolls, & hamburger buns- whatever you have on hand! Keep a bread bag with all of your bread in it and store it in the freezer. Once the bag is filled, it is time to make some breadcrumbs!

Set your oven to broil and then lay all of the bread out on cookie sheets. You only need to broil the bread a couple of minutes (keep one eye on it because it can burn quickly). This helps just to dry the bread out and make it easier to handle. Once the bread is toasted, put this bread into my food processor. You can just have only the bread in there, or if you like the Italian seasonings type of breadcrumbs add your own seasonings (I add garlic salt, and an Italian seasonings dry blend of herbs to mine for that variety). Run the food processor until the bread crumbs are of a fine consistency. Then put these crumbs into a freezer-safe container.

Taco Soup

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Taco Soup

1 pound ground turkey
1 can chili beans, with liquid
1 can kidney beans, with liquid
1 can whole kernel corn, with liquid
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 package of taco seasoning mix

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain & set aside. Place the ground beef, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, & taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend and cook on Low setting for eight hours.

Serve alone or can be topped with shredded cheese & sour cream.

Serve with tortilla chips.

The Dollar Stretcher Tips 04.26.2007

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

For a sample copy of The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, send $2 to: Dollar Stretcher Sample, 6695 Cortez Road W., Bradenton FL 34210. Copyright 2007 Dollar Stretcher, Inc. Visit The Dollar Stretcher for even more tips & ideas!

Designated Shopper

I try to stay out of the grocery store after I have done my weekly shopping. If I do go for a loaf of bread, I wind up spending much more. To solve this problem, I have my husband go instead. He hates grocery shopping so much that if I send him for bread, he will run in and come right back out with a loaf of bread. It’s kind of funny really, but it’s also great for the budget.
Janet S.

Cheaper Futon Cover Choices

We have a futon in our loft that serves as extra seating as well as a makeshift spare room for guests. The covers can be very expensive, but I have found two great alternatives. I was using a full-sized fitted sheet and this worked quite well. They are very inexpensive if you shop sale or clearance. I decide I wanted an even better fit and tried a full/queen size duvet cover that I found on clearance for less than $10. It works great! These two options are much less expensive and the choices in patterns and fabrics are endless.
Karissa W.

See Through!

When cleaning windows, eye glasses, shower doors, mirrors or anything glass, I’ve found that using rubbing alcohol does the trick! It’s cheaper than those “commercial” glass cleaners, takes less wiping and it’s streak-free. Obviously, take appropriate care for pets and children.

Super White

We like our white clothes to look the whitest they can so I keep a five-gallon bucket in my laundry room sink. I fill it half full of water and one scoop of BIZ. When we change white clothes, I put them into the bucket until wash day. Each time I add clothes, I swish them around to get the full benefit of the BIZ. Sometimes you may need to add more water and don’t forget to swish them when you do. Wash as usual. It may take a couple of soakings to get them as white as new.
Janice H.

Self-Cleaning Worthwhile

I have a self-cleaning oven, which can be expensive to operate. To make the best use of the energy requirements, I do two things. First, I only clean the oven after it’s been used for cooking a meal. The oven is already partially heated and I can reduce the energy consumption of heating it up from cold. Second, I throw in my enamel on steel broiler pan, baked on enamel roasting pans or BBQ racks so they get cleaned too.
Cindy B.

Sticky Labels

Have you ever had a label that didn’t want come off of a jar, a sticker that your kids placed on a mirror, or a bumper sticker you didn’t want? Simply heat it up with a blow dryer. When the adhesive starts to melt, the sticker will peel right off!
Susan S. in Florissant, MO

Sweet Ride

In the mail and at department stores, I often receive those small papers with the perfume sample inside the flap. Place one on the floor of the car or in the air vent. Not only will your car smell wonderful, but also you’re able to “try on” a new perfume to see if you like it.
Karen B. in White Bear Lake, MN

Grad Gifts

We are approaching high school/college graduation time. My favorite high school graduation gift was from my grandmother. She filled a storage crate with shampoo, lotion, rolled quarters (for laundry), laundry soap, snacks, etc. Gram made a crate for each semester that we were in college. I now like to give a crate or laundry basket full of supplies that a college student would need to start school. This gift can be given to someone that is moving into his/her first apartment or house.
Heidi W.

Cheaper Cereal

My husband only likes cereal for breakfast (and boxed cereals are expensive, even with a coupon). Instead, we now go to our local co-op and buy oats in bulk at 59 cents per pound. This is even cheaper than the generic brands in the canisters at the grocery store, which are usually 99 cents per pound. It also saves us on the cost of milk since oatmeal takes less milk than a bowl of cereal!
Julia in White River Junction, VT

Amy’s Notebook 04.26.2007

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Be Mom of the Year:

The Cozi Connection has a great list of items you should add to your family calendar so you don’t miss a single important event. This one is a wealth of information!

Genki Desu Yo shares some tips to get your kids moving on doing chores pay per post style. This is an awesome read and much cheaper than hiring a cleaning service.

Be Cheap:

Scaling Back has a great post on how to scale back on electricity. They got familiar with the electronic meter outside and are hoping to lower their electricity bills.

Zen Habits share a simple way you can save $3,000 a year, without a lot of effort on your part.

Lifehacker shares tips for how to remove car dents on a budget. This is the kind of information every frugal gal needs (especially if you bang up the car and don’t want your husband to know!)

Spending Smart has a great list of frugal cell phone tricks. I like the Craigsnumber one that is listed- check it out!

Have a Martha Moment:

Frugal Upstate has a recipe for making homemade lemonade– yum!

Craft Magazine features an entry on some great sewing accessories you can make. I love the bag idea!

Home Ec 101 shares some ironing tips for fixing those crazy polo collars that won’t lay right. I use the iron so rarely that my son asked what it was one day. Hmm… oh well!

Craftzine shows how to make beautiful fabric brooches. This is a great way to use up some of that scrap fabric you have laying around.

Get Inspired:

Creative Organizing has a great post on how to tame kitchen clutter. There are some great ideas in this one!

Design Mom has some great solutions for inexpensive window coverings, although the expensive solutions are extremely beautiful too!

Why Being Thankful is So Important

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

I just began the greatest book called, “For the Love of Letters” by Samara O’Shea. It is a guide to the art of letter writing and I am totally in love with this book already. The book is filled with ideas for writing every kind of letter you can imagine- an apology, a letter of thankfulness, a message of sympathy…any kind of letter you could ever dream of is in this book.

Growing up I never had a choice about writing letters of thanks for things that we received in our life. It was always ingrained in us that writing a thank you letter was just essential. Only those who are thankful and express their gratitude can graciously receive something else in their life.

As I have grown up though, the written word has been disappearing. Letters have been replaced by digital media and cell phones. Why take the time to write a letter when you can just shoot off a quick email and get on with your life? I imagine that this is going to be one of those things that I will have to work extra hard on with my children, as text messaging and chatting in code has replaced the formality of actually penning a response.

One of the most practical reasons for being thankful is because the act of being thankful makes people want to give to you again. And again. And again. A handwritten note, a special phone call to thank someone for something they have given you, a small token of gratitude for what they do for you- this is not only thoughtful, but also a necessary part of your life.

One example of a time of gratitude in my life was when we were expecting our second child. When we found out we were having a little girl, I was so thrilled, but I also knew that many of our boy things would have to be replaced by little girl items. I had that nervous feeling about our finances and how we were going to swing an entire new wardrobe. I knew that we could make it work, but I also knew that starting over can be pretty expensive. Cue the windfall of clothing. Do you hear it? People from all over started just giving me things. I had a girlfriend who loaned me her daughter’s entire wardrobe for the first year. Then I got that nervous feeling again. Cue another windfall of clothing from someone that was a friend of our family, and feel that sense of relief again.

When my grandmother brought over a bag of clothing from someone who didn’t really even know me personally, I wept. I was so touched that someone would give us so much and not even ask for anything in return. I called her as soon as she left and thanked her, blubbering the whole time. I asked what I could do for her- if I could offer her a gift card or a sum of money. She did not want anything from me, but thanked me for calling. I sat down and penned a note to her and thanked her family for what they did and sent off a couple of handmade hair bows to her daughters. It was a small gesture compared to the enormous gesture she offered me, but it made a positive impression. She later told my grandmother how nice it was to give to someone who was so appreciative and that she planned to give us her children’s clothing as her daughters outgrew them.

Had I just took the clothes with an open hand and never sent her a note of gratitude; I would not have received anything again from her. She would probably give the clothes to someone else, someone who would have acted like they cared & appreciated what she was doing for them.

I see this often in my life, and I try to keep this in the back of my mind.

Writing a letter of gratitude is also a great, great thing when you work from home and are trying to build your business. When someone sends you something or does something for you in your business, you should always send them a note of gratitude. It leaves the other person with a positive impression of you and also makes them want to do more for you in the future. Imagine that you are laying bricks for a pathway to your house and each letter is one of those bricks. That pathway will eventually lead you to many great things. Those positive connections will be wonderful for references or networking in your home business, or serve you well when you return to the workplace.

Have you ever received a letter that you never forgot? Do you still write letters to people in your life?

I hope you can check out this book! Not only is it a beautiful book for your coffee table, it is also a great guide to pulling off a letter of thankfulness or any other type of letter you can imagine!

Sticky Chicken

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Stop buying those precooked chickens at the store and enjoy this chicken right at home!

Sticky Chicken

1 tbsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 – 3 or 4 lb roasting chicken
1 cup chopped onion (I omit this)

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken and onion. Rub herb mixture inside and outside of chicken. Place in food storage bag; seal bag. Refrigerate overnight. Remove chicken from bag; stuff with onion. Place in crockpot on low 6-8 hours; high 2-4 hours. Chicken juices should run clear and chicken reaches 180*. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Serve with mashed potatoes and corn.