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Monday, August 29, 2011

Mailbox Monday: New Freebies!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prepping for School Freezer Style

"What's for dinner?"
The dreaded question.

Last year I participated in a freezer meal swap group and I loved it! There were eight of us in the group. We would decide on meals ahead of time, then go home and make one recipe x8 and put them in freezer bags. The next month we would swap meals and go home with 8 different meals for the month. That is two meals a week, and I really enjoyed the freedom of not having to think about what was for dinner. If I knew we were going to have a busy day, I would pull a meal out of the freezer either the night before or in the morning, then bake it and add a side. Voila! Dinner is served!

I won't be in a freezer swap group this year, so for the past few weeks I have been preparing for the school year by stocking my freezer little by little. On days when I have had a little more motivation, I looked around my pantry to see what I could make into a freezer meal. Other days I purposefully made a double batch of dinner in order to freeze one for later.

Some weeks chicken was on sale so I made some for dinner and then made up several different freezer chicken meals, either cooked or raw with a marinade. Other weeks hamburger was on sale so I froze taco meat and meatloaf. One day I didn't have any meat on hand, but I had noodles, cream cheese, and other ingredients, so I made homemade macaroni and cheese to freeze. Another time we had leftover diced ham, so I made a ham casserole to add to the freezer. Of course I've also made lots of rhubarb berry freezer jam, strawberry freezer jam, and strawberry syrup. Yum!

I love the ingredient search option on Type in a few ingredients you have on hand, and even a few you don't, and see what options you might have on hand to make into a meal!

Some days are whirlwind-like, but knowing I have a good dinner in the freezer ahead of time can save me from asking Ted to stop for some take-out on the way home. It saves money and is more healthy, too!

What kind of freezer meals do you like to make ahead? I have some recipes here you might like to try, but I am always looking for more ideas. Please share! :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Free Steak Dinner at Outback--Hurry!

If you happen to still be up, go here, type in your zip code and fill in your info and you will get a coupon for a free steak dinner at Outback mailed to you! There are 1 million available, but you never know how fast they will go! Limit one per household. Good for a free 6 oz. steak dinner with a side.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Days

Today (8/20) at Office Depot, from 9-11am, teachers (and homeschoolers) get free breakfast and a free tote bag with sample products and coupons! You can also get 20% off your purchases with your Star Teacher Card.

Tomorrow (8/21) at Michaels, teachers can get a free tote bag with valid ID, along with 15% off your purchase. At my store the giveaway is from 11-3, while supplies last. Check your local ad for details. My store also has free painting Make-It Take-It events running at this time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sparkle Farms Bloomers Giveaway

The winner of my Sparkle Farms giveaway was Gwen. Congratulations, Gwen! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

8/13: Free Lotion at Bath & Body Works

Today only, get a free full-size body lotion and cosmetic bag with any signature collection purchase at Bath & Body Works. This offer is good online or in stores, while supplies last.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reminder: Half Price Books Program

Just a reminder to turn in your reading logs if you have done the Half Price Books Reading Program. Turn them in by August 7th to receive your $5 Back-to-School Bucks summer reading reward!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Adventures of Cleaning

A friend in our homeschool group suggested a book club for the book Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider. Much to everyone's surprise, I am not an organized person. Well, I suppose I am organized in my own disorganized way, but my house is not clutter-free. I've been feeling the urge to simplify and declutter for several months now, so I joined the group.

The second half of the book takes you through your house room-by-room, decluttering and cleaning in depth. Yesterday afternoon I tackled cleaning out the fridge. I know, be still your hearts... ;-)

J, my 14-month-old, came up to me saying, "mama" and spitting "pthh, pthh", sticking her tongue out and drooling everywhere (though the drooling isn't new). Then she kind of pulled on her tongue like she was trying to get something off. I realized she had come up behind me and sucked on the African hot sauce bottle! She wasn't crying, though--that girl is tough! Oh, the adventures of cleaning!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sparkle Farms Review and Giveaway

I have 5 girls who love to wear dresses. I've never really understood the point of a "slip" under a dress for little girls (unless the dress is see-through or something) because it doesn't help with modesty, or keeping the underwear covered. The trend of wearing leggings under dresses helps, but what about in the summer when it is hot?

I went on the lookout for modesty shorts or biker shorts or anything that wouldn't be bulky under their dresses, but would keep things "private" when little girls are playing and are not as concerned with keeping their dresses down. I scoured the internet and second-hand stores for biker shorts for girls, but the options I found were usually pretty ugly--like orange or black or wild patterns--nothing that would look nice under a pretty dress.

I first heard about Sparkle Farms Bloomers from my sister-in-law, who had a pair for her daughter. They are just what I was looking for, with a little bit of girly "bling", these 3 sparkle stones on the left leg. Cute!

They fit perfectly, not adding any bulk, and do a great job of keeping underwear private while maintaining comfort. We call them modesty shorts, and remind the girls that if people can see their modesty shorts, that means they are not being modest. Therefore it is hard to get an action picture of them with the bloomers actually showing, but here's my best shot--see them peeking out while G got her shoes on? :-)

Currently the Sparkle Farms Bloomers are available in sizes 3-7 in lilac, pink, and white. A set of 3, along with the two tote bags shown, is $25, or you can buy them individually. I asked Sharry if they would be expanding their sizes since my oldest is 8, and she said they are! In the fall she is adding sizes 7/8 and 10/12 in brown, navy, and black, the "private school" colors.

Sharry is offering 20% off your order of $25 or more with the code MOMFORHIM.

WANT TO WIN A PAIR? You have seven chances to enter! The first one is required because I need to be able to contact you if you win. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, as this will increase your chances of winning. If you are reading this in a reader or in your email, you will have to click here to leave a comment on the post for your entry.

1. Leave a comment with your email. What do you do to encourage modesty? (Feel free to leave your email in a format like myname at gmail dot com to discourage spammers.)

2. Subscribe via email or RSS reader. Leave a separate comment that you are a subscriber. I love my subscribers! If you are new, welcome!

3. Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect. Look for the lovely pictures of others on the right side of my blog, add yours, and then leave a separate comment.

4. Follow me on Twitter (@MomForHim) and tweet this giveaway with a link to this page. Include @MomForHim in your tweet. Then leave a comment! Follow @mysparklefarms for another entry!

5. Post this giveaway on Facebook with a link to this page so your friends can enter too! Then leave a comment saying you did so! While you are there like SparkleFarms on Facebook!

6. Grab my button. Put my button on your blog and leave a comment with your blog's address for another entry! You can find the code to cut and paste on my right sidebar.

7. Blog about this giveaway. Post a link to this giveaway on your blog and leave a comment with the address directly to your blog's entry.

This giveaway will close on Wednesday, August 10th at midnight and I will select one winner using The winner can pick their choice of size in either pink or lilac and the prize will be shipped by Sparkle Farms.

*I received a complimentary pair of Sparkle Farms Bloomers to facilitate my review. Sparkle Farms is offering the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

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