Friday, October 31, 2014

DIY Edible Holiday Treats. Happy Halloween!

It's tough to run a business, especially when your husband wants to eat your merchandise!  Luckily, I usually have a few leftovers from projects like the one below he can nibble on =).

A friend of mine works in sales and recently asked me to come up with a campaign for her client drop-offs.  I immediately set to work to figure out some cute drops for customers and prospects. Below is what I came up with!

Witch Hats and Witch Brooms for customers they "witch" would come back to them

Spooky goblin lollipops sitting on cobwebs on candy corn for customers who's printer is "goblin" up toner

Candy corn in a mason jar cup with Halloween bat straws to thank customers for being "spooktacular"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

eBates Rebates. I Heart Online Shopping

It's no secret I hate shopping at the mall.  The crowds, lines, and annoying salespeople make it nearly unbearable.  As a result, I do most of my shopping online, especially during the holidays.

Fortunately, a new website has made it even better to shop online. Ebates pays their customers to shop at all the places I love - Amazon, Forever21, Kohls, and more!  They have cash back deals on nearly every website online, and even have referral deals when you refer friends.  So far this year I've earned several hundred dollars just by logging onto their website before I buy my online items.  It's worth it y'all - be sure to mention I referred you from and we'll both get a free gift card!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Black Leather Vest on Wardrobe Remix Monday

Although my husband made fun of me, I picked up a faux leather vest at TJ Maxx the other day for $29.99.  I thought it was super cute, but I'll admit I was clueless on ways to wear it, so I got to work brainstorming and came up with 7 ways to wear another one, shown below.  As usual, nothing over $50!  Happy Monday and Happy Shopping y'all!

Clockwise from top left:
Blouse $44.99 // Jeans $44.59 // Watch $23.80 // Pumps $15
Blouse $19.90 // Necklace $48 // Leggings $3.80 // Sunglasses $5.90 // Lipstick $16 // Booties $49.95
Vest $50.75 with code SHOP
Skirt $22.92 // Earrings $6 // Blouse $7.99 // Ring $3.80 // Shoes $22.90
Jeans $13.27 // Cami $9 // Booties $34.80 // Clutch $21.60

Clockwise from top left:
Tee $9.99 // Ring $2.80 // Sunglasses $7.80 // Skirt $3.43 // Booties $34.90
Vest $50.75 with code SHOPDress $44.97 (shown with a necklace, is not part of dress) // Necklace $2.99 // Tights $5.80 // Booties $34.90
Crossbody $9.71 (wear it with everything shown here and above) // Tee $9 // Jeans $14.99 // Shoes $22.90 // Sunglasses $5.80

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bargain Hunt: An Unexpected Bargain

A few months ago my husband and I were bored on a Friday nite.  8 months pregnant and about to pop, there wasn't a whole lot of public places I was in the mood to go.  A new chain retailer near our home had recently opened up and we decided to go, more as a joke than anything else.  However, what we ended up finding was a gold mine.

Bargain Hunt is founded by Essex Corporation and has locations across the country.  The store is not well organized, and the cleanliness level leaves something to be desired but I promise you it's worth it.

We have since frequented the store since our original visit and have gotten a number of steals, here are some below:

Petsafe Wireless Fence for dogs.  Originally paid $250 on Amazon, found it a month later at Bargain Hunt for $120
Boba wrap baby carrier. Retails for $37.95 on Amazon and Target, got it at Bargain Hunt for $8.99

My little snugabunny baby carrier.  Retails for $150-$200 at Toys R Us and Amazon, purchased for $72 at Bargain Hunt

And if this doesn't convince you, I saw a Kitchenaid Mixer there the other day for $199!  Now that's a bargain!

The way the pricing works: each item is labeled with a date on it.  The longer the item sits on the shelf, the more it's marked down - up to 90% off.  Don't get me wrong, there is some junk in there, but there are also some great finds so if there's one near you it's worth a visit.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Most Delicious Pasta Ever on What's for Dinner Wednesday

My husband says my cooking is getting better by the meal, woohoo!  From someone who is an amateur chef and major foodie, this is a huge compliment.  Tonite however, he was gone and he didn't get to sample my best recipe yet.  Too bad, because it was delicious!  Below is the recipe of the grilled chicken chipotle pasta, with my own twist:

Original Recipe Here

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 fist size bunch chipotle flavored noodles (I got mine at the Farmer's Market)
1 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS honey
olive oil
2 chopped habanero peppers
1/2 chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Add honey, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper into a mixing bowl.  Whisk until well blended. Cut thawed chicken into 1 inch squares and add them to the bowl, making sure they all get covered by the liquid.
In a large frying pan, add butter and olive oil (I usually just use my eye rather than measure) and heat on high for 1 minute.  Add chicken and honey/lemon mixture.  Cook on medium heat until each side of chicken is golden brown, stirring/turning often.  Once cooked, remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Using same pan, heat olive oil and butter again and add onion and garlic.  Saute about 2 minutes until soft.  Add 1 TBS honey for 1 minute, then add red, yellow and habanero peppers for 1 more minute.
Add frozen peas and stir for 2 more minutes.

While peas are cooking, cook the pasta (mine was 90 seconds since it was fresh), then drain.
Add chicken to pan of veggies.
Add the whipping cream in slowly, mixing well, followed by the parmesan cheese.
Add in pasta and stir until well mixed.  Take off pan and serve.

My finished dish, above.  And of course, no meal is complete without wine - this is a delicious Rose from our local winery, Arrington Vineyards.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tulle Skirt on Wardrobe Remix Monday

Following suit with last week's post, since I did one splurge item in the last WRM, I decided to use it this week.  Such a fun item that is actually very versatile!  Here's 7 ways to wear the tulle skirt featured in last week's WRM with NOTHING over $50 (aside from the skirt)!  Happy Monday and Happy Shopping y'all!
Clockwise from top left:
Sweatshirt $17.80 // Pumps $35.99 // Clutch $25.45 // Bracelet $8.90
Cardigan $29.98 // Lipstick $3 // Necklace $8.80 // Pumps $35
Skirt $153.30
Shirt $35.99 // Necklace $13.80 (sold out online, available in stores) // Clutch $34 // Pumps $45
Sweater $49.95 // Necklace $11.99 // Pumps $32.99
Clockwise from top left:
Bustier $17.90 // Earrings $6 // Watch $23.80 // Clutch $47.70 (with new email sign up) // Flats $17.80
Skirt $153.30
Pumps $15 // Top $11.99 // Purse $22.89 // Lipstick $3
Hat $16.80 (sold out online but available in stores) // Crossbody $22.80 // Jacket $39.80 // Booties $32.80 // Ear cuff $4.90 // Tights $5.80

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kirkland's Tufted Linen Storage Bench: A Fabulous Find

Since I redid my closet, I have been having some trouble accessing my boots and shoes up on the top shelf.  I decided to fix the problem and add some more storage space in one!  I found this fantastic storage bench at Kirkland's for only $135.99.  Plus, they now have an app where you can spin the wheel for a daily coupon - I netted an extra 15% off!  Total expenditure was $115 - a great deal IMO.  Plus I now have a spot to store my winter socks and tights - score!


$135.99 + surprise coupon deal

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mushroom Pork Chops & Squash Casserole on What's for Dinner Wednesday

An easy dinner for two, tonite I am making Sauteed Mushroom Pork Chops and Butternut Squash Gratin since we had tons of that stuff left after my soup the other nite!  I almost always halve recipes since it's just the two of us.  Total cost: under $5 for all ingredients (mushrooms and mushroom soup) since I had most in my fridge/pantry already!

Pork chops - Original recipe here
1/2 onion
2 pork chops
1 pinch garlic powder
1/2 lb mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Season pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Brown the chops in a pan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.  Pour mushroom soup over the chops.  Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Squash Casserole - Original recipe here
2 cups butternut squash, steamed in microwave for 6 minutes with 2 TBSP water, covered
1/2 slice white bread (I cut the crusts off)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 thinly sliced onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup bleu cheese
Pinch dried sage (or 1/4 tsp fresh sage)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place bread in a food processor and pulse until crumbled.  Place in a small bowl and add 2 tsp oil and mix.
Heat 2 tsp oil on medium high heat and add onions.  Cook 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add to bowl of squash, mashing, with salt, pepper and sage.
Spoon into a small glass baking dish.
Sprinkle bleu cheese on top and bake for 16 minutes (for half recipe).
Pull out of oven and add breadcrumbs.  Put back in oven and bake an additional 7 minutes (for half recipe).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Lace Jacket on Wardrobe Remix Monday

Since last week's purchase of this jacket was a bit of a splurge, I decided to use it for this week's wardrobe remix Monday to ensure it got it's worth in wear!  Here are 7 ways to wear it, with only one item over $50!  Happy Monday and Happy Shopping y'all!
Clockwise from top left:
Jeans $7.80 // Crossbody (sold out online, in stores for $24.80) // Necklace $12.80 // Cami $9 // Flats $17.80
Jeans $34.48 // Bracelet $16.95, Bracelet $16.95, Bracelet $16.95 - all B1G1 50 off + look for a coupon code here // Clutch $19.90 // Pumps $20.99
Jacket $74,99
Skirt $29.95 - B1G1 50 off + look for a coupon code here // Blouse $19.80 // Clutch $19.80 // Pumps $29.80
Joggers $17.80 // Tee $9 // Yoga Mat $12.80 // Gym Bag $21.80

Clockwise from top left:
Vest $3.99 // Necklace $14.90 // Leggings $17.80 // Booties $37.90 // Ring $2.80
Jacket $74.99 // Skirt $153.30 (will be on next week's WRM since this is a splurge) // Bow $2.90 // Tights $11.48 with code SAVE50 // Mary Janes $17.99
Ring $5.90 // Booties $29.80 // Cami $14.80 // Leggings $15.80 // Earrings $6.90 // Hat $16.80

Friday, October 10, 2014

Meal Planning: Money Saving Tips

One thing I've been trying to do lately to help save money is to plan my meals ahead of time for the whole week.  I also keep an excel spreadsheet of everything in my pantry with the expiration dates included so I can prioritize what we have and what needs to be used the quickest.  Shopping at Aldi also helps a great deal, as well as using coupon websites before I shop like the Krazy Coupon Lady.  Yesterday for my week of shopping I only spent $35!  Below is an example of the weekly menu I prepare for our family.

There are also tons of resources online to show you how to save money on groceries - below are a couple of examples:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

GoodWill Shopping

Babies grow so quickly, and Hudson is no exception, so I cannot justify spending $25 plus on an outfit he'll probably wear once in his life.  Instead, I shop Goodwill every first Saturday of the month and buy clothes for the season and size he's in currently.  The first Saturday at ours is 50% off everything in the store, so it's a madhouse, but it's worth it!  I get nearly everything for $1!  From onesies to jackets to sweaters and sweater vests, I can get an entire wardrobe for Hudson for under $50.  

Just check out this awesome outfit, totaling $4 ($1 per piece - onesie, cardigan, jeans, shoes)

Here's his closet!  I've even removed anything size >6 months!  A few items came from family, but the rest is from Goodwill, Once Upon a Child, or Consignment from neighbors and friends.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wardrobe Remix Monday - Burgundy/Oxblood Skinny Jeans

A must for any wardrobe, today's item is burgundy skinny jeans.  These are so comfortable and at a great price they are worth the purchase.  The perfect piece to start working in your fall wardrobe items.  As always, only 1 item over $50, but I've used them in multiple WRMs so worth the price tag.  Happy Monday and happy shopping y'all!
Clockwise from top left:
Tee $26.66 // Booties $79.20 // Satchel $39.99 & Belt $13.59 (when purchased together + 1 other accessory- also shown below)
Jacket $39.99 // Necklace $6.99 // Top $24.80 // Booties $79.20
Jeans $14.80
Blouse $18.99 // 
Studs (sold out online but available in stores for $3.80) // Blazer $29.99 // Clutch $34 // Pumps $29.80 // Belt $10.39 (when purchased with two items above)Sweater $19.80 // Scarf $9.99 // Boots $45.50 (I have had these in my closet for 2 years and get so many compliments on them)

Clockwise from top left:
Chambray Shirt $39.50 // Clutch $12.80 // Watch $18.80 // Oxfords $24.97
Shirt $22.99 // Necklace $13.90 // Jacket $74.99 (since this is a splurge I'll be using it in next week's WRM) // Tote $48 // Pumps $29.80 //
Jeans $14.80Sweater $19.99 // Scarf (sold out online but in F21 stores for $9.80 or similar here for $10.90 // Booties $79.20 // Crossbody $22.80 // Readers $5.80
Tee $10.80 // Jacket $39.80 // 
Satchel $39.99 (when purchased with 2 other accessories - shown above) // Loafers $19.80

Friday, October 3, 2014

Baby Savings with Target Cartwheel!

I went to Target earlier this week with plans of purchasing some baby wipes that were on sale for $1 for 72 (cheaper than Costco, I verified).  I ended up totally scoring as they had a promotion at my local store for $20 off a purchase of $125!  That, combined with my Cartwheel App got me a ton of awesome deals!  See below to see what I got for $105 (pre-tax).

Diapers - on sale for $24.64 each + additional 5%  off with the app.  3 packs for $70.22.

2 Diaper Genie Refills $4.99 each

Baby lotion $4.29 
Baby wipes on sale for $1.00 x 15 +5% off with cartwheel.  Total $14.25 for 1,080 wipes.

Baby Food - $0.89 to $1.29 each + 5% off Cartwheel.  Purchased $27 worth of food.
I will admit I later figured out the Gerber glass jars are a better deal ($0.82 for 7 oz).

So all of this for $105 since I bought $125 and got an additional $20 off!  Not too shabby!  Happy Friday y'all and come back Monday for WRM with Burgundy Skinny Jeans!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kraft Ceasar Pork Chops Pasta on What's for Dinner Wednesday

My husband has been working a lot of late nites so I have been taking over the cooking lately.  Luckily for y'all I decided to share the yummy and affordable meals I've been making.  Being a busy mom I don't have time to make anything too complex, but so far my cooking has worked out! Tonite's recipe came from my BFF's company, Kraft Foods.  Enjoy!

Recipe - originally found here

1 cup penne pasta (I made a whole box for $0.99 from Aldi and just put the rest in the fridge)
3 pork chops (from Aldi $4.99 for 1.25 lbs)
1/4 cup Ceasar Dressing (had in the fridge)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (had in the fridge)
1 cup spinach leaves ($2.99 from Publix)
1/2 cup halved Cherry Tomatoes ($1.99 from Publix)
2 garlic cloves minced (had in the fridge from a jar - used about 2 tsp)

Cook pasta in a large saucepan as directed (mine said 11 minutes for the entire package)
While cooking, heat skillet for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Mix 2 TBSP dressing and 1/4 cup Parmesan in a bowl and paste onto pork chops, pressing in.  Place chops, cheese side down onto skillet.  Cook 4 minutes and flip, cooking 4 minutes on the other side.  Remove and transfer to plate, covering to keep warm.

Drain pasta and add 2.5 cups cooked pasta to skillet, mixing in the rest of the dressing/Parmesan and spinach.  Cook for about 1 minute, then add the halved cherry tomatoes, cooking for 1 more minute. Remove and serve on the side of the pork chops.

Total cook time was about 20 minute - easy peasy!  The total cost for me (based on serving size of ingredients purchased) was $6.12 for 2 of us.  Baby's not eating just yet but soon.