Thursday, June 30, 2011

Applesauce carrot cake and a trip to the pool

I was reading some blog posts last night and there was one from Sarah at First Comes Love where she shared a recipe from an app she has on her iPhone. I was curious as to what app that was so I commented asking her and she replied and told me it is called “Spark Recipes”. It is an app with easy and healthy recipes. So I downloaded it and I was browsing through the drinks to see if I could find any new smoothies to make. Well, one of them had applesauce in it so I decided to browse for recipes with applesauce in them because I know we have 2 jars of applesauce, both unopened. One of the very first recipes I found was applesauce carrot cake. I looked at the ingredients and I had everything you need for it! I just bought 3 lbs of carrots (3 1 lb bags) last night so I thought this would be a good way to use up some of them. They have a feature on the app where you can view the recipe online and read what other people think about that recipe. I was seeing some of them that said they increased the amount of applesauce to a full cup so I decided to do that. Others also added 1/4 cup of milk because it was too dry. I definitely needed to add the milk because it was way too dry without it. Another big thing was the baking time. The recipe says to bake it at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. I thought this was too long and apparently so did other people. They suggest 45-50 minutes for a 9’’ x 13’’ pan. I put mine in and set the timer for 40 minutes but when I checked it with 10 minutes left it looked done. So the bake time was 30 minutes.
I had two containers of icing but they go with the 2 boxes of cake mix I have. I decided to make some icing with a recipe from Spark Recipes. I typed in icing and I found one called “Tasty Carrot Cake Icing”. It is meant to go with the recipe for “Tasty Carrot Cake”, but I figured it would taste just as good with the recipe I made my carrot cake with. The icing only calls for 3 ingredients,  only 2 of which I had to go buy, so it couldn’t get any easier than that.
So I made the cake and then around 5:30 me and one of my bridesmaids went to the pool!!! We were going to go earlier but she had to work until 4 instead of 2. But going later worked out because instead of the regular price of $8, after 5:30 it only cost $4 to get into the pool!! Before we went to the pool, we stopped at K-mart because I wanted to use the coupon for buy one get one free suntan lotion that came in the Sunday paper. It was about $10 and I had about $10 worth of K-mart rewards points so I just paid less than $1 for 2 bottles of suntan lotion!!!

We had a great time at the pool!! I really hope I got some sun because I am so white!!! I think I may have gotten some sun. It was nice to get to hangout with my bridesmaid because even though we work together, we hardly ever hangout outside of work. We definitely have to do that again sometime soon!!!
We stayed till about 7 and then I came home and made dinner. Nothing too fancy, just a hamburger helper and a rice side. Then my fiancé and I tried a piece of my carrot cake and we both love it!!!
So now I am just going to relax the rest of the night, maybe catch up on reading some blogs. I’ve been pretty good recently on not having a ton of posts to read. I just noticed the other day that I have 248 followers now, so thank you to the new followers!!! My next goal is 300, so when I reach that goal I will do another giveaway!! Have a great night everyone!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Shopping Trip

Guess what my fiancé and I did tonight? We went shopping!!! As I was looking through the ads on Sunday I wasn’t really finding that many good sales that matched up with coupons I had. Plus, we had just gone shopping on Friday so we didn’t really need that much this week. But, I found some things on sale that we could use for the beach so we made a small trip.

First up was Five Below. They have these cute totes for the beach for $5!! While we were there, we noticed these small coolers right beside the totes so we decided to get one of those. We have a bigger cooler that we are going to take some lunchmeat and cheese in but my fiancé thought we needed a smaller cooler to take with us when we go from the hotel to the beach. I also needed more baseball card holders for my coupon binder so I got another pack of 30. Oh, and my fiancé got his first drink of the night, a 7-up.

Our total ended up being $17.16.
We spent about $7 more than I thought we would because I was only planning on getting the tote and baseball card holders.


Next stop…CVS. I was only getting 2 things here: 4 boxes of Nabisco crackers or cookies and a 6 pack of Bounty paper towels. The first thing I did after getting inside was scan my card at the coupon kiosk. I got 3 coupons: 50 cents off 2 dove large bars, $1.00 off Twizzlers, and $1.00 Pringles to go. I had read about the Pringles one online and knew that you could get the Pringles for free since they cost $1.00. So I definitely knew I was getting that. That was the only extra thing I got at CVS, which really didn’t make a difference since it was free.

So the total came out to be $6.22 with a total savings of $12.40!!!


I didn’t realize how small the boxes of Nabisco crackers and cookies were but they are going to be perfect for the beach.

Next up we went to Acmoore. Remember that lamp I was talking about in this post that I found at Goodwill that I want to paint? Well, I needed to get some fabric paint so I can do that. So I got that and some fabric paint brushes. And my fiancé needed a red bandana for airsoft so he got a red one and black one because they were on sale.  I had a coupon for 55% off one item and the total was $10.81.


Our last stop of the night was Giant. After getting our rewards card we proceeded to go up and down every aisle looking for what was on the list. Here is what we got: 10 yogurts, 9 cans of vegetables, 2 loafs of bread, 3 bags of baby carrots, 1 can of shaving cream, 1 bottle of mouthwash, 3 cans of Pringles, 3 tubs of dip, 5 bottles of flavored sparkling water, a 20 oz. soda (I forget what kind), and the newest Rachael Ray magazine. I was only expecting the total of this trip to be around $30 but we got a little more than what was on the list. I had to get mouthwash because when I went to the dentist yesterday he told me I had to start using mouthwash. He told me that the last time I was there and I did use it…but only for a few months. My fiancé found the sparkling water and wanted to get that so we did. And we thought the bread was $1 each but the white bread wasn’t on sale, so it was $1.19, but that’s not that bad.

Our total before savings was $60.31
Our savings was $12.81
And our total after savings was $48.48

I don’t think that’s too bad considering it was only about $18 more than I thought it would have been.


So overall we spent $82.67. We’ll probably skip the store next week unless I find some really good deals because we have a lot of food now. Our pantry is almost overflowing!!! So how do you think I did? Did I get some good deals or what? Leave me comments!!!

You’re Perfect

I just wanted to share with you a brand new song called “You’re Perfect” by Anthony Fedorov. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he came in 4th place on season 4 of American Idol. It’s been 7 years since he’s been on Idol but he is just now coming out with his debut single. I wanted to share it because the lyrics are really good. Here are some of them:

“You’re perfect just the way you are,
you’re everything and more.
If you allow yourself to feel how special you can be,
then you’ll see,
you’re perfect just the way you are.”

The song is so inspirational!!! So go buy it on iTunes!! And tell all your friends!! It really is a great song for everyone!!! Let’s spread the word and let everyone know that we are all perfect just the way we are!!!

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I’m linking up with Jamie at this kind of love for What I’m Loving Wednesday.

I’m LOVING that I’m back to working dayshift today!!! I had to work night shift last night because of my dentist appointment in the morning but I like day shift better. Yeah we are slow in the beginning of the day when I get there, but we have our little lunch rush and happy hour. Happy hour is from 2-4 where all drinks and slushies (not ice cream though) are half price. So we get a little busy then.

I’m LOVING that it’s exactly one week until I see my aunt!! I haven’t seen her since my birthday in January so it will be nice to see her and catch up!!!

I’m LOVING that me and my fiancé will be at the beach next week!!!! I’ve been seeing a lot of people from the blogs I’m following post pictures from the beach and I can’t wait to take my own beach pictures and share them with you!!!

(We aren’t going to a beach with palm trees, but I wish we were!!)

I’m LOVING that I have off work tomorrow!! The one day a week that I really look forward too because it’s my only day off!!! It’s not all bad in the end though because it makes my paycheck awesome!

So what are you loving today?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A room a week (and guest bloggers needed)

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to start a new project called “A room a week”. I got the idea from Natalie at Extraordinary Love. Each week I’m going to go through a different room in my house and go through every item within it. Then I’m going to decide what things I need and don’t need. This is going to be a lot better than just going through each room and putting things in places because when I do that, I don’t get rid of things I don’t need. So here is my schedule of which room I’m going to do when. It won’t take me that many weeks because the place is really small.

Week 1: Dining room- particularly the area right behind the table and in front of the couch. I know there are a ton of things that I need to get rid of in this area!

Week 2: Bathroom- We are going to be at the beach for the last part of this week so I figure the bathroom would be great for this week because there isn’t that much stuff in it.

Week 3: Kitchen- There may not be that much stuff to get rid of in the kitchen, but it doesn’t hurt to look and see if there is or not.

Week 4: Desk area- My fiancé will probably doing most of this since the stuff on the desk is mostly his.

Week 5: Living room

Week 6: Bedroom- This room is going to take the longest, so I’m saving it for last. It is such a mess up there and I’m sure there is a ton of stuff to get rid of!!!

Alright, I’ve made a plan for myself now hopefully I can stick to it! Looking at  my schedule, it will take me 6 weeks so I should be done after the first week in August. I will do a weekly post every Sunday to let you know how I did that previous week, complete with before and after pictures! Let me know what you think of this idea. Also, let me know if you decide to do this for your house!

Also, one more thing…I’ve decided I would like to get 3 guest bloggers for next week when me and my fiancé are away at the beach. If you are interested, just email me at and let me know what you would like to write about!

No cavities!!

I just got back from the dentist and I am cavity free!!! I don’t really hate the dentist, but it isn’t one of my favorite things to do. First of all, I don’t have any insurance so it’s $108 every other time I go. The other times I go it costs $175 because they take x-rays. I skipped the x-rays this time to save money but my dentist told me I should definitely get them done the next time. So I guess when I go in January, I’m just gonna have to deal with paying $175. I can’t wait till I start teaching so I can have health and dental insurance!! The other thing I don’t like about the dentist is all the poking and prodding they do at your teeth. At one point she was measuring my gums by saying numbers to someone else who would write them down. After she was done with a row she would say “No bleeding”, but it definitely felt like my gums were bleeding.

Now onto what I like about the dentist. I like how the dental hygienist makes conversation with you. She was asking how my summer was going and if I had any plans. I said that I was going to the beach with my fiancé. Then she started asking about the wedding. Talking about my wedding is something that I love to do!!!

So that’s about it, that was my excitement for the day. Now I’m just going to do some cleaning up and catching up on the awesome blogs I follow. Another thing I want to get started on is a project called “A room a week”. I found it on the blog Extraordinary Love written by Natalie. She actually got the idea from a friend who heard about it in a book or article, Natalie can’t remember. The whole idea is that each week you go through a different room in your house and go through every single item in that room. As you go through everything, decide what you need and don’t need. For the things you don’t need, get rid of them somehow whether you throw them away or donate them. So I’m going to start making myself a schedule for which room I’m going to do each week and then hopefully I will be done by the end of the summer. Make sure you stay tuned for that post! Have a great Tuesday everyone!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Congrats to another winner!!!

The giveaway for Crunchy N Yummy just ended and I would like to congratulate Shell!! Her entry number 60 was the winning entry selected by using Rafflecopter. Thank you to everyone who entered!! I still have one current giveaway opened for My Lip Stuff. What girl doesn’t love lip gloss? I know I love it!!! So head on over there and enter for your chance to win!!! Have a great Monday everyone!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Recap

Another weekend has come to an end. Friday night I did my first shopping as an extreme couponing! If you missed that post, be sure to check it out here. My fiancé and I also stopped by the Goodwill near us because it had just reopened. It got burned down in a fire back in 2009 and was relocated somewhere else temporarily. Well, Friday was the new grand opening at it’s original location. I wanted to stop by and look for a lamp because I need one to put beside our bed so I can read before bed. I found one but I think I’m going to make it my next DIY project. It’s mostly purple with some green on it but I’m not a fan of the green. So I’m going to get some fabric paint sometime and then fix that up.

On Saturday I worked from 8-4. It was an okay day at work, slow in the morning but busier around lunch time. Then me, my fiancé, and step-mom went to see Cars 2!! I thought the movie was awesome!! It was definitely action-packed from the very beginning!! There were also a ton of previews for movies that I want to see. This Christmas, there will be another Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. The Smurfs Movie comes out sometime this summer. And I really want to see Winnie the Pooh!!

Today, I worked from 8-4 yet again. Then I went right from work to the Dollar Tree to get my 2 newspapers. I also had to go to the grocery store to get an apple and some onions for dinner. I made a recipe from Betty Crocker called Impossibly Easy Ham and Cheddar Pie. It had an apple in it but you could hardly taste it. It was really good!!! We had my dad and step-mom up for dinner and they liked it as well. I made a strawberry cake with chocolate icing for dessert. Usually when I make a cake, I wait a few hours or even overnight before I put the icing on because otherwise I ruin the cake. My step-mom said that you can put the icing on the cake an hour and a half after it comes out of the oven. My fiance really wanted a piece of the cake so he tried to cool it off by holding it in front of the AC.

Well, that was my weekend. Now I have to do some dishes and then organize my coupons and look at the ads! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My CVS and Weis trip!!

I just have to say that extreme couponing is awesome!!!! We were on our way home from the store last night and I felt so proud of myself for the savings that we got!!! We decided to skip Giant because it’s a little farther away than CVS and Weis and I didn’t really have a big list for there. So first up we went to CVS. We got everything on my list except for 3 things. The coupon I had for Caress body wash expired a few days ago and I didn’t realize it. We were going to get the Schick hydro 5 since it was buy one get one free but then decided my fiancé didn’t need it and the coupon was only for a dollar off and didn’t really make it that cheap. And the Gain dish liquid for 97 cents was sold out. We are going to start going shopping on Monday night’s instead of Friday so that the items we want don’t run out. I said before going that the cost was going to be around $14. So let’s see how I did.

Here is what we got:

4 boxes of cereal, 3 boxes of poptarts, and 1 tube of toothpaste


The total without coupons would have been: $29.86

We saved: $14.37

Our total with coupons was: $15.49

We also got $2.00 extra bucks for buying the toothpaste. So already we have $2.00 off our next purchase!!

The best deal we got at CVS was definitely the cereal!! It was $6 for 4 boxes!!

When we left CVS I was very proud of my savings. But like I told my fiance, that was just a warm-up. We were going to save a lot more at Weis!!!

So at Weis we got everything on our list, and then some. But I still think we got a great deal!!! I estimated that the cost would be around $40, but I knew it was going to be more since we got a few extra things.

We got:

3 jars of Ragu pasta, 2 packages of Perdue chicken nuggets, 10 yogurts, 10 gatorade, 1 package of baby carrots, 2 packages of hot dogs, 6 hamburger helpers, 4 suddenly salads, 4 boxes of pizza rolls, 1 box of cake mix, 1 box of frosting, a sandwich container, 1 bag of bagels


We saved: $30.39 (only $8.94 of that was from coupons, the rest was from the store card)

Our total without coupons and savings: $97.22

We saved: $39.33

Our total with savings: $57.89

We also got a store coupon or $5.00 off our next shopping trip!!

I think the best deal we got at Weis was the 6 boxes of Hamburger Helper for only $4!!!

So overall, I think our first shopping trip using coupons went very well!! I can’t wait to get tomorrow’s Sunday paper (2 of them actually) and get more coupons!!! Then I’m gonna look through the ads and plan my next trip. I don’t know if we will go every week though. Maybe only if we need stuff or if we can get stuff for really cheap. Does anyone else coupon? If so, I want to know how often you go grocery shopping. Thanks for reading and be sure to stay tuned for more of my shopping adventures!! Have a great Saturday night everyone!! I’m off to see Cars 2!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My new coupon binder!

I am on my way to becoming an extreme couponer!!! Okay, so I probably won’t be appearing on the show anytime soon because there is no way I’m going to be able to come close to saving as much as they do. But I’m still going to attempt to save as much money as I can.

So now I want to share how my couponing has evolved within the past week.

First I just had my coupons in this file folder I got at the Dollar Tree. They weren’t organized or anything so I knew I had to do something about that.


That is when I decided to categorize my coupons. One of my fiancé's co-workers told him about the site The Krazy Coupon Lady so I’ve been using that site to get some tips. She has a PDF file for a coupon binder that has listed all the sections you will need to make your own coupon binder. So I organized my coupons into a bunch of categories and paper clipped them together. I thought that this would work, but then decided that I need an actual binder to put my coupons in.


So, here is what I came up with:


I got a binder from Walmart and some baseball card holders from Five Below. Then I typed up my own section dividers, because it used up less ink that way.

 100_2200 100_2201

I am all set for my first shopping trip as an extreme couponer!!!  I just have to wait for my fiancé to get home from work and then we are off to CVS, Giant, and Weis!!! Usually when we go to the grocery store we end up spending over $100 every 2 weeks. It has been a little more than 2 weeks since our last trip though. But we don’t need too much because we have the basics (milk, eggs, bread, meat). I went through the ads last Sunday and wrote down what I’m getting along with what coupons I have for each item and how much it’s going to be. I totaled up what I think we’re going to spend at each store. The estimated cost that I think it’s going to be for all 3 stores is $70. I will let you all know what the actual total is sometime later this weekend!! In the meantime, go check out my current giveaways. Have a great Friday night everyone!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My class is finally over!!!!

My class ended tonight and I am pleased to say that my unofficial grade is an 86%!!! I say unofficial because grades won’t be posted for a few weeks. But with my calculations, it comes out to an 86%!!!! That puts me at a B which makes me happy!!! Now I don’t know what I’m going to do on Tuesday and Thursday nights. It’s going to be so weird on Tuesday when I don’t have to leave at 4:00 to go to class. Maybe I can use that time to clean up the house a little bit, do dishes, blog…oh the possibilities are endless!!!

On my way home from class I stopped at Acmoore. I wanted to get some more supplies for my Etsy shop,  Nicole's Creations. I also bought more paint so now I have all of the basic colors. Go check out what I’ve got and leave me any suggestions on anything you’d like to see me attempt to make.

Oh, bought some stuff to make a coupon binder so I’m going to finish making that and then I will post about that tomorrow!! Have a great rest of your night everyone!!!

My Lip Stuff Review & Giveaway (Ends 7/10)

If you’d ask me what beauty products I have the most of, I would say lip gloss!! I am a sucker for any kind of lip gloss!!! I have a big tub full of it that will probably last me the rest of my life (and then some)!! I recently received 3 lip balms from My Lip Stuff: eggnog cheesecake, huckleberry parfait, and hot cocoa. What is incredible about this company is that they have over 500 flavors of natural lip balm! One tube of lip gloss costs $2.50 but you can get a pack of 6 for only $13. That’s about $2.17 per lip gloss so you save a little bit there. You can also personalize either the labels or the flavor.
“My Lip Stuff's products are NEVER tested on animals & contain natural (from the earth) ingredients that are skin loving. Our products do NOT contain any harsh ingredients- and NEVER contain petroleum or mineral oil! We also do what we can by using recycled (and recyclable) materials whenever possible, and even using "green power" (power from renewable resources such as wind, water, or landfill gases-instead of oil). We also Drive a Hybrid, and use only fluorescent lighting (no incandescent bulbs here!).
In the end, We strive to create a natural product made from only the highest quality ingredients, with the least amount of impact on the environment and its inhabitants, for the lowest possible price. "
I use the huckleberry parfait lip gloss at work all the time! And even when I’m not working I use it. I find that having lip gloss on causes me from biting my lips, which is a bad habit I have.
I also found on their site that they have DIY kits where you can make your own lip gloss!! I definitely want to look into getting one of those sometime! They would be a great Christmas present for some of my cousins! The cheapest one they have is a mini lip balm kit for only $18.
Where can you buy My Lip Stuff?
Online Store
How can you win My Lip Stuff?
One lucky winner will receive a random 6 pack of lip balms ($13 value).

 Here’s how to win!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ham and corn casserole

I was looking through my freezer trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight. There is a ton of ground beef in there but I always use ground beef to make things so I wanted to make something different. Then I found a slice of ham. So I used my Betty Crocker app on my iPod touch to find something to make with ham. I came across this recipe: Ham and Corn Casserole. It calls for bisquick, chopped cooked ham, shredded cheddar cheese, butter or margarine, 4 green onions, 3 eggs, 1 can of cream-style corn, and 1 can of whole kernel corn with red and green peppers. The only things I don’t have are the onions and the can of whole kernel corn with red and green peppers. So here is the recipe with my little modifications that I made to it.

2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 can (14.75 oz) cream-style corn
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 11x7-inch (2 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, mix ingredients. Pour into baking dish.

3. Bake 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Cut into squares.

So I set the oven to 350, (actually I didn’t have to change it because I had just got done baking a cake at the same temperature), and then mixed everything together. The slice of ham I had was a one pound slice and I ended up using half of it. I’m going to refreeze the other half and find something else to make with it sometime. I’ll be sure to share that recipe with you!

Before baking:


After baking:


Me and my fiancé loved it!! Here is the cake I mentioned that I made earlier, along with strawberry smoothies that I made for me and my fiancé.


Usually when I put icing on a cake, I end up tearing up the cake but this time I didn’t! I’m so proud of myself! And yes, the smoothie on the right (which is mine) is in a Disney princess cup! I got that at Disney Princesses On Ice when me and my fiancé went for our 1st year anniversary in April 2010!!

Well, time for me to continue studying for my final tomorrow!! I can’t wait to take it and to get my paper back!! Leave me any ham recipe ideas if you have any!

What I’m Loving Wednesday

Well, it’s Wednesday again. Which means it’s time to link up with Jamie for What I’m Loving Wednesday.

I’m LOVING that tomorrow night is my last night for my summer class!!! As of right now I have a 95% in the class so I’m pretty sure I’m gonna end up with an A in the class, or at least a B+.

I’m LOVING that tomorrow is also my only day off of work! I gotta get wash done and yet again, I have to clean up the place a little bit. I clean it up every time I’m off (which has been Thursday’s recently) but then a few days later, it’s a mess again!!!

I’m LOVING that 2 weeks from today, I’m going to be seeing my aunt that I haven’t seen since January when I went out with her and 2 of my other aunts for my birthday.

She's the 3rd one from the left 
She’s the 3rd one from the left

I’m LOVING the weather!!! It hasn’t been near the 100s like it was a few weeks ago!!

So what are you loving this Wednesday??

And the winner is...

The giveaway for the Make Your Own Kit from Glee Gum has ended and we have a winner!!

Congrats to entry number 30 which was Francine!!

Thank you to everyone who entered! I still have one giveaway currently open for Crunchy N Yummy that ends June 27th. So make sure you go enter that if you haven't already. Also, I'm going to be posting another review and giveaway tomorrow, so make sure you check that out when I post it! Have a great Wednesday everyone!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giveaway ending soon!!!

I just wanted to remind everyone that my giveaway for the Make Your Own Kit from Glee Gum ends on June 22nd at 12:01 AM est. That’s tonight right after midnight so make sure if you haven’t already that you go enter!!!

I’m so excited that tonight is my second to last night of my summer class!!!! All we have to do is finish taking some notes and then we’re doing our review for our final on Thursday!! I can’t believe that a few weeks ago I was so mad that I had to retake the class and now it is almost over!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying the first day of summer!! Leave me comments telling me what you love most about summer! What I love the most about summer is that I don’t have any classes and I get to hang out with my family!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Switched at Birth

Last week’s episode left us wondering who Bay’s real dad is and why Regina doesn’t want to sue the hospital. We get the answer to the first question right away. He left Regina and Daphne right after Daphne was born. I hope we find out why Regina doesn’t want to sue the hospital.

Bay finds out from her dad that they are suing the hospital and she’s not so happy about that. She thinks that they are suing the hospital for the damage they have caused the family and that it means they aren’t grateful for Bay. And I kind of understand what she means. It’s kind of like they think it was a mistake that they had Bay instead of Daphne, their real daughter.

They made up a story that Regina and Daphne are family friends that just reconnected with Kathryn, John, and Bay and are living with them until they relocate. Regina doesn’t like the idea of lying at first but then she agrees to tell that story instead of the real one.

At the very end of the episode, Daphne gave Bay a picture that her real dad took of her real mom, Regina, while she was pregnant with her. Seeing that had to have given her chills because that’s the closest she’s ever seen herself with her mom.

Well, another episode has come to an end. We didn’t really hear from Regina as to why she doesn’t want to sue the hospital but I’m sure that will come up again eventually. Thanks for reading!!!! Let me know what you thought of tonight’s show!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend Recap

Another weekend has come to an end. Here is what I did this weekend:

Friday night my fiancé and I went to Rita’s for the first time this year. I was going to get the new pear flavor, but then just decided to get my usual: Swedish Fish!! The gelati’s are the best!!!! What really sucks is that I have some coupons for Rita’s, but they can’t be used at the one closest to us.


Saturday I made grilled cheese and tomato soup for supper. We didn’t have any milk so I had to make the tomato soup with water and it didn’t turn out as well as it does with milk. I should have just gone to the store real quick to get some milk. Now I know for next time: never make tomato soup with water! I was doing fine with my grilled cheese but then I got impatient and turned the heat up a little bit. I shouldn’t have done that because then I burnt my grilled cheese. Oh well, out of the 4 pieces I made, only 2 of them were burnt. Then after dinner we walked down to my dad and step-mom’s and then went to down to my aunt’s house for game night.

Then today I worked from 8-4. It was alright, slow at times but we had a few little rushes. Then after work I came home and I organized my coupons. Before, I just had my coupons in this:


And they weren’t organized at all. So I decided that I wanted to organize my coupons into categories. My fiancé was talking to someone at his work that coupons and she told him about the site The Krazy Coupon Lady. I remember seeing the lady that runs the site on the TLC show, Extreme Couponing. So I went onto the site, and found a list of different sections for coupons that she puts her coupons in. Here is what my coupons look like now:

A few of my coupon sections:


They are just paper-clipped together with a piece of paper saying what the category is. I’m going so start out by just keeping them clipped together and in my blue folder for now. When I really get into couponing (and this method drives me crazy) then I’ll get a binder and put my coupons in that.

Then my fiancé and I went down to my dad and step-mom’s house for dinner. We had chicken that was coated in bread crumbs and spices. It was really good!!! For dessert was cake with homemade chocolate peanut butter icing!

After that, we needed to get milk and bread. We went to the Dollar Tree first and decided to buy 2 papers so we could get more coupons!! On the way home, I started looking at the ads and I was so excited looking through the ads and going “I have a coupon for that! And that!!And that!!” So now I’m going to clip my coupons, look through the ads, and plan my next grocery trip! Oh, and I’m going to do that while watching the 19 Kids and Counting: First Grandson special on TLC and The Glee Project on Oxygen! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Don’t forget to enter my two giveaways. One of them ends this Wednesday! Have a great evening!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Etsy Shop

I decided a little bit ago that I wanted to try to make and sell something on Etsy. So for the past week, I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to make. I finally came up with something…painted wood pieces. So, I got some supplies and I made two pieces and I have them up for sale in my shop on Etsy, which I named “Nicole’s Creations”. I’m going to allow buyers to fully customize and personalize every piece I sell so that they can add names, dates, initials, etc. I will also have stencils available to choose from and the colors can be completely customized. I’m not sure how this is going to work out but I’m willing to give it a try. If you run an Etsy shop and have some advice you could give me, I’d be happy to hear it! Check out my shop and spread the word!!!

Nicole's Creations


Right now these are the only two items to choose from, but as my shop gains some business, I will put up more choices to choose from.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The hotel is booked!!!

We were originally going to be going to the beach for 3 nights. Well, now we are only going for 2 nights. See, I booked the hotel for 3 nights and then I got a call from the site that I booked it from saying that the hotel is already booked on the 3rd night. Apparently they got booked on the 3rd night we wanted to stay there and forgot to put it in their system, so that’s how I was able to book all 3 nights. So, I just had them keep the 2 night stay and we will just be leaving the beach a day sooner than we were going to. Which is alright for me. It’s only about $115 for the 2 nights. I think our goal for the trip is to spend less than $300. I think that is completely possible. We are going to take bread and lunch meat and other food so we won’t have to eat out a lot while we’re there. The hotel doesn’t have a fridge so we will just have to take a cooler and keep it stocked with ice to keep everything cold. So, if you take our $300 budget minus the $115 for the hotel that leaves us with $185. I want to eat at the Rainforest Cafe while we’re there, so I’m going to guess that it’ll be around $40 for that. Now we are down to $145. I’d say we could spend around $30 for the few groceries we’ll be taking with us, which gives us $115 to spend on the boardwalk. We might not even need that much but it’s better to over guess than under guess.

I am so looking forward to this beach trip! It’s been 2 years since my fiancé and I have been to the beach. I’ve been working 6 days a week which is more than I’ve worked in the past summers. I normally get 2 days off work but for some reason this year I’m only getting 1. It will just be so nice to get away and relax for a few days!!! Also, my summer class is over in a week and I’ve been working so hard in it so I deserve a little vacation!

Don’t forget to enter my current giveaways. One of them doesn’t have any entries at the moment so your chances of winning are really good right now!!! Have a great Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An update on my class…

So I realized this morning that I haven’t done an update recently about how my summer class is going. Last week we handed in our first paper, did our group presentations, and took our midterm. I got a 3.75 out of 5 on the paper (which is a big improvement by the way. I only got a 0.5 out of 5 last semester), a 100% on the group presentation, and 97% on the midterm. With those grades and some other grades we’ve had so far, it puts me at a 94%!!! I am so pleased with my grade so far!! And I can’t believe that I only have 2 more weeks left!!! That’s 4 classes!!! I knew that time would fly and it would be over before I knew it! Well, I’m off to class now. If I survived this long, I think I can survive the final 2 weeks! Have a great rest of your Tuesday everyone!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

2nd Episode of “Switched At Birth”

So it’s Monday night and my new TV show is on, “Switched At Birth”. If you’ve never heard of the show, read my post from last week to find out what the show is about.

So Daphne got picked up for school by Emmitt who drives a motorcycle. Her birth parents don’t like that and they want it to stop. It’s a weird situation because you could say that they have no right to say what she does and doesn’t do. But at the same time, she is technically their daughter.

Bay spent time with Regina and they found out they have some common interests. It’s very interesting watching them interact with each other. And the whole concept of the show is really mind boggling still. I’ve just never heard of anything like this before. The only kind of switching babies at birth I’ve ever thought of would be if you had multiples and you forgot who was who and you mixed them up accidently.

I’m really hooked on this show though. It’s more complicated than I thought it would be. Like I said in my first post about the show, they can’t just switch their kids and get on with their lives. It’s going to be complicated for the rest of their lives.

The one thing I don’t understand is why Regina doesn’t want to sue the hospital. If I were in their situation, I would definitely want to sue because that was a huge mistake that they made. My fiance thinks that maybe Regina did the switch on purpose, so I guess that could be why she doesn’t want to sue.

Leave me comments letting me know what you think of the show! Have a great night everyone!!!

I feel bad for her…

I thought I would never say this, but I feel bad for Kate Gosselin. I was watching the newest episode of Kate Plus 8 last week where she was in NYC celebrating her birthday with her friend Jamie. They went out to dinner and then went to a club to go dancing. But you could tell that Kate wasn’t really into it that much. They were sitting at the club and then a guy comes up to Kate and starts talking to her. This is the part that makes me feel bad for her. That guy wasn’t going up to her because he wants to get to know her and date her. All he sees is a famous person and cameras. He just wants to go up to her and talk to her because he knows that he will get his 15 minutes of fame. The same thing happens on the show Teen Mom. Guys are only interested in the single girls on the show because they know that if they are seen with them, they might get on TV. I would really hate to be in their position because you would never know when a person likes you for you and not for who you are. I guess this goes for any celebrity really. So I’m not entirely sure why I feel bad for Kate, but I don’t feel bad for any other celebrity. Does anyone want to help me figure this out? Does it make sense that I feel bad for her and not any other celebrity? Leave me comments and let me know what you think.

Crunchy N Yummy Review & Giveaway (Ends 6/27)

Crunchy N Yummy™ is a healthy natural snack, made from ripe fresh fruit at the peak of sweet juicy taste. Crunchy N Yummy™ freeze-dried fruits taste great,  contain many natural vitamins, and are the perfect daily serving of flavor and nutrition.
I was recently given the chance to tryout Crunchy N Yummy snacks. Besides regular fruit the only other kind I ever had was dried. Crunchy N Yummy is freeze-dried so it’s a little different than just dried fruit. I just didn’t know how much different it would be. Crunchy N Yummy comes in 5 different flavor: mango, pineapple, papaya, banana, and strawberry. Out of them all, my favorite is a tie between banana and mango. The texture of them is nice and so is the flavor. It is definitely different from anything I’ve ever tried before. I think it is a perfect snack and is definitely healthier for you than potato chips or pretzels. My fiancé and I are going to the beach next month so I think we’ll take some Crunchy N Yummy with us. It would be a perfect snack for the beach! They are made from 100% natural fruit and don’t contain any preservatives, salt, sweeteners, or gluten.

Where can you buy them? Check out this link to find out where you can find Crunchy N Yummy. 
And now for the giveaway…one lucky winner will get a package with 5 flavors of Crunchy N Yummy: 1 banana, 1 mango, 1 pineapple, 1 papaya, and 1 strawberry

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I went to see ‘Bridesmaids’ with my bridesmaids!!

Actually, I should change the title to “I went to see ‘Bridesmaids’ with one of my bridesmaids”, because I only went with one. I was supposed to be going with all of them, but the one was at the beach and the other had a headache. But oh well, I still went to see it with one of them and we had a great time! First she came over to my place and we watched a few episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress”. Then I put in a VCR tape that I got from Burger King many, many years ago…a Backstreet Boys video!!! It’s just a 45 minute video that shows some live performances from BSB and shows some behind the scenes stuff. I figured we would watch a little bit of it to get us ready for the NKOTBSB  concert in July!!!!

So, besides that and work, that was my weekend. We had my dad and step-mom over for dinner.

I attempted to make a Rachael Ray recipe. It’s called baked shells casserole. Here is the picture from the site:

The only thing I didn’t have (besides some spices) was the medium or large shell pasta. I used rotelle pasta instead which didn’t really make a difference because it’s about the same size. Next time I make this recipe, I would definitely make some changes. Instead of making the sauce with 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, and some spices, I think I’ll just use store bought sauce. And instead of 2 boxes of spinach, I’ll use just one and then put in a pound of ground beef. That suggestion was thanks to my step-mom, so I’ll give her the credit for that!

That’s about all for now. Leave me comments :) Have a great rest of your day/night everyone!!!

We have another winner!!!

My second giveaway ended last night so it is time to announce the winner!!!

Winner2Entry number 22 was…


Congrats, Julie!! And thank you to everyone who entered!!! I still have another giveaway open and I will be posting another giveaway within the next 24 hours so make sure to watch out for that!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest Post: Is Reality TV Good or Bad For Society?

My Featured Blog of the Week on Nicole’s Random Blog hop, Cadence from Less Than Reality, has written a piece about reality TV that I would like to share with you. Thank you Cadence for being my first guest post!! And readers, I hope you enjoy!

Is Reality TV Good or Bad For Society?

Whether you consider reality television to be a good thing or a bad thing, one thing is for sure: it’s affected most of our lives in one way or another. Whether we cringe as we watch someone make a bad decision on The Bachelor or laugh when someone points out that a reality show was filmed right near their home, reality TV has had an impact on many of our lives.

Reality television has become such a prevalent topic in society that it not only dominates television and the media, but it’s found its way into academia. In fact, a question asking students whether reality television benefits us or is harmful appeared on the SAT exam.

So, what is the answer to that question? There’s an obvious response, in my opinion: reality television is good for society…and bad…and it can get pretty ugly.

The good:

Reality television can be educational, but in a fun way. For example, HGTV shows like House Hunters and Holmes on Homes are fun to watch, but also teach us lessons about purchasing property, hiring good contractors and the value of a dollar in different geographic areas. If someone sat you down with a textbook about hiring a contractor, would you be interested? Probably not. But is it fun to watch Mike Holmes fix up someone’s mess and give them something beautiful at the end? Absolutely.

Reality TV also creates a positive outlet for those with talent. For example, American Idol made it possible for talented singers without connections to the music scene to prove their skill. While some people have criticized this show and others for portraying glorified karaoke, the show brings so much joy to participants and viewers alike that it’s easy to justify its existence. Plus, American Idol and other contest-type shows create excellent opportunities for family time. I’ve heard many stories of whole families joining together to see who’s going to stay on American Idol for another week.

Some reality shows, like The Locator and Downsized, send positive messages. While the shows are clearly manipulated for the cameras, it is heartwarming to watch family members reunite on The Locator, and to watch the family on Downsized interact. I’m not going to say that Downsized doesn’t frustrate me with its clearly fake solutions to everyday problems – because it does – but the message of the show is clear: you can recover from losing cash without your family falling apart, and you can build your way back up. Additionally, the show Undercover Boss creates an outlet for a company to improve its employee relations while sharing its corporate values with the world. These are all positive communications.

The bad:

Reality TV creates an unrealistic view of reality. For example, take the shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. I loved these shows when they first began. It was interesting to see Maci, Farrah, Catelynn and Amber on season one of both programs. I supported these shows because the girls were real: they didn’t know how they’d be portrayed. Because of this, we got a good view into the struggles in their everyday lives. We connected with them. We wanted them to succeed. Then, the problem began. MTV saw that ratings were high, so they kept pumping out seasons of 16 and Pregnant and created a second set of Teen Mom girls. Rumors swirled that girls were getting pregnant on purpose to be on 16 and Pregnant, and that the show made it look like parenting isn’t that hard. MTV contends that they show an accurate portrayal, but let’s be real here: MTV won’t show us a desperate mom with no hope at all, because it would be too depressing to watch. MTV shows us girls who struggle, but not girls who are so down on their luck that they can barely survive.

The ugly:

Reality television rewards people for being messy. For example, Danielle Staub, who horrified castmates and viewers on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, was rewarded with multiple television opportunities after she was kicked off RHONJ. For her bad behavior, she was rewarded with fame. The same goes for Snooki and the others on Jersey Shore. The housemates acted inappropriately and were rewarded with fame and fortune. What kind of message is this sending to America’s youth? Act like a fool on reality television and you’ll never need to get a real job? Be the most outgoing, ridiculous character on a reality show and you’ll be rewarded for your behavior? This is not okay!

Reality television thrusts people into the spotlight. This can take a normal, well-adjusted person and turn him or her into someone who lives their life just to stay famous. (You don’t think all of the sex tapes and videos of outrageous behavior that got out were accidents, do you?) In terms of another issue, reality television-based fame can ruin people’s lives. Take the Brown family from Sister Wives, for example. The media frenzy caused by their reality show forced them to have to leave their home and move to Las Vegas. I’m not saying that being featured on a reality show was a brilliant idea for the family’s stability, but their strong, loving family seems to have done a lot for the public perception of polygamists. For their attempt at improving relations with their culture, they were slapped with an investigation by the state, and one of the Sister Wives was fired from her job.

In conclusion, like anything else, reality television is both good and bad for society. I’ll compare it to the existence of painkillers: if reality television is used responsibly, in moderation and without causing an addiction, then sure, go ahead and take it in when you need it.


So, what do you think? Leave me comments letting me know what you think about reality TV.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Switched at Birth- Premiere episode

So as soon as I saw the preview for this show, I knew I had to watch it. It’s called “Switched at Birth”. There’s a girl named Bay. In school, they were testing their blood type and she found out that hers was AB. Her dad said that was impossible because his was O and her mom’s was A. They got genetic testing done and they believe that there was a mix-up at the hospital when Bay was a baby. Daphne is the other girl on the show, whom we discover is deaf. This has me wondering how often this actually happens, babies getting switched at the hospital. I probably doesn’t happen that often nowadays.

So now they are talking about the names and why they were picked. That makes me wonder again, does that mean that their names are going to change? Is Bay really Daphne and Daphne really Bay? I have definitely never seen a show like this before and I’ve never thought about all these things before, it’s kind of interesting.

Another thing…if the girls weren’t switched at birth they would be two completely different people. It has got to be a tough situation. They can’t just live with their new parents and forget the ones they grew up with.

So Daphne’s biological parents want her to go to the school that Bay goes to. She goes to take a tour of the school and wanders on her own for a little bit. She then runs into Liam, which is Bay’s boyfriend. I’m thinking that if Daphne does go to that school, something will happen between her and Liam and then Bay won’t be too happy about it.

So, by the end of the show, we find out that Daphne and Regina (Bay’s biological mom) were going to be moving to Toledo. But instead, Bay suggests that they move into their guest house. So, that is what they do.

Well, that’s it for the first episode. I thought it was pretty good. It definitely got me wondering what it would be like to be in that situation. It would be really weird!!! Leave me comments and let me know what you thought if you watched the show. Or, if you didn’t watch it, just let me know what you think based on my comments

Signed, sealed, and almost delivered…

  I’m talking about the contract for my fiancé and I’s wedding ceremony and reception venue. We just got done reviewing the contract and I will be sending it tomorrow, along with the deposit. This is the first major decision we have made about our wedding so I’m so excited!!! It felt awesome writing out that check!!! We have a little less than 2 years till our wedding and it seems like there should be a ton of things to do, but for now I can’t really think of anything else to do. I guess all we can do is keep saving money for it and find ideas for what we want for everything. I have a bunch of wedding magazines that I plan on looking through more closely and then I’m going to tear out the pages with things I like and file them in the right section of my wedding binder.

I’m going to watch a new show on ABC Family tonight. It actually premiered on Monday, but I didn’t know it was on, so I missed the first 10 minutes. I saw a preview for the show while I was watching the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night and saw a commercial for it but it didn’t say when it started. The show is called “Switched at Birth”. The title really says it all: two babies were switched in the hospital at birth. And now it’s about 16 years later (I don’t know for sure so don’t quote me on that) and they finally realize the mistake and the girls get to meet their real parents. I didn’t think that by missing 10 minutes I would be missing much, but I thought wrong. I had to change the channel and watch something else because I was so confused! Luckily they are showing it at 10:00 tonight, so I will watch it then!! I’ll be sure to write what I think about it and post that later! Have a great night everyone!!

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I haven’t linked up with What I’m Loving Wednesday in a while so I thought I’d link up this week. I was thinking about it yesterday at work and what I would write, so here goes…

I’m LOVING that the AC in my car got fixed on Monday…and it only cost me $100!!!! Last August, I got it fixed because it wasn’t blowing out cold air and I paid $225. Well, I just noticed that it hasn’t been blowing out cold air again, so I made an appointment to get it checked out. Here, it was just all out of freon. Which I don’t understand because this has  never happened to me before. But oh well, I don’t care. It’s fixed now and it didn’t cost me that much!!!

I’m LOVING that after tomorrow, I only have 2 more weeks of my summer class left!!! My grade is pretty good so far so let’s hope I can keep it up!!!

I’m LOVING that I start work at 11 today instead of 9 because it’s giving me time to catch up on some blogs!!

I’m LOVING that tomorrow is Thursday because it’s my only day off from work this week!!!! I’m using the extra time to clean up the place and study for my midterm tomorrow night.

What are you loving this Wednesday?? Leave me some comments! And have a great Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We have our first winner!!!!

My very first giveaway for the Cream Perfume Company ended last night and I am very excited to announce the winner!!!

Winner Entry number 4 was…

Winning Entry

Congrats to Lisa!!!! You have 48 hours to respond to my email. And thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!!! I still have 2 giveaways open at the moment and more are to come so be sure to check out the giveaway page. Have a great Tuesday everyone!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Glee Gum Make Your Own Gummies Kit Review & Giveaway (Ends 6/22)

I am really excited about this giveaway because I get to try out a new way of running giveaways. It's using a site called Rafflecopter. What is Rafflecopter you may ask? It is an application that will help people create, run, and organize giveaways on their blogs. This saves a lot of time when managing giveaways and also makes it a lot easier for people to enter giveaways. I haven't even used it to run a giveaway but I love it already!! If you run giveaways on your blog, you're gonna want to check out their site.

Who said making your own gummies is just for kids? I love eating anything gummy and I love making things so why not put the two together? Glee Gum has three different “Make Your Own” kits: gummies, chocolate, and chewing gum. If you can't tell by their name, gum is what they are known for because Glee Gum is the only gum made in North America that is made the old-fashioned way, with chicle. Chicle is a natural tress sap harvested from rainforests of Central America. It is all-natural, gluten-free and has no artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners, or preservatives. There was a time that all chewing gum was made with chicle, but now most gum is made of entirely synthetic ingredients. Glee Gum uses chicle because it is eco-friendly and even the packaging is “green” because it is made from biodegradable, recycled cardboard.
So, onto my review of the Make Your Own Gummies Kit. It provides easy-to-follow instructions that anyone aged 8 and up could understand. I’ll take you through the step-by-step with pictures of each step.

1. Soak- First you place the dried seaweed in a bowl of water to soak. There’s an interesting story of what the seaweed is for that you can read if you get the kit.
2. Choose your shapes- There aren’t any plastic molds with the kit because Glee Gum wants you to make your candies into any shape you like. Just find some household objects that you’d like to use to make some molds. It suggests small and shallow objects with minimal detail, such as refrigerator magnet numbers and letters. You could even use your fingers or your whole hand. Just make sure you wash and dry all of the figures before you start.
Here is what I used. I also just used my fingers to make impressions.
3. Make imprints- Pour the molding starch onto a dinner plate and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Then press your objects into the molding starch and lift then out carefully. I just took my fingers and made small holes.
4. Mix- In a small bowl, mix the powdered seaweed with 1/2 cup of water and stir. Remove the dried seaweed from the bowl of water that it was soaking in and add it to the mixture.
5. Heat- I used the microwave, so I put it in for 2 minutes at high power. It says to heat it until it foams up.
6. Remove- When you take it out of the microwave, remove the big piece of seaweed with a fork.

7. Stir- Stir in the flavored, colored sugar packet into the mixture. Then put it back in the microwave for another minute or until it foams again.
8. Mold- Pour the mixture into the impressions you made them put them into the fridge for 10 minutes
9- Coat- Remove the gummies from the molding starch and rub them with a damp cloth to remove extra starch. Then put them in a bag with the sour mix and shake it so the gummies get coated. It’s kind of like shake and bake.
10. Repeat- You will have extra gummy mixture, so smooth out the molding starch, make new impressions, heat up the mixture until it foams again, and pour.

11- Eat- Now you get to eat your delicious gummies!!

Like I said before, this kit isn’t just for kids. But I’m sure that any kid would have a great time with it!!

Click here to find out where you can buy Glee Gum’s Make Your Own Candy Kits. Each kit is only $13.

And now for the giveaway…one lucky winner will receive 1 kit of their choice. The winner will choose from: Make Your Own Chocolate, Make Your Own Chewing Gum, or Make Your Own Gummies.