Friday, July 31, 2009

Giveaway Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Living Rooms Direct giveaway ends tomorrow at 9 pm CST. Click here to enter.

Food Friday: Arroz Con Pollo

I love Arroz Con Pollo but not the time it takes to make it. This recipe is a quick version and tastes just as yummy. I have not made this in years due to our son's rice allergy but he has recently outgrown it so this is going to be on our menu very, very soon as it was one of my standby recipes before.


(Chicken with rice)

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup long-grain rice

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 10 oz. can tomatoes with green chilies

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp ground cumin

2 cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breasts

1 cup thawed frozen green peas

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the rice, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring as needed, until the onion is softened and the rice is lightly browned, 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the broth, tomatoes, oregano, and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring once or twice, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and peas; cook, covered, stirring as needed, until the peas are cooked and the chicken is heated through, 3-4 minutes. Fluff the mixture with a fork before serving.

Serves 4

Calories: 348 Fiber: 4 gm Carbs: 48 gm

Fat: 6 gm Chol: 50 mg Calcium: 66 mg

Protein: 25 mg Sodium: 43 mg WW Points: 7

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Giveaway Extended

Since many of you were at BlogHer this past weekend and are just now catching up, I'm extending the giveaway until Saturday, August 1 at 9 pm CST. If you are in the market for living room furniture or cool kitchen accessories, then enter my giveaway for $25 from Living Rooms Direct.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tightwad Tuesday: Giving Back Through Stockpiling

Since money has been tight around here, I've been frustrated that I can't give as much as I would like to some of my favorite charities or causes. I've learned many other ways I can give though besides just writing a check. One of my favorite ways is pick up items when they are free or next to nothing and pass them on to the appropriate place or person.

* Right now, back to school supplies are cheap and sometimes even free. I pick up what I can and give some to a few teachers I know. We also collect supplies at church to give to needy children and I take some of my deals there.

* Multiple times a year there are pleas for food drives. Instead of running out and buying canned goods, I simply go to my pantry and give from my stockpile. Many times I pick up items at the store that I know I will never use but they were free and I know one of the local food pantry's would love to have them. I keep items like this in a certain area of my pantry so I can quickly grab the items as needed.

* Stockpiles can make great just because gifts too. For instance, take band aids, Tylenol, etc and make a very inexpensive first aid kit for someone. Put together tea bags, soup, and crackers for a friend who is sick. Look at what you have and get creative. Just because gifts can really brighten the day of your friends and family and they do not have to cost you much.

I challenge you this week to go through your stockpile and see how you can bless others through it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Neilsen Home Scanner

Over the years, I've had a lot of fun filling out surveys and participating in focus groups. Neilsen offers another great opportunity to participate in something similar. There are a limited number of openings available for Neilsen's Homescan Consumer Panel so hurry over there if you are interested in joining. I signed up awhile back and there were no openings in my area but it is my understanding that they keep your information on file and may contact you when an opening becomes available. This great opportunity involves scanning all of your purchases and earning points towards valuable prizes for participating. I've heard it can be a bit time consuming but the prizes are worth it. If you are part of the panel, feel free to share your experiences.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food Friday: Chocolate Ice Cream

It is summer and in my household, that means homemade ice cream. This is a family recipe that has shown up at every 4th of July get together that I can remember. It is easy, although not every healthy. Feel free to use reduced fat or fat free versions of everything in this recipe as it still tastes delicious.

Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cans Eagle Brand
1 can Hershey Syrup
1 can Milnot
Milk to fill container

Mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl and pour into ice cream container. Fill with milk and turn on the machine. I've made this in several sized containers and it all tastes good but the smaller the container, the more rich the ice cream.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giveaway: Living Rooms Direct

Update: Giveaway has been extended until Saturday, Aug. 1 at 9 pm CST to allow those recovering from BlogHer time to catch up.

Are you in the market for some new accessories for your living room or kitchen? If so, I've got a great giveaway for you. Living Rooms Direct is offering a $25 credit toward the purchase of an item from their site. This would be a great way to accessorize your living room furniture or kitchen with some affordable and modern items. Here are a few of the items I like from the site that can be bought for $25 or less:

This black flower trivet sells for just $9 but adds a lot of fun and style to your kitchen counters.

This piggy bank would make a fun gift for a child and it would help them to learn about saving money.

I love that this small bowl can be used both in the kitchen for serving or as a decorator piece to go along with the living room furniture. This is part of the links collection and it comes in both brown and black.

I don't know about you, but I have way too many generic, clear, boring vases. These blue floral vases would be a nice change of pace at my house.

There are many more great items that can be found at Living Rooms Direct and I encourage you to visit the site to see for yourself. To find these great items pictured above, type in notNeutral in the search box. Another great way to search for items under $25 is to look under the Accents and Acessories link. Click on a category that interests you, scroll to the bottom and use the drop down box to sort from low to high price. Of course, you can always use the credit towards a larger item but I wanted to highlight a few of the great items you can purchase at a very reasonable price.

To enter this giveaway, visit Living Rooms Direct and then come back here and tell me about an item you would possibly use the credit towards. Please pick something I have not featured on this post.

To earn more entries, become a subscriber, tweet about the giveaway, or write a post on your blog about the giveaway.

I will close the giveaway next Wednesday, July 29 at 9 pm CST. The winner will be given 48 hours to respond and then another winner will be chosen if I do not hear from the original winner.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rainy Day Activities

They are calling for rain almost every day this week so I thought it would be appropriate to list some rainy day activities we do around our house.

* We make crayon muffins. This is a great way to use up broken crayons and entertain your child at the same time.

* Computer games can keep my son entertained for hours and most of the ones we play are educational too so I don't mind too much. Some of our favorite sites are Thomas and Friends, Nick Jr, (this has all of the great Noggin shows on it), and Treehouse TV.

* Online videos are great to entertain too. Visit the YouTube for kids Tot Lol for clips of your childs favorite cartoons.

* If all else fails and you don't mind getting messy, let your child play in the rain. Who doesn't love jumping in mud puddles?!

Do you have a favorite activity for a rainy day? If so, please share it in the comments section or leave a link your blog post on the topic.

Best Intentions

Thank you to everyone who has hung in there the past month as this blog has been pretty quiet. I had the best intentions to get back on track last week and life happened instead. It all started with my sink stopping up over the weekend and it taking the entire weekend for my husband and father to get it fixed. I kept asking to call a plumber but the frugalness in both of them kept them from doing it.

The final straw came Friday afternoon when my husband was called away to help with a family emergency (no worries, all is fine now). It just happened to be our 5th anniversary and the only one he has been in town for. We literally saw each other 30 minutes that day. Luckily, things are starting to turn around, so I hope to be more consistent on here. Stay tuned for more posts and even a giveaway in the near future.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Save on Moving with Home Depot

Moving in the near future? If so, sign up with Home Depot to receive 10% off your purchases. We took advantage of this offer last time we moved and it helped us out quite a bit. Moving is always expensive and usually involves more purchases than planned.

Simply click the box below (if you are in a reader, you will have to click on this blog post first) to sign up for this great offer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Friday: Cream Cheese Chicken

Sorry for the absence of Food Friday for the past few weeks. I had planned to schedule several week's worth of posts before the baby arrived but he came early and nothing got done. Thank you all for hanging in there the past few weeks as this blog has been very slow. I'm working on getting into a routine with the family and finding time to keep up the blog.

I picked today's recipe because it is made in the crockpot. It is very hot around here and the oven is the last thing I want going at the end of the day so I use my crockpot quite often.

Cream Cheese Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2T melted butter
1 pkg Italian seasoning mix (dry packet by the salad dressing)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese (full, low and no fat all work welll)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use reduced fat)
cooked rice or pasta

Place chicken in crockpot and pour melted butter over the breasts. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning on top of the chicken (I dont always put the whole packet on depending on the size of my chicken breasts) Cook on low for 6-8 hrs then when chicken is done add cream cheese and soup and cook on high until cheese is melted (cutting cheese into chunks/cubes speeds this along). Serve over rice or pasta.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nursing Moms: Enfamil Offer

Click on the box below to get a free breastfeeding support kit from Enfamil. As you all know, we had a baby a month early. I am breastfeeding but due to some preemie issues, we've had to supplement with formula. They started him on Enfamil in the hospital so this is what we are using. We were able to stop the formula for a week but he didn't gain enough weight so they put him on a high calorie formula 2x a day and our doctor gave us a ton more Enfamil samples to help us out. Kits like the one above are very handy to have for those few times you want to supplement.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Recycling with Thomas

My son loves visiting Thomas and Friends to play games each day. Yesterday I noticed they added a great recycling activity. It is labels for recycling bins that include 4 of the trains. We happen to have 4 trash cans with the same labels so I printed these and my toddler and I have had fun coloring them in. He wants the trains to be an exact match to the real ones so we've been taking out his trains and talking about the detail on them while I color in the images. He picks out the colors but he asked me to do the coloring. It is a great lesson in recycling, details, and colors. I plan on covering the labels with contact paper when we are done and attaching them to the trash cans.

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