Monday, April 30, 2012

Summer Amazon Gift Card Blowout!




 
Oh yeah! We did it again! This time Acadiana's Thrifty Mom has teamed up with SaleCamel to bring you a super-D-duper giveaway for 3 amazon.com gift cards! Yes, 3 lucky winners will each win a $200 Amazon gift card! Be sure to finish all the entries so you increase your chances of winning! This giveaway runs from April 30 until May 21. This giveaway is sponsored by SaleCamel and hosted by Acadiana's Thrifty Mom and Baby Coupons & Stuff. Enter the simple rafflecopter form below. 
 GOOD LUCK!
This giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only. You must be 18 years old to enter to win. This giveaway is, in no way, affiliated with Facebook.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How to Save Money Writing and Coloring Contest


Saving money is not just about adults using coupons when they go to the grocery. It's way more than that. Just ask the kids! With gas prices rising, food costing more at the grocery and the price of living always getting higher, many families are talking about saving money. Now it's time for the kids to share their knowledge and get a shot at winning some great prizes.

Spring 2012 How to Save Money Writing & Coloring Contest

Coloring Contest
  • For all kids age 3-5 who haven't mastered their writing skills.
  • Download the coloring picture here or here  
  • Create your best colorful masterpiece.
  • Take a picture or have your parents scan it in.
  • Email your picture here

Writing Contest

Theme: Kids must give their best ideas for how they can save money in their real life. We all know that you can use a coupon from newspaper. Be creative. Think outside of the box. How else can you save money?
  • For all Kids age 6-12
  • Entry must be at least 5 full sentences (no more than 250 words)
  • Must be handwritten and legible (not typed!)
  • Once you have it done, take a picture or have your parents scan it in to the computer.
  • Email your picture here.
Contest will run from April 1 - 30, 2012.

ALL Participants will recieve a printable certificate of participation in their parent's email box once the contest is completed.

What will happen to these entries?

Starting in May, each entry will be randomly featured on the participating blogs all over the country. Who knows? Your child may have his entry be read my thousands of people who want to know ways to save money.

Why is this contest so important?

Our kids need to learn now that saving money is not just a necessity; it can also be fun, cool and rewarding. I want our 3 kids to grow up being financially intelligent and responsible. I want them to avoid making the same mistakes that many of us have made.

Teachers: Feel free to use this contest as a writing prompt in your class. We all know how important writing skills are. This is a great opportunity to motivate them and offer them tangible rewards!

Let’s all work together to help our kids learn ways to save money in their real life!

Click here to see all the cool prizes!

Adults can win a prize too!!! We know that the kids can't do this contest without you. Click here to enter!

***Both coloring sheet piggy bank images were drawn by Sheila McCoy just for this contest! Thanks Mrs. Sheila!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peace Pilgrim Book and Booklet's Review and Giveaway



I am sharing the giveaway of the BOOK, "Peace Pilgrim" and the booklet by Peace Pilgrim called, "Steps Toward Inner Peace," with separate winners!  I am sharing the book with one winner and then the three booklets with three separate winners.
Be sure to have done all the MANDATORY items on there and write what the comment question is about and please NO email addresses in the comments.  I don't want you spammed by someone who may come trolling looking for addresses to spam.  You never know who is reading this.  Thanks for understanding.
Peace Pilgrim (July 18, 1908 – July 7, 1981) born Mildred Lisette Norman, was an American pacifist, vegetarian, and peace activist. In 1952, she became the first woman to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one season. Starting on January 1, 1953, in Pasadena, California, she adopted the name "Peace Pilgrim" and walked across the United States for 28 years. A transcript of a 1964 conversation with Peace Pilgrim from a broadcast on KPFK radio in Los Angeles, California, was published as "Steps Toward Inner Peace". She stopped counting miles in that year, having walked more than 40,000 km (25,000 mi) for peace.

Early life

Mildred Norman Ryder was born on a poultry farm in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, in 1908, the oldest of three children. Her mother, Josephine Marie Ranch, was a tailor, and her father, Ernest Norman, a carpenter. Although poor, the family were well-thought-of in a community of German immigrants, whose relatives originally settled the area after escaping Germany in 1855.  In 1933 she eloped with Stanley Ryder and moved to Philadelphia in 1939. They divorced in 1946.

Pilgrimage

Her pilgrimage spanned almost three decades beginning January 1, 1953, in Pasadena, California. The Korean War was in progress. She continued walking for 28 years, spanning the American involvement in the Vietnam War and beyond. Peace Pilgrim was a frequent speaker at churches, universities, and local and national radio and television.
Source
Just go to this link for the Rafflecopter and Comments:  http://doingrandomactsofkindness.blogspot.com/2012/04/peace-pilgrim-book-and-booklets-review.html

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lasagna Cupcakes!

 LASAGNA CUPCAKES 


These are fantastic and I can tell you that once you've made them, you will be hooked!

Lay out all the ingredients that you will need ahead of time. My picture shows the bottom of the tins lined with the first wonton circle wrapper.



 INGREDIENTS:
  •  1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey (we prefer the turkey, less oil)
  • 1 pkg wonton wrappers
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 3 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • (optional) dried parsley

First layer of wonton wrappers, cheeses, meat and marinara sauce.

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Brown beef or turkey and season with salt-free seasoning.


3.  The above is a picture of John (my husband) doing the next step:  Cut wonton wrappers (about 36 of them for a 12-section cupcake tin) into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter (recommended) or the top of a plastic drinking glass.  John used the top of a plastic drinking glass and that worked well too. 

4.  Reserve 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese for the top of your cupcakes.  Start layering your lasagna cupcakes.  Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into  the bottom of each muffin tin.  Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.  Top with a little meat and marinara sauce.  Use 1-2 tsp. or less of all of the ingredients depending on your personal preference.  

5.  Repeat layers ending with marinara sauce.  Top with one final wonton wrapper and the Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.  This is better than ending with sauce on the top which will splatter all over the oven and cupcake tin.  

6. Top with dried parsley.  The picture below shows what your cupcakes should look like when they are ready to go into the oven.


7.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown.  Remove from oven and let cook for 5 minutes.  To remove use a (plastic) knife to loosen the edges and then a large spoon to pop each lasagna out. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Time to recycle and reuse styrofoam!

The above symbol is what many of us are looking for under, on the side of, on the back many of our products today.  Why?  Because we don't want to fill our earth with products that years and years to break down.  For some people this is a tiresome task but that's because they've not established a habit of recycling.  

Here in California we've been recycling for many, many years. This is a of necessity for a number of states and for other states they are just coming into this need.  And in this article we're focusing on that item that seems like it will just never go away...  STYROFOAM.  You can find recycling centers for Styrofoam at Earth911.com.

Here where I live in Southern California, there is "recyclable  styrofoam."  Yes, it's true.  And I have a picture to show you of just two products that are made of styrofoam that are recyclable and one of plastic (that might easily get overlooked) because many people are still not able to recycle many forms of plastic yet because their states don't have the resources at this time.

In the above photo I've outlined and circled the recycle symbol on these products.  One is a plastic container that had cotton candy in it for Easter.  I love love love cotton candy so I had a number of these and told my husband that I would be able to reuse the containers because they are recyclableAnd those egg cartons, well this one is Eggland's Best and is recyclable.

For my reuse of these products (just in case your styrofoam is not recyclable) I am showing the following picture and will describe to you some excellent reuse.

In the cotton candy plastic container I put some rubber stamps (also the small pads fit nicely into another container.) I have bins for crafts but I always know that I'll be adding to my craft projects with items that I need so I save my containers that are sturdy for that use. 

In the egg container I can fill the sections with potting soil and then plant some seeds.  Now mind you, I cannot transfer the entire section right into the earth of my garden because they are not biodegradable in the garden. 

Here are some other articles on the Internet about "reusing" styrofoam and how to recycle it in California!
Maybe you have a blog entry about the reusing of styrofoam and would like to share it?  Which of these ideas is most interesting and do-able for you?

Happy Earth Day every day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day! Recycle Water!

Recycle your water when waiting for cold water and dog water!

I have long been one to promote the recycling of water.  Here's how I have done this in my home and with my husband.  One way is to place a bucket in the shower.  When the water is running before you get into the shower, collect that water in a bucket and then use the water for your dog bowl and for your garden!

Another way to collect water is when you are running water in your sink and waiting for it to heat up.  We put the plant waterer (as seen in the above picture on the right-hand side) and then we use that water for houseplants and container gardens on the porch.  We also use that water for the dog water bowl which we change in three rooms of the house daily.

And the final way that I have to share with you is what you can do with the left-over water from your dog's bowl.  I put that in my bucket and water the garden or into the container gardens.  The flowers and herbs don't know that your dog drank out of that water and it's a great way to save water.

If this has helped you in some way, please use the comment section to share what you learned or add another way to recycle water!   Happy Earth Day!


Photo used with permission.  Click on picture or these words for information on how to start container gardening.

Pambra Review and Giveaway!


I was very interested in trying out Pambra because the product was referred to me from a friend.  Pamela has been super supportive and helpful to me along the way.  She's the creator of the Pambra.  This is my review and product giveaway!  The winner of the giveaway will need to write to me in private giving me her bra size and then I will contact Pamela and she will mail the one package of three bra liners to the winner!


I like to walk the one mile of beach each morning with my husband and dog, but what I don't like is the sweaty bra that happens as a result of the walk.  So I started out wearing my bra liner on my walk and then advanced to wearing it anytime I wore my bra because one of the key advantages of wearing it is that you don't have to wash your bra as much!  I'm all in favor of doing that.  

Pambra is made in the USA!  The design advantages are:
  • Effectively absorbs perspiration between and under breasts and extends the usage of the bra.
  • Keeps skin drier to prevent chaffing and irratation.
  • Prevents wetness from seeping onto brassieres and clothing
  • Thin, comfortable and inconspicuous when worn.
Pambra is easy to wash and wear again!  I would encourage you to buy two packages (as I did after the initial trial package for reviewing.)  Machine washable warm and tumble dry low.  Never use bleach.  



Part of the rafflecopter to win the product is to join the their facebook page and twitter page.  And to join my Conversations with Carolyn facebook page and to write why you would like to win the Pambra in the comment section of this blog entry.  The only people who will be eligible to win are the ones who have done ALL of those steps.  DO NOT post your email address or home mailing address in the comment section of this blog entry or your bra size.  Those comments that have that information will be removed and not eligible to win.  Thank you!

And now the rafflecopter entry (you may need to click MORE) to see that information.  Good luck and enjoy the product!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fiafini Skincare Giveaway

 
I have teamed up with Beauty Brite to co-host the Fiafini Skincare Giveaway. Be sure to read her review here. This giveaway is for the Delicate Cleansing Emulsion 4.0 fl oz, Divine Hydration Moisturizer 1.7 fl oz, and the Deluxe Anti-Aging Eye Cream 0.5 fl oz. (SRP $106).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: A Book-Worms thoughts on ereaders vs traditional books.

 
This image is used by permission from Hobbies on a Budget


     Guest blogger Sharon Williams writes:

I love to read! I am always in the middle of a book! I am a bookworm and proud of it! When I was young, I would toss a book in my backpack every day and read every time I had a couple extra minutes. When I would get home I would run to my special reading tree in the backyard or climb into the treehouse and get lost in the pages of a great adventure. As I got older my love for reading didn't go away. Even now, with three kids, I can always be found smack in the middle of a great story. However, the method in which I choose to read a book sometimes changes. There are some places in life that you just have to have a paper book. There's nothing quite like going to library searching through the shelves to find that perfect book that you're looking for. If the electricity goes out and you're stuck in a storm, you can still keep reading snuggled under a quilt with a mug of hot chocolate. No worrying about battery power!  

But what do you do when you plan a vacation?

In the days before e-readers, when we would go on a trip we would have to pack an extra suitcase or bookbag just for the extra books that I had to take. Because of course, I would finish reading my current book and would need my 2nd, 3rd or 4th book. Now with ereaders we have better options. I can easily download hundreds of free e-books on my little iTouch and have a portable library in my hand. Whichever device you choose, an e-reader offers you far greater options for traveling with your books.You can put your device in your pocket or purse and be ready for a big adventure. You can definitely not do this easily with traditional paperbacks.

Will ereaders replace traditional books?

There is a definite place for e-readers in the booklovers world. Will an ereader replace the paper books? Not a chance! To many people like me, the feel of a good book in my hand is never going to go away. But most people understand that convenience is sometimes more important than the feel of a page. I don't think it has to be a choice of whether you read your books in paper format or electronically. I think there's a place for both! I see a growing generation of readers who love electronics and love to read! If young 'techies' choose to read electronically instead of buying a paper book, why would I be upset. They are reading! You can never underestimate the power of a good story!

Sharon loves to blog about reading and ways to pursue your hobbies without breaking your budget at Hobbies on a Budget.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love2EncourageYou 3K Facebook Fan Appreciation Giveaway

LOVE2ENCOURAGEYOU 3K FAN APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY!

Enter to WIN a Scentsy Plug In Warmer and Camu Camu Scentsy Bar!

It is my sincere pleasure to be celebrating this exciting event with you today! It is all because of YOU that this event is even possible! We have watched in the last week as our fan count on Facebook has doubled in just 7 days! How can I ever thank you? I am delighted to know so many are enjoying the posts, giveaways, freebies and pics. Please don't be a stranger..stop by and say hi anytime you are online and leave a comment on the Blog or Facebook Fan Page. You are the such a gift to me! Many blessings and all our best to the whole Love2EncourageYou family of readers!
Giveaway is open to residents of the USA. Must be 18 years or older. Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter or Google. The items being given are from Rebecca, the author of Love2EncourageYou, and will be shipped by Rebecca to the giveaway winner. The winner will be chosen using random.org. Thank you so much to all the bloggers or businesses who helped promote this event! Special thanks to the following blogs for really being great friends and supporting me in every way! Share some luv and visit their sites too:
Many blessings, Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou

Saturday, April 14, 2012

FLASH $20 Amazon or PayPal Cash Giveaway

***FLASH GIVEAWAY TIME!***

TheItMom.com has teamed up with a team of other bloggers to bring you this $20 Amazon Gift Card -OR- $20 PayPal Cash FLASH GIVEAWAY (Winner’s Choice)! SUPER EASY ENTRY!
Simply enter through the Rafflecopter below for your chance!
This giveaway ends at 9:01pm PST on Monday, April 16th | 12:01am EST (April 17th)
*NOTE: This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

RC HTML CODE:

Ham and Cheese Omelette and Homemade Onion Cheese Bread


(ingredients for the omelette)


Last night we had a homemade Boboli Pizza again and John made it so it was a little different than the one we made together and quite good so I chose to use the leftovers and add a little twist to the omelette today.  I have osteoporosis so I am always looking for ways to get more calcium into my diet. So today we have fat-free yogurt!

Egg Beaters Ham and Laughing Cow Cheese Omelette
 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup egg beaters
10 button mushrooms (sliced)
2 tbl. sliced black olives
2 tbl. parmesan cheese
1 piece of ham steak fat free
2 tbl organic low-fat milk
1 tlb. fat-free yogurt

All ingredients in the bowl ready to mix now and pour into non-stick prepared frying pan.
 
Slice two pieces of homemade onion cheese bread.  Recipe for bread given below this omelette section.


Add some Oxnard, Calif. (our home!) grown strawberries to the platter and you have breakfast for TWO!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trio of Books Giveaway


Bloggers Helping Bloggers present a trio of books for your reading fun! The Discovery How well do you know your family tree? Sometimes the stories of the past are too painful or even dangerous to be revealed. That’s the situation Marilyn and Michael find themselves in when their beloved, famous grandfather passes away. Why do they not know where he came from? Why are there no pictures of him when he was a kid or when he and his wife of so many decades were married? Who was he before he became their grandfather? 
These are the questions that the two sibling need to know. What will they find? Is it a mystery to be uncoverd or a secret to be kept? Read the rest of the review of The Discovery. Special Delivery The book is a fairly quick read, and you will be glad it is, as it is a real page turner. I had my heart in my stomach, and could not put this book down. The book is mainly Mara and Lawan's stories, who we met in Deliver Me From Evil. There is so much Evil in this world, and it is still touching these girls. Mara has tried to move on with her life, she is working as a waitress, and spots a girl with a man, and she just knows what is going on. Read the rest of the review of Special Delivery.


 Peace Pilgrim From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only "Peace Pilgrim" walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world. Thanks to Hobbies on a Budget, Conversations with Carolyn and Musings my Maureen for offering these prizes. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Carolyn's Vegetarian Boboli Pizza, Pizza Omelette and Mac and Cheese




My recipes for: 
Vegetarian Boboli Pizza, Left-overs as a Pizza Omelette 
and Mac and Cheese

credit:  Internet stock


Carolyn's Vegetarian Boboli Pizza

Ingredients:  
1 Boboli pizza crust (fresh, not frozen)
8 oz. shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
4 oz. shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 jar 7.3 oz. whole button mushrooms
1 can 6 oz. dry weight sliced black olives
1 can 8.5 oz. dry weight artichokes in water
1 jar 14 oz pizza sauce
1/4 red onion
(bell peppers if desired, I didn't use them)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Bake time: 10 minutes

Spread the crust with pizza sauce, leaving a 1" border around the edge. Top veggies and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown.

note: I sliced the button mushrooms in half and then topped them on the pizza crust. I also added another layer of parmesan cheese on the top because we love triple cheese on our pizza!

The next morning I wanted to make an omelette for breakfast and I had so many ingredients from the pizza left-over that I used them all in an omelette and topped the omelette with the pizza sauce.  

If you need to learn how to make an omelette, here are some easy instructions to follow:


This is my completed omelette (we had on Easter morning for breakfast!) But of course we had an eggscellent meal! And because we are the Strawberry Capital of California and we eat blueberries every week (almost every day with the blueberries and strawberries!)  I topped a piece of kale with them!  Just so you know ahead of time, I will be writing entries and entries of strawberry recipes in May in time for our annual Strawberry Festival! The beautiful flowers were given to me from my mom from Pro Flowers for my birthday which was March 31 and they were still fresh for Easter!  They are still thriving and it's April 11th now...  wow, I'm definitely going to be using their service in the future for my needs.






And now for my third and final recipe for this entry, Carolyn's Mac and Cheese.  I always like to "tweak" recipes that I find and make them my own.  What I'm trying to do is cut out some fat and calories and make it heart healthy for hubby and I.  What comes next is an attempt at healthy cooking.  This is definitely comfort food at its finest!
 
  the above is my mac and cheese dish "uncooked"

I "tweaked" the "Best Mac & Cheese Recipe" from none other than FOOD.COM 
 
Ingredients:
1 lb. uncooked shell noodles (we used penne!)
1/2 cup Smart Balance Butter Spread
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (we used wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tbl Worchestershire sauce
4 cups 1% Organic Low fat milk
1/2 lb. parmesean shredded cheese
1/2 lb. part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Kellogg's Cornflake Crumbs
2 tbl melted Smart Balance Butter Spread
1 3.5 oz bag Fresh Gourmet Crispy Onions Lightly Salted
 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and cook the noodles on the stovetop.
 
Melt the butter spread in a large saucepan over low heat so it doesn't burn.

Stir in the mustard, Worsestershire sauce, flour, salt and pepper.

Cook ingredients over low-medium heat, stirring, until mixture is smooth.

Remove from burner and stir in milk.

Heat to boiling, while stirring.  Boil and stir for 1 minute as mixture thickens.

Stir in the cheeses.

Cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted.

Drain noodles and stir into cheese sauce.  Then pout into 4-quart casserole.

Stir together corn flake crumbs and butter spread and sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Top with bag of Fresh Gourmet Crispy Onions Lightly Salted.
 
Bake for about 20 minutes until bread crumbs and crispy onions are toasted.


I of course have to give the "credit" to my incredible hubby who is a great cook because he did all the work and I just read the directions to him!  I of course "Kissed the Cook!"  Thanks John for an excellent meal that lasted all week long for the two of us. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dyeing Marbelized Eggs for Easter 2012

                           (above photo is from the Internet and a STOCK photo)

This year I went around on the Internet looking for a combination of different ways to dye our eggs.  We found a number of articles that shared the way that we wanted to do them.  We did buy a PAAS set so that I could have the wire from there and the stickers!

I really don't like the idea of dyeing eggs if the dye is somehow able to seep through to the egg (which I do remember from my childhood!)  Call me the "new generation of health nuts!"  I wanted to use the wire egg holder from the PAAS kit but that was all I needed.

First I found an incredible article and way of dyeing the eggs using Kool-Aid packets from Learning2Coupon.com  The way that you do this will be explained in the directions to follow.   And then I found another article called "Coloring Easter Eggs with Ingredients from the Pantry," from Pam Freeman of Laura's Lean Beef's Blog, "Smarter Bytes,"and used her directions for the Marbled Eggs.  And I will explain this with the directions to follow.  There's another article that I found called "Dyeing Eggs with Food from Your Pantry," from The Bitten Word but I didn't use any of her instructions but feel that her article is also worth checking out for yourself to use if you're interested in that method.

Marbled Eggs My Way
1.  Dozen hard  boiled eggs cooled or chilled.
2.  Your favorite "colors" of Kool-Aid   (I used four and did a couple of combination dipping).
3.  White Vinegar
4.  Canola Oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil since that's all I had on hand!)
5.  Sturdy cups for the liquid dyes
6.  Wire egg holder from the PAAS kit (or make something yourself!)
7.  Toothpicks

Pam's secret to success in her article is "how quickly you insert and remove the egg after stirring.  The longer you wait, the less dye will adhere to the egg."  She shares how you can combine the colors when she shares, "Also, you can dye an egg with one color, then dry it and use this marbling technique with another color for some really cool results."  I suggest you follow her directions as they really helped us!  Pam also explains a Tie Dye Egg which is really cool, I just didn't have food color on hand.



Instructions:
1.  Fill cup with 1 Tablespoon each of white vinegar, canola oil and dye of choice
2.  Then fill cup with warm water (enough to cover egg)
3.  Stir (I used toothpicks for this and one for each cup)
4.  Dry egg with paper towel (I used one paper towel per egg color so that I wasn't bringing any color from one towel to the next egg being dried.)

Our finished eggs (we only did 6 because I need a lot of eggs to devil later today!)  Two pictures to show them on their sides as well as from the top!  From the top:



From the side of the eggs in the basket!  I love this shot.


If you have any links from your blog that you would like to share to be added to this article or just want to leave them in the comments, let me know in a comment or write to me at carolyncavies@yahoo.com and I would be happy to add them!  HAPPY EASTER!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring 2012 How to Save Money Writing and Coloring Contest


Saving money is not just about adults using coupons when they go to the grocery. It's way more than that. Just ask the kids! With gas prices rising, food costing more at the grocery and the price of living always getting higher, many families are talking about saving money. Now it's time for the kids to share their knowledge and get a shot at winning some great prizes.

Spring 2012 How to Save Money Writing & Coloring Contest

Coloring Contest

• For all kids age 3-5 who haven't mastered their writing skills.
• Create your best colorful masterpiece.
• Take a picture or have your parents scan it in. Email your picture here

Writing Contest

Theme: Kids must give their best ideas for how they can save money in their real life. We all know that you can use a coupon from newspaper. Be creative. Think outside of the box. How else can you save money?

• For all Kids age 6-12
• Entry must be at least 5 full sentences (no more than 250 words)
• Must be handwritten and legible (not typed!)
• Once you have it done, take a picture or have your parents scan it in to the computer.
• Email it here.

Contest will run from April 1 - 30, 2012.

ALL Participants will receive a printable certificate of participation in their parent's email box once the contest is completed.

What will happen to these entries?

Starting in May, each entry will be randomly featured on the participating blogs all over the country. Who knows? Your child may have his entry be read my thousands of people who want to know ways to save money.

Why is this contest so important?

Our kids need to learn now that saving money is not just a necessity; it can also be fun, cool and rewarding. I want our 3 kids to grow up being financially intelligent and responsible. I want them to avoid making the same mistakes that many of us have made.

Teachers: Feel free to use this contest as a writing prompt in your class. We all know how important writing skills are. This is a great opportunity to motivate them and offer them tangible rewards!

Let’s all work together to help our kids learn ways to save money in their real life!

Click here to see all the cool prizes!

Adults can win a prize too!!! We know that the kids can't do this contest without you. Click here to enter!

***Both coloring sheet piggy bank images were drawn by Sheila McCoy just for this contest! Thanks Mrs. Sheila!!!

Contest is open to US entries only.

Character Quality Project for April 2012: Loving Communication

                               from HelloGiggles.com

I started with having a Character Quality for each month back in January, 2012 but because I was offline for the months of Jan-Mar. 2012, I was not able to post them here.   This month I decided to make a goal of being more patient with my husband and friends and then I thought that something that I should really focus on would be more loving communication to my husband and family and friends.

If your friends were asked to categorize your communication, what words would they use to describe how you communicate? Would you be recognized as a person who speaks carefully and gently? Or, would your testimony be one of harshness and a quick temper? Often, our thoughtless and ill-timed words build a reputation for us that we would never want to own. Gentle responses, in any situation, can help to heal, restore, or simply assist in meeting the needs of the moment. Harsh words, on the other hand, will take the same situation and produce anger and wrath. If you recognize that you are prone to sharp or harsh responses, take proactive steps to change your negative communication. Spend time with the Lord and ask Him to help you to hate your harsh words and to love speaking gentle words of healing.

 Proverbs 15:1 NIV
"A gentle answer turns away wrath,
   but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Personal Goals for April 2012


I have been using my  "My Prevention Day Calendar 2012" (which is a wonderful day/week planner with incredible tips and information about food and such that helps so much) to do my weekly planning but I wanted to do more to this and make monthly goals so I'm starting today with them.
Oh and I also use Cozi (from the incredible Fly Lady) on my computer to type these out and work on them.  I highly suggest using this free help!  And if you don't know who the Fly Lady is, well here's a way to meet her and see if you want to become more organized with daily, weekly, monthly goals for cleaning your house!  Ugh, something that I can't say that I follow real well.  But I'm trying anyway!  Just click on the word Fly Lady and you will be taken to that page.

Cozi (since I mentioned it) is incredible!  I really love that I can send notes from it to my husband's computer or to his cell phone.  Nothing like bugging him while he's trying to drive.  It's a text message.  Other features on Cozi (and I use the free ad driven one, can't see paying for it just to get rid of ads on the side which I don't notice!)  are "to do" list, monthly calendar, and weekly calendar, Shopping List, and Meal Planning (my entry about Meal Planning can be read on this blog from 4/2/12). 

TO DO:
complete meal planning week by week
reorganize pantry 
take canned and bagged food and drinks to Food Bank
freezer cooking
read 2 unread magazines and recycle
clip coupons 
create banner for Conversations With Carolyn FB group
create banner for Doing Random Acts of Kindness FB group 
create inventory for Avon products
have a yard sale for the $1.00 Avon products
find a PSP program type that I might be able to use for free

READ:
Read a daily entry from "Sanctuary" by David Jeremiah 5x/week
Journal an entry from my reading 5x/week
read a novel on my Kindle

LEARN:
memorize 10 verses from my verses given in my daily devotions.
set up the printer for this new laptop
1-2 new crafts this month and make at least one project to give to someone else

BE:
a more patient wife and friend (I'm not asking God to teach me patience, mind you!)

What are your goals for April?   Do you have any suggestions for this blog entry that would be helpful to me in my endeavor to be a more organized woman?  Thanks!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Getting back on the Meal Plan Wagon





The above meal plan is real easy to use!  But! The link led to a page error.  Darn...

Personally I have been using this one that works real well for us:  http://www.passionforsavings.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Weekly-Menu-Plan.pdf     And for grocery shopping I use this:  http://www.passionforsavings.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Shopping-List-Plan.pdf  
Before you can use the above you need to download the free Adobe ReaderHere is where you can get a free copy!

The above two printable downloads work so well for John and I.  He does the shopping (does all that pushing of the shopping cart and carrying the bags to the car and up the stairs to the kitchen) and we make up the shopping list together so he knows what items I am talking about when I write them on the list.  I'm so thankful for him doing all the grocery shopping!   Sometimes I will go along for the walk but most often I just stay home and wait to help with unloading the groceries.

If you are reading this and are wondering how to get involved in coordinating your coupons with your shopping and more help with couponing in general then this place is wonderful for you to visit and learn how to do it all!  Passion For Savings is the best spot I have found on the internet so far! (I'm not saying that other great places don't exist out there.)   Just click here to go and learn!  Passion For Savings.

Meal Planning has saved me so much money in buying groceries.  My grocery budget is very healthy at this time!  I really like the first meal planner that is on this page and may try that one for awhile to see if it is better than the current one I use.  We're able to have left-overs for lunches and that saves time in meal preparation and gives me more time to do other things.

Feel free to use the comments to ask any questions, share links to meal planning and grocery lists that you use and enjoy.  That will really help other readers here.  Thanks! 
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