Monday, February 18, 2013

Recipe! Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells!

K... so I heard of this meal and I kinda "winged it" (pun intended) with the recipe... so bear with me! It was delllicious!

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 jar preferred spaghetti sauce (I always use Prego - duh!)
  • Frank's Buffalo Sauce
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Parsley (chopped)
  • Jumbo Shells
  • Shredded cheese of choice (I used mozarella but we only had a little bit so I topped with yellow cheddar
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Boil and shred your chicken breast (I boil it til cooked then throw it in my mixer!)
  3. Add desired amount of crumbled blue cheese (I ended up using half the wedge cause that stuff is STRONG!), chopped parsley, and frank's buffalo sauce (I don't give an amount cause everyone likes different levels of hotness! I think I used about 2-3 tbsp)
  4. Mix the chicken/cheese/parsley/hot sauce mixture together (again, I used my mixer)
  5. Take your shells and throw in a spoonful of the chicken mixer into each one
  6. Top with jarred sauce
  7. Top with shredded cheese!
  8. Cover with tin foil for 18-20 min
  9. Bake, uncovered for 5-10 min to melt cheeeese
After sauce is added!

Close-up of the pre-backed stuffed shell!

Another close-up

And the cheese!
I ate the shells before I was able to get a picture lol.... I need to get better about that!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baby Shower #1!

#1 you say? How many are you having woman?!

 Well my mom suggested my MIL has her own shower for us... since our families are over an hour away and it will be easier than making half the guests truck an hour... so that's 2.. and we are having a shower at our house with just friends so we can get silly... Making 3! They are all small so it will average out to the same amount of guests as if we had one big one but we don't need to pay for a venue etc...

So my first shower was Saturday! It was so fun! We got a lot of nice things for Miss Lillybear. It was short and sweet and relatively painless!

Now I am exhausted and trying to gather up the energy to go through her gifts :o)

And I feel like she is trying to crawl out my side. She is so damn high I swear I can taste her!

I am wondering if I can easily post pictures from the shower without dealing with the "picture limit" on picasa.... sigh. I'm too tired to think right now. I may have to do a part deaux for pictures.

Lots of DIY coming up soon! Lilly's initials, book holders, sign, finish bookshelf!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coopins! Coopins galore!

Okay so I really mean coupons... but I haven't pronounced it that way since watching Ron White's stand-up years and years ago...
My friend Vanessa taught me how to coupon... basically you clip the coupons you get in the sunday flyers like smartsource and P&G... then match them up to sales! Some people go all over the tri-state area, several stores a week... I started out that way but it became too much and I lost interest. So I do my coopining at CVS only... and we make a KILLING! In 2013 so far, 1 month, we've saved $132. Yeah! It's worth it!

So to break down... you match-up. For example... if toothpaste is on sale for $1.25... and you have a $1 off one toothpaste... you get it for 25 cents! Hollaaa! People clip and then look through the flyers of the stores and plan a list for every store and match-up their coopins to the sales...


First adaptation I did was make an excel spreadsheet with my coupons... cause writing down what my coupons were and looking through 100 of them every Sunday was driving me nutso. It was a PITA to start it up, since I had like 200 coopins in my possession.. but now it's super easy! I just go through and delete the expired ones and add the new ones. Plus I get high off organization and spreadsheets so... it's all gravy. Here is a screenshot!

My categories are:
  • Deoderant
  • Dental
    • Floss
    • Toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
  • Beauty
    • Hair (shampoo/cond. or syling products)
    • Body (lotions and things like that)
    • Shower (bar soap or gel)
    • Make-up
    • Medicine
    • Razors
    • Mangoods (things specific to hubs only)
    • Womangoods (things specific to me only)
    • Miscellaneous
  • House
    • Batteries
    • Toilet Paper
    • Paper Towels
    • Tissues
    • Hand Soap
    • Dish Soap
    • Dishwasher
    • Cleaning
    • Laundry
    • Scent (air wick, febreeze, glade, etc.)
    • Miscellaneous
  • Food
    • Produce
    • Meat & Cheese (Things like block cheese, string or shredded cheese, sausage, etc.)
    • Deli
    • Dairy
    • Baking (Baking food products)
    • Cooking (Spices, spag. sauce, etc things you'd make meals with)
    • Frozen
    • Bread Products
    • Aisle Products (canned or box items, things you find in aisles that don't fit other groups)
    • Condiments
    • Snacks
    • Candy
    • Beverages
    • Coffee
    • Cooking Supplies (reynold's wrap, tupperware, etc)
  • Baby
    • Diapers
    • Wipes
    • Supplies
    • Toys
    • Clothes
    • Stores
    • Babies R' Us
    • Buy Buy Baby
  • Stores (Coopins for specific stores like Bob's, craft stores, etc.)
  • Restaurants (Any restaurant Coopins - nice to have when you wanna go out to eat!)
It took a while for me to come up with categories that work for us. I keep this in Google Drive so if hubs or I am out we know to wait on something if I don't have my coopin folder with me. My folder does NOT have as many categories but i'm looking for a better one!

My SS has the categories:
  • Title (Brand)
  • Item (What the coopin is for)
  • Size (Size of item required or exceptions)
  • $ Off (Duh)
  • # of Items (# of items you have to buy to use the coopin)
  • # of Coopins (how many copies of this coopin I have)
  • Exp. Date (duh)
I'm still working out the kinks... I try to organize it by brand... I may do it by exp. date after that to make it easier to delete the expired coopins after that...

So this is my Sunday Coopin Fiasco:

I wake up and grab the Sunday paper. I organize the flyers by:
  1. Recycle
  2. Clip
  3. Keep
Then I clip my coopins and organize them into major groups... The Beauty/House/Baby/Food etc.
I go through my ss (spreadsheet) and delete the expired coopins. Then I take each group and put them in order that they will go into the ss and then I input them. After that I will go through my coopin folder and flip through and recycle all the expired coopins and throw the new ones in. This takes all of 1/2 hr a week.

Then I take my flyer (CVS). CVS has this wonderful thing called extra bucks (EB). I usually have some from the last trip which makes it wonderful! I am going to use this weeks trip as an example...

This week if you spend $30 on certain products you get a $10 Gift Card (This GC thing is new BTW - it's usually EB but HOLLA FREE MONEYYY! I could care less what form it comes in)... so I bought:
  • 2 16-roll packages of toilet paper = 7.49 each.
  • 1 6-roll of paper towels = 5.49 each.
  • 3 boxes of kleenex = 99 cents each.
This equaled $30.93... BUT I had coopins for each of these items so I think it was... another $3 off = total $27.93. Then I had $10 from last time = $17.93... AND I got another $10 GC for next time so I REALLY only spent $7.93! On all that!

Now some people don't count the $$ for next time causeeee i'll put it towards next time too but it makes me feel more accomplished so I do :o)

So for the actual trip I will look at the flyer and do my match-ups and make my CVS list of the items i'm going to get, with the # of products i'm going to get. I put the coopins i'm gonna use in the front section of my coopin folder, along with my gcs or ebs i'm using that trip... for easy access, less confusion, and the patience of the shoppers behind me...

I get to the store and grab a cart... those are so damn small lol. Then I swipe my card in the lil coopin kiosk that prints lil deals. Sometimes i'll get random EB score! It's also good to check before you go and get them "sent to your card" from the site - THAT helps! PLUS EB DON'T EXPIRED! I usually end up going with AT LEAST $10 EB... usually closer to $20... I then walk around and grab my crap - paying attention that i'm grabbing the RIGHT stuff for the promos (they usually have lil signs attached to the item) and making SURE they line-up with the coopins. I have, on several occasions, had them go grab me more cause I go and the stupid shelf is empty... they are fine with it! I have my husband hold the coopins cuz it keeps him from realizing we are shopping. Prevents the sighs and the eye-rolls... Then I get in line and put my extra care card on the counter with my coopins and EB or GCs and then they do the rest pretty much! Helps to pick someone who looks patient. I make sure I watch the monitor that things ring up right, on sale, etc. cause they usually mess something up every time... then I watch them take off the $$ from the coopins and I make sure I get my EB at the end or GC. Annnnnd done!

Nowadays, this process will take me SEVERAL days... I try to get at least some of it done on Sundays... but we usually don't get shopping til thurs/fri/sat... as long as you go by sunday when the next sale starts - you don't miss much!

It sounds like a complicated process but it really isn't once you get into a groove. I go to CVS once a week as long as it's worth the trip. I only buy things in the promos (like Spend $30, get $10... or spend $12 on certain dental products and get $6 EB) IF I have a coopin for it... and it works out nicely.

I saved $132 last month... and I have enough toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, floss, and toothpaste to last me atleast 3 months... WORTH IT!