Wednesday, November 30

Loving Our Elf On The Shelf!

 
This is our first year with the special little visitor from the North Pole. Yes, I am speaking of the popular Elf On The Shelf. He arrived the night after Thanksgiving. Sebastian and I read the book before bed. And as suggested by the book, we gave our elf his name. It's super unusual name and I am sure you have never heard of it before. Are you ready for this? Wait for it...Mr. Elf! :)

So if you don't know the story of the Elf On The Shelf, let me fill you in. The book that is included along with the doll elf explains how Santa sends the elf to watch the children and see whether or not they have been naughty or nice. And then the elf magically flies back to report to Santa every night. He then returns in morning to a different spot in the house. Pretty cute idea. Wish I had thought of it!

For the first night we had Mr. Elf sit outside Sebastian's room on the upstairs landing. Sebastian wanted Mr. Elf to watch him go to sleep. So cute. But the best part of this story is what happened in the middle of the night. Around midnight, I awoke to my little guy getting up to pee. He turned on the hall bathroom light like usual and did his business. I then waited for him to turn the light off and go back to bed. But he didn't ...

He left the light on and left the bathroom and went to the upstairs landing. He then came running into our bedroom yelling, "Mom, he flew away!! He flew away!!" How cute is that?! Luckily, I remembered to move him before I went to bed. And every morning, he is so excited to find him! It's been really fun to watch.

I have to confess that I am having some fun of my own moving this guy around! He has found some pretty interesting places to wait for Sebastian in the mornings...

Like on top of the Christmas tree in the first picture I showed you or on the stairs banister...


He has also found himself on top of a picture of his two favorite guys...


And my personal favorite spot thus far is this picture. Man, I have to say, Mr. Elf is limber!!!


Do you have an Elf On The Shelf in your house? Are you kids as excited as mine?


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, November 29

Moms Win On Wednesdays! Link Up Your Giveaways!


List your giveaway here!! I am hosting a giveaway link every Wednesday on Inspiration For Moms. So if you or someone you know has a giveaway you think my readers would love to know about, please link up!!


And after you link up, please come by and enter my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Amazon!! 



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Travelin' Around Town Tuesday...Not Liking the King!!!

This week, I had coupon shock at King Soopers. I guess they changed their coupon policy a few weeks back and I have to say...I am not a fan. I know its totally their right, but I don't have to like it. That's my right! :) So my grocery shopping was not as good as I had planned. *sigh*

Although, I did rock it at Safeway this week!! 

 

King Soopers total spent was $58.24. I purchased paper towels, (2) organic/gluten-free bread, (2) pkgs of cheese, chai tea, rotel, green chili, flour, dijion mustard, organic apples, (2) raspberries, asparagus, zucchini, squash, bananas, grapes, (2) organic eggs and organic milk.

After sales and the coupons they would allow me to use (no, I am not bitter...why do you ask?), I saved a total of $20.66 or 26% off my bill. 


Safeway total spent was $16.40. I  purchased 8 boxes of cereal and organic coffee. After all my wonderful coupons that they accepted (yea, that's right!) I saved a total of $19.50 or 54% off my bill!


For this week I spent a total of $74.64. I have to sit down and really study this new coupon policy and see if I need to come up with a plan B.


So, have any of your stores changed their coupon policies lately? Did it change where you shop?


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tis' The Season To Give: $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway (CLOSED)

A beautiful season is here.
It comes just once a year.
A winter wonderland with a magic in the air.
And everywhere you look, you can't help but stare.

Trees are twinkling with lights so bright.
Carols are are being played both day and night.

Credit
Time for peppermint mocha lattes and eggnog (spiked... if you dare).
And pretty packages wrapped with tender loving care.

In this season of giving to others you know,
I want to give to my readers, I love them so!

So how about a giveaway to Amazon.com for you.
Let's say, a $50 gift card. Would that do?

It's pretty simple to enter this giveaway,
Just leave me a comment, whatever you would like to say!

You ask, "I left a comment, can I enter again?"
My answer, "Yes. Of course you can friend."

Five other ways to enter I have given you,
Look below and see if there is one or two you would like to do.

1) Subscribe to my email newsletter or RSS feed ,or let me know that you do!

2) " Like" me on Facebook ,or let me know that you do!

3) Become a friendly Follower of Inspiration For Moms ,or let me know that you are!

4) Follow me on Twitter, or let me know that you do!

5) Blog/Tweet about the giveaway. Make sure you come back and leave a separate comment letting me know that you’ve done this.

This giveaway will end at midnight on Friday, December 9.
All entries will be accepted until that time.

I will announce a winner on December 10, Saturday.
Oh, how I just loving giving stuff away!!



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, November 28

M.A.D. Menu Plan Monday



You might have noticed that I didn't post my slow cooker meal yesterday. We had so many leftovers from our Thanksgiving feast, that I decided to be lazy not cook and save that recipe for this week. :) Although,  I did cook (just a little). I used our leftover turkey to make a fabulous turkey and wild rice soup! It was super easy and my hubby has been lovin' it!


To see last weeks menu and recipes, go HERE. Our menu for this week is as follows:

Monday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Garlicky Broccoli

Tuesday: One-Pot South of the Border Chicken with Cheese Quesadillas

Wednesday: Waffles and Sausage

Thursday: Baked Fish Sticks with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Veggies

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Crispy Potatoes and Toast

Sunday: Slow Cooker Sunday: Skinny Zucchini Ziti

Dessert For The Week: skipping dessert this week (had a lot of holiday goodies)

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Instead Of Wishing You Were Someone Else...

Credit



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Saturday, November 26

Six on Saturday: New Uses For...Bars of Soap

Credit
 
1) Insect Repellent. Put a few unwrapped bars of rosemary, lemongrass, or citronella soap on a picnic table and unwanted flying guests will bug off!


2) Pretty Pincushion. Stick needles and pins into a wrapped bar of soap. The soap's oils make the pointy ends glide through fabric sew easily.

Credit
3) Hem guide. When you are fresh out of tailor's chalk, use a bar of soap to mark a new hem on your fashion masterpiece.

4) Remove a broken light bulb. If a bulb breaks will still screwed in, don't chance nicks and cuts trying to remove it. First, turn off the power. Then insert the corner of a large, dry bar of soap into the socket. Give it a few turns and the base will unscrew.

Credit
5) Unstick Furniture Drawers. If your cabinet or dresser drawers are sticking, rub the bottom of the drawer and the supports they rest on with a bar of soap. Problem solved.

6) Itch Reliever. Can't stop scratching that mosquito bite? Rub it with a bar of oatmeal or aloe-infused soap to quell the urge.

Have any other great new uses for a bar of soap?



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday Coupon Preview


Good morning and happy Saturday to you!

Sunday Coupon Preview has the new list of this Sunday's coupon inserts. Looks like there will be only 1 insert this week;  the P&G insert.

Here's a list of the coupons that I liked from this insert:

Tide/Downy Save $1.50 off 1 Tide AND 1 Downy
Olay Save $1/1 bar, body wash or in-shower body lotion
To see the complete list of P&G coupons, go HERE.

Please remember, that coupons do vary by region. So you may not receive all the coupons listed here in your local newspaper.

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, November 25

Groupon: Old Navy $20 Certificate For Only $10


Groupon has a hot $20 Old Navy Voucher for only $10! This will definitely help you stretch your green this holiday! Run over to HERE to grab yours!!


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, November 23

Thankful For All My Blessings....

Credit        

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be grateful for...


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, November 22

Win On Wednesdays! Link Up Your Awesome Giveaways!


List your giveaway here!! I am hosting a giveaway link every Wednesday on Inspiration For Moms. So if you or someone you know has a giveaway you think my readers would love to know about, please link up!!



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

 
Thanksgiving is only a few days away. And if you are wanting to make the best pumpkin pie ever this holiday, you need a secret ingredient...fresh pumpkin. 

I know it sounds hard and opening a can of pumpkin takes less than a minute. But I assure you...it is quite easy to make pumpkin puree and it adds such a wonderful flavor to the pie. A flavor thats hard to find in a can.



So, would you like step-by-step directions? Then visit my step-by-step directions that I shared last year. You will be amazed at both how incredibly easy and tasty your Thanksgiving pie will be!

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, November 21

Thankful

Credit


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

M.A.D. Menu Plan Monday

Credit


To see last weeks menu and recipes, go HERE. Our menu for this week is as follows:

Monday: Baked Sausage Risotto

Tuesday: Baked Cod with Acorn Squash and Broccoli

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Mini-Meatballs and Veggies

Thursday: Thanksgiving Dinner with Family

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Waffles with Eggs and Sausage

Sunday: Slow Cooker Sunday: Spicy Baked Ziti

Dessert For The Week: Pecan Pumpkin Roll

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, November 20

The Trick Is To Enjoy Life...

Credit



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chunky Minestrone

 On a cold winter's day, nothing says comfort like a big bowl of minestrone soup.



Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours


5 cups vegetable broth
2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15.5 ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 10-ounce frozen package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup water
1 onion, choppped
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
6 ounces small pasta shells, uncooked
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1) Combine the broth, tomatoes, beans, spinach, water, onion, zucchini, olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper in the slow cooker.


2) Cook on low for 5-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving, add pasta and season with salt and pepper and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes. Serve in individual bowls and top with cheese. Enjoy!

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Saturday, November 19

Six On Saturday: New Uses For...PAM (Cooking Spray)

1) Smoother Snow Removal. Before cleaning snow off the driveway, liberally spray both sides of a plastic or metal shovel with cooking spray. The ice will slide right off the oily surface!


Credit

2) Candlestick Cleaner. Spray the inside of a votive holder with a thin coat before dropping in a tea light. After the candle has burned down, the remaining wax will slip out.


3) Dry Your Nails Faster. To dry nail polish quickly, spray wet nails with cooking oil.


Credit

4) Grate Cheese With Ease. Spray your grater with non stick cooking oil to keep the cheese from sticking to the grater. You will get the job done faster and clean up is easier.


5) Soccer Moms Best Friend. Spray the bottom of your child's cleats with cooking spray before the soccer game and the mud doesn't stick. 


Credit

6) Pizza Cutter Magic. Spray your pizza cutter with some non stick cooking spray before cutting your fresh baked pizza. Pizza won't stick and you will have the easiest clean-up ever!





Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday Coupon Preview


Hi everyone! Happy Saturday to you! I woke up to a nice little coating of snow. So pretty...

Sunday Coupon Preview has the new list of this Sunday's coupon inserts. Looks like there will be only 1 insert this week;  the Smartsource insert.

Here's a list of the coupons that I liked from this insert:

Seattle's Best Coffee Save $1.50/1 12oz bag (12/31)

To see the complete list of Smartsource coupons, go HERE.

Please remember, that coupons do vary by region. So you may not receive all the coupons listed here in your local newspaper.

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thursday, November 17

Time To Force Some Bulbs!

I have been looking through lots of holiday catalogs. And in almost everyone, I see something that I want to recreate in my own home this year.


Potterybarn
I love this look of the Amaryllis in a big bowl. And it's perfectly placed next to this entryway bench, ready to greet holiday guests.

BHG
Don't you just adore the Paper-Whites in this silver container with a bed of ornaments on top?! Such a festive holiday center piece.

Martha Stewart
And of course, Martha Stewart is a fan of the holiday Amaryllis. As beautifully displayed in the clay pots pictured above.


So I decided I would try to force some of my own Paper-Whites and Amaryllis. I found my bulbs at Lowes. Each Amaryllis was around $4 and I bought a bag of seven Paper-Whites on sale for around $5.


I gathered three of my tall, clear cylinder vases. I thought that the height would be good to help support the flowers as they grew.


I placed several inches of pebbles in the bottom of the vases and then I nestled the bulbs in the pebbles so that they fit snugly within the vase. I then added enough water to just reach the base of the bulbs. Be careful to not add too much water, as this could cause the bulbs to rot.


I then placed both vases with Red Oscar Amaryllis on my kitchen dining table. And the Paper-Whites found a home on my living room coffee table. Now, all that is left to do is wait. And hopefully,  I should have some pretty flower in time for Christmas. I can't wait to show you the beautiful blooms (fingers crossed).

Are you decorating this holiday season with indoor flowers? What's your favorite flower to grow?


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Too Funny...

A good reminder to just relax! :)


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, November 16

Starbucks: Buy One, Get One FREE! Starts 11/17!

Grab a friend, or your hubby, or your sister... just find someone to share this great deal! 


At participating Starbucks® store - through November 17-20 from 2-5 p.m., when you buy one holiday drink, you'll get another one of equal or lesser value for free. 

Take your pick of your most-loved holiday beverages, including Peppermint Mocha, new Skinny Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte.

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, November 15

Moms Win On Wednesdays! Link Up Your Giveaway!


List your giveaway here!! I am hosting a giveaway link every Wednesday on Inspiration For Moms. So if you or someone you know has a giveaway you think my readers would love to know about, please link up!!



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Travelin' Around Town Tuesday...

This week I went to four different stores to grab all the best deals I could find.


Whole Foods total spent was $15.84. I purchased organic rice, organic flour, whey protein powder, organic chicken sausage, organic OJ, and organic bread. I used $2.75 in coupons and a $20 gift card.


Sprouts total spent was $27.82. I purchased pitted dates, organic eggs, cheddar cheese, colby jack cheese, turkey breast, pita chips, chips, organic chicken breast, strawberries, and bananas. I used $2.00 in coupons.


Safeway total spent was $32.91. I purchased mayo, juice boxes, (3) bottles of juice, organic coffee, (2) packs of cheese, organic OJ, organic spinach, (2) mushrooms and POM juice. I had $8.00 in coupons. With sales and coupons, I saved $19.77 or 40% off my total.


King Soopers total spent was $30.69. I purchased (2) boxes of Chex cereal, pizza crust, pizza sauce, artichoke, (2) cans pineapple, (2) organic beans, celery, red onion, sweet and sour sauce, organic milk and organic eggs. I didn't have many coupon- just $2.00. With sales and coupons, I saved $4.83 or 12% off my total.


I went a little over my budget this week by...$32.26. Bummer. Did you do better than me this week? 



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, November 14

I'm Afraid...

Credit

Made me laugh...hope you do too! :)


Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Don't Leave...

It happened again today. I get an email and I eagerly read it only to feel my heart sink. I walked away, trying to shake it off, but my mind keeps bringing me back to those words.. unsubscribed. *Sigh* Pretty soon...I start feeling like this guy...


Credit

I hate it when one of you leave me. It makes me so sad. And it makes me ask myself a million questions...


What did I do wrong? What did I not do? What should I change? What do I need more of? What should I do less of? Why?


Doubt and insecurity jump into my day, uninvited I might add. I try so hard to shake it off. 


Today, after I saw those words once again -unsubscribed- I thought long and hard. Yes, I was sad to see someone go. But I also reminded myself that I have many great readers that must like what I am doing! So I stopped right there, in the middle of my kitchen and gave thanks....for you!


Credit

I am not going to reflect on one negative thing, when I have thousands of things to be thankful for.


So today, I want to say 'thank you' for your continued support. I really appreciate every reader. From those that have been with me from the beginning to the new readers that joined just this week! Thank you for continuing to stop in everyday and check on me. :)


I hope that I will continue to gain more new friends. And I will try my best to make Inspiration For Moms a place you will want to read everyday!





Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

M.A.D. Menu Plan Monday



So you might remember from last weeks menu, that for the month of November we are not eating out for the whole month. So far, so good!


I love the colder weather. Want to know why? Because we can eat more soups and stews! Yum! This week we will be eating three different soups.... all delish! And I usually freeze the leftovers. Perfect for a warm lunch on a cold winter day.


To see last weeks menu and recipes, go HERE. Our menu for this week is as follows:

Monday: Artichoke and Black Olive Pizza with Garden Salad

Tuesday: Roasted Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup with Popovers

Wednesday: Cantonese Sweet and Sour Chicken with Asian Vegetables and Ginger Rice

Thursday: Bean and Kale Soup with Ciabatta Bread

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Sour Cream and Chicken Enchiladas with Chips and Guacamole

Sunday: Slow Cooker Sunday: Chunky Minestrone

Dessert For The Week: Baked Apples

Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, November 13

Slow Cooker Sunday: Enchiladas

Credit

Serves 4-6

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced (any color)
1 16-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cheese, shredded and divided ( suggest Monterey Jack)
2 16-ounces jars of your favorite salsa
12 6"-8" tortillas flour or corn
Optional: 1 cup leftover meat (chicken, pork, hamburger, or ground turkey)


1) In a medium bowl, mix together the onion, pepper, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, (meat if your are using) and just 1/2 cups of the cheese. Pour about a up of salsa into the bottom of the slow cooker and spread it evenly around.


2) Scoop about 1/3 cups of the filling into one tortilla, roll it up, and nestle it into the bottom of the slow cooker. Repeat with the half of the remaining filling, rolling tortillas until the entire bottom of of the crock pot is filled. Spread another cup of salsa over this layer and sprinkle it with another 1/2 cup of cheese.


3) Continue with remaining filling and tortillas to create a second layer. Top with another cup of salsa, but reserve the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese for later. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-4 hours. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the left over cheese over the top and let it melt. Enjoy!


Thanks, the kitchn, for the recipe. 




Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

No One Can Make You Feel...

Credit



Would you like to get Inspiration For Moms delivered to your email inbox daily?

Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner