Monthly Archives: November 2012

Holiday Money-Saving Tips


I have exciting news…..

This morning I cooked chicken and it turned out pretty great! (it was one of the first times I’ve ever cooked raw chicken by myself…and I’ll admit I didn’t have high expectations for the end result Smile)

I marinated it with this dressing:

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and added garlic powder, pepper, & poultry seasoning. Well, marinate is probably not the best word choice…since I only let it sit for about 4 minutes before popping it in the oven. Oh well…I’m still learning here!

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Also on the plate:

  • broccoli
  • homemade sweet potato fries (didn’t turn out very good…I think the potatoes I bought are going bad?)
  • baby carrots (2 pound bag cooked with 1 tbsp. butter, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/8 cup brown sugar on the stove for about 45 min.). YUM!

This was a tasty lunch, and a welcome change from our Thanksgiving leftovers!

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For dessert: vanilla frozen yogurt with a Ghiradelli peppermint bark square. Yes, I ate it out of a plastic wine glass (although it looks like a bowl in this picture!). So fancy!

And now, for some holiday money-saving tips!

1. Make a budget, and stick to it.

2. Homemade gifts are often better than store-bought ones. Friends and family are 99% more likely to love (and remember a lot longer) a framed picture or hand-sewn blanket than a giant Hershey kiss shaped like a Santa hat that’s on sale for $19.99 at your local supermarket. Just saying…

3. Shop around, and don’t be afraid to return items if you find them cheaper somewhere else!

4. Giftcards are a great option (especially for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life). Lots of stores & restaurants have great promotions going on right now, where they give you a small giftcard if you buy a giftcard. You can find a master list here!

5. Give everyone a lump of coal.

Just. Kidding.


I have seen gum that’s made to look like coal at CVS…a very tempting stocking stuffer Smile with tongue out

And in honor of Freebie Friday, here’s a free offer just for YOU! is giving out FREE, yes, FREE $10 egiftcards to everyone! You can email as many as you want to friends and family. Pretty awesome!

Question of the Day:

What’s the most special homemade gift you’ve ever given or received?


I’m Baaaaaaaaack!

Hello hello!

The past month has flown by, and I can’t believe my last post was on Halloween…Yikes!

Here’s what’s been going on in November…

1. Bud (my husband) graduated from boot camp


2. I drove from Texas to Virginia with the cats (they did surprisingly well in the car, but howled a lot in the hotels)

3. We found an apartment and moved in within three days (I’m SO glad I found a potential place before getting to Virginia!)


*We’re both very grateful that the Keurig fit in my car Rolling on the floor laughing

4. Bud and I made a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us, and ate leftovers two meals a day for three days straight…I’m going on a week straight actually Smile

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Now that we’re finally settling in, I can get back to blogging! It’s been WAY too long…I miss it!


I’ve been waiting for a few days to make overnight oats in our nearly empty peanut butter jar


and finally prepared it last night, since Bud ate breakfast on base this morning (I didn’t want him to be jealous of my breakfast, and there was only enough for one serving Smile). We’re dealing with a very limited amount of kitchen supplies right now, since our moving truck isn’t planned to arrive until Dec. 12th. Fortunately, the Navy is lending us a big box of plates, bowls, pots, pans, etc…but we don’t have any mason jars to make overnight oats in!


YUMMMMM. The peanut butter jar was practically overflowing with apples, and it was delicious.

In the jar:

  • 1/3 cup oats (probably should have used 1/4 cup to fit it all in, but I didn’t realize the jar was so small!)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk (left over from Thanksgiving cooking!)
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon (generous sprinkling)
  • 1 small/medium granny smith apple, chopped

I also enjoyed a Yoplait pumpkin pie yogurt. The Commissary (grocery store on Navy base) had a 4 pack on sale for 99 cents…couldn’t pass that deal up! The verdict: it did taste like pumpkin pie, but was kind of watery and had a slightly funky aftertaste. I looked at the ingredients and saw that it has aspartame in it, which is a bummer… yogurt’s supposed to be healthy, not filled with artificial sweeteners! Hmpf!


And I had a nice hot cup of coffee, topped off with whipped cream!

Bud and I go through whipped cream phases…sometimes we put it on our coffee for several weeks straight, and sometimes we don’t buy it for a month or two. Weird! I have a feeling we’ll be having it a lot in the next month or so…

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Especially when our red and green sprinkles arrive with the moving truck! Hello, festive coffee!


My flavor of choice this morning was Chocolate Glazed Donut. This stuff is the BEST. Seriously, it tastes like a donut in coffee form Smile with tongue out

charlie coffee

Hahaha, we actually got this picture of Charlie a few nights ago while we were eating Thanksgiving leftovers. He LOVES the smell of turkey Smile

I’m off to do some serious cooking….sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, taco soup, cooked baby carrots…all while jamming out to Pandora’s R&B and Pop Holiday station Open-mouthed smileIf you’re looking for a good (free!) holiday music station…definitely give this one a try! It’s especially awesome when Christmas songs from Glee come on Smile with tongue out