Friday, September 30, 2011

31 Days: Announcement!

This is probably the biggest step that I have ever made in my own blogger history!  I am going to join The Nester in her 31 Days.... Linky Party.  I've been mulling over this all month and because it is weighing heavily on my heart, I am going to jump in with both feet.  So here is what I am going to do:Yes, this one is a little selfish on my part because I am going to try to get my Christmas Gifts done way before Christmas this way!  But, each year, I have tried to make my own gifts for everyone on my list and have found this to be rewarding and money-saving.  Perfect to share here!  So, TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!  Please stay tuned for my month of craziness, but hopefully a lot of great information for you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Last 3 Days for Half Price!

I wanted to let you know about the last 3 days to get the new Reward's Club membership for half the price.  The membership is for $39.99, but for the month of September, you will get a  FREE $20 product credit back when you sign up before September 30th.  In essence, you will get it for only $19.99 after the product credit.  The Reward's Club membership gives you the opportunity to purchase exclusive products and specials that are not available to everyone else.  Each time you purchase anything, you will also get 15% of the purchase in a product credit off your next purchase online.  This would be a great way to save on your Christmas presents - there's something for everyone!+-

If you use scrapbooking supplies, make digital albums, or use a Cricut, you can really save some money by signing up for this program (and help support me, too!)  Here is a link directly to my sign-up page: Dori's Web Page Reward's Club.  I am an Independent Consultant with Creative Memories. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan - Rave Reviews

I love Eggplant Parmesan, but my family is not as big of fans as I am.  I was very excited when we received Eggplants in our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) box included Eggplant this last week.  Now I had an excuse to make it - we had to use up our eggplant.  Well, I ran across a new recipe on the the Westby Parmesan Cheese jar.  I am sharing it with you, because it got rave reviews from everyone in my family!  Even Mr. Right loved it and had seconds - which says a lot!  Unfortunately, all I have for photos is a picture of it partly gone in the pan and on a plate, because we were half way through dinner when we decided that it was really noteworthy!  I hope you don't mind.  I will let you know what adjustments I made.Here's the recipe:

Eggplant Parmesan
  • 2 large Eggplant (the recipe called for one, but I used two)
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce - I used a quart of homemade canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tsp. Garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp. Dried Basil
  • 8 oz. shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Peel eggplant and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Fry on both sides in skillet in hot oil until browned.  Drain well on paper towels.
  3. Place a layer of eggplant slices in a shallow baking dish; cover with some tomato sauce, a sprinkling of basil and garlic powder, a little Parmesan cheese, and a little of Mozzarella cheese.
  4. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with Mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy!  Yummy!  The recipe as is, is 9 points on Weight Watchers Points Plus.  If you can cut the Olive Oil down to 1/2 cup, it would be only 7 points with 8 servings.

Oh - I want to mention our CSA farm.  You can go to their blog, where you can look up a ton of their recipes by ingredient here: Old Oak Family Farm.  It's a great resource for recipes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pumpkin Time Again!

I love pumpkins and the fall colors.  I don't relish the thought of winter coming here in Wisconsin, but hey, at least I can love this one thing!  I seem to always have an urge to make a few pumpkins of my own in the fall, too.  So, the season has begun: Pumpkin Time!  I found this great tutorial over at here at Savvy Chic Home, so I won't bore you with the details, but I think they turned out really cute.  I am going to call these my ruffled pumpkins, since they look kind of ruffled. This one, my 7-year-old made for the fair next year (Whew!  One project down, many to go!)  He's been begging me to teach him how to sew on the sewing machine, so I thought this one was a great one for a first project.  We used the machine for the seam down the side, then a rubber band on the bottom, and hand stitching around the top and down the sides.  It was really a nice well-rounded project for a 7-year-old, although, I wasn't too sure when I started out.  I'm really proud of how well he did on this project!

I have a ledge in my kitchen (more on that soon), that my Mr. Right built for my birthday, so I am having fun decorating that for the first time each season. 

Here's a view of that shelf with all the stuff I have decorated it with.  Those other pumpkins, are my 2X4 Pumpkins that I shared here, last year.  Love those pumpkins!

I made a really big ruffled pumpkin with a tall stem.  I used some jute to tie in the stem and the pumpkin.  I think it's cute, but lonely, so I might have to make more.
That lower one is the new pumpkin, but you can see my little pumpkins from last year and my aluminum pumpkin, too.  Go here to see those.
I'm actually thinking about using these pumpkins for our next MOPS craft project.  Hope they like it and aren't intimidated by the sewing - we wouldn't use a machine, just glue to put it together.  Please check out those blogs I love and link up to on the right column and also let me know what you think.

Free Videos for Homeschoolers and Teachers

I just wanted to make you aware of the free videos at Stossel In the Classroom.  All of the videos on this site can be ordered for free by teachers and homeschoolers for use in the classroom.  The videos are of John Stossel of Fox News.  You may or may not agree with his viewpoint, but I think this could be a great supplement to topics you may be studying.  There are many videos that you can instantly stream if you don't want to wait for them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MOPS Nametags

I have finally found my place as a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leader as the Creative Leader that really excites me!  I should have just done this in the first place, but thought it might be too much work!  I'm going to try to share with you the activities that I am doing for our local Sparta MOPS group here.  I think most will enjoy the craft projects I have been working on.

For our first meeting this Thursday, we wanted to have some name tags.   Here's the theme that we have this year.  It is based around a game theme.  So, we are trying to keep in that theme for the tags.

 Here are the materials that I used to make the name tags (all from Wal-mart):
  • Party Necklaces - $.97 for 4
  • Pink & Blue Ribbon - $.47 each
  • Findings Clips - $2 for 48
  • Tags printed on Card stock (found on MOPS leader sight - sorry I can't remember who made them, but comment with your email & I can attach them to you if needed) and then laminated

I think that these turned out pretty well.  I made wrote the names on the tags before I laminated them.  I also made some blank ones so if we have some new Moms come, I can just use a Sharpie to write their name on it.  I just put the hook on the necklace and punched a hole in the name tag after I laminated it.  I am adding a ribbon to the name tags for each child that a Mom has, of course, pink for girl and blue for boy.
Hope this gives you a great way to make fairly inexpensive name tags for your group.Be sure to check out the blogs that I follow at the right.  Oh, and leave me some love in the comments!  I love to hear from everyone!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sign Up for Groupon

One the of the ways that we save money on entertainment is by watching Groupon for deals.  You can go here to sign up for an account, which doesn't cost anything, but you will then be able to find out what the daily deals are.  I like to get the daily emails for my area, so that if something is for sale that we might do, I will check out the deal right away.  Often, I just delete the email from the title, but on occasion, I do snag a deal, making all those emails worth it!  One example is the deal for Redbox for 3 movies for only $1.  This deal comes up every once in awhile, so now is a good time to get on Groupon, so when the Redbox deal comes around again, you can get a notification right away.