Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Tips to Eating Well at Home on a Budget

It's so nice to go out once in a while to a fancy restaurant or even a nearby steak house and treat your family to a delicious dinner. However, unless you have money to burn, everyday meals at home can also get pretty costly. Is there a way to reduce what you usually spend on groceries? If so, you could quickly save a lot so let's take a look at some ideas which may change your buying habits.
Here it is. My five essential tips to eating well at home without breaking the bank.  Apply these tips consistently and you will see results.    
TIP 1:
Try to only go shopping for groceries when you have a specific list of the items that you need. This helps prevent impulse buying of additional items, and of course helps ensure that you got everything (no running back out to the store for that pesky forgotten item)! Also try to avoid food shopping if you are very hungry or thirsty as you will probably purchase more.
TIP 2:
Waste not, want not. Try to keep track of expiration dates, leftovers and other perishable items in your fridge, and try to use or consume everything before it goes bad. Keep your perishable items in mind when meal planning as well - if, for example, you buy a bunch of parsley for a recipe that requires only a few sprigs, try to plan other meals that will use the rest of the parsley so that it doesn't go to waste.  
TIP 3: 
Compare prices.  For non-perishable items, be sure to check prices online and among your local grocery stores.  Amazon, for example, has many great deals for non-perishable items if you buy in bulk, for a minimal delivery fee (and often free). This requires a bit of planning ahead but is well worth the savings. Also, always look for coupon codes when you buy online. It's a lot easier than the traditional coupon clipping and you can bookmark to easily find the best deals online. 
TIP 4:
Try the generic alternative for your name brands. You can even google the generic brand you like and see what other people think of it before you purchase. You will rack up significant savings for every name brand that you can replace with an equivalent generic brand.
TIP 5:
Plan meals according to what's on sale. Most grocery stores post their specials in advance. Grocery stores also typically have huge sales immediately following any holiday. Plan your meals around sale items, or consider whether sale items are worth freezing for later use. 
Tip 6: 
Try to buy produce when they are in season.   The price of in season fruits and vegetables drop significantly. You can also buy it in bulk and freeze it for later!  Check out a few more tips from
 Follow these simple rules and you can stay easily within your budget.  Enjoy the extra savings!

Book Review: "Miracles of Jesus"

About the book:
Miracle of Jesus  is a level two I Can Read! based on the NIV Adventure Bible. In it, young readers read about how great God’s love is for all people. At this read-alone level, newly independent readers follow Jesus as he travels, spreading the Good News of his Father’s love. Along the way, Jesus shows in wondrous ways just how powerful God’s love is when he brings health back to a young girl and a long-suffering woman, and how he gives comfort to thousands of believers with a delicious meal as well as the precious word of God.
Written for the newly independent reader, vocabulary and content is at a more advanced reading level, making this series appropriate for children almost ready for their first chapter books.
This I Can Read! series of Bible stories makes use of the unique features found in the NIV Adventure Bible such as “People in Bible Times” and “Words to Treasure”.
Content aligns with the Common Core Standards for informational reading.
My Review:
This book covers two major healing stories first Jesus raising Jarius's daughter from the dead and second feeding 5000 from 5 loaves and 2 fish!  After reading the book it was fun to discuss a few other miracles such as turning the water to wine, or healing a blind man, or healing the paralytic man, or any of the other ones!  
I love the "I Can Read" series and my 7 year old daughter is becoming a mighty good reader.  She enjoys learning more about Jesus and I enjoy seeing her Faith increase!   
This book is a great book for at home or for your church kids program!  
Thanks Zondervan for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.   I was not paid for this review and all opinions are 100% mine.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

School Dance- 80's Style!

So my daughter had a school dance this weekend and it was an 80's theme.   I can't help but laugh and feel very old at my daughters comments leading up to her dance.   Hope this makes you laugh and feel old like me!  Selah-"Mom, my dance is coming up and its the 1980's so I have to dress like the olden days!"  Olden days... since when did the 1980's become the olden days?  I guess it makes sense since it was the 1990's when I was her age and I thought the 1960's was olden!  HA! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My 3 year old... and his many expressions

Maybe it's the young adults influence or maybe it's his sense of humor but my little guy sure can turn a normal picture into a forever memory.   

I had to leave church early so I asked the interns to keep an eye on him while Anthony does all the pastoral duties.   When I got home and logged onto Instagram I see these two hilarious pictures.   

Maybe they each convinced him to pose or maybe just maybe he just happen to make these faces.  

He also happen to dress himself that morning in his little white suit so he was already looking sharp.   (he added a train hat which might have been a bit much but in these pictures its awesome)  

Well Tman,

Thanks for the humor on this day... and every day I look at this picture!   I wonder if anyone can come up with a funny saying for each picture to create a meme?  

I love you and your silliness more and more!  

As you read this when you are older I pray you can reflect and always be YOU, because God created you on purpose for a purpose!   You are so important to me and to HIM!  Chase HIM and things will fall into place!   

Book Review: Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters

About the book:
Catie Conrad is a typical, tween, Christian girl and the humorous new voice in a series of books called "Desperate Diva Diaries" by author Angie Spady. The first book in the series for girls aged 9 to 12, titled "Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters," chronicles Catie's attempt at normalcy with the school dance underway and her families surprising plans to spend spring break on an Indian reservation.

Conrad is a typical Christian girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Between the upcoming school dance, a bratty little brother and his pet skunk, a big art competition and not to mention the school’s resident bully “princess,” her life is full of drama. The book is written in the popular diary format, as Conrad chronicles her life as a “wannabe diva,” and also includes her prayer journal. She learns that there is nothing the combination of her best friend and faith can’t get her through, and never ceases to recognize God’s hand in all situations.

In the first installment of “The Desperate Diva Diaries,” Spady demonstrates important lessons such as:
  1. Why you should love your enemies, even bullies
  2. How to keep a prayer journal and why it’s important
  3. Lessons from Esther: How to be brave
  4. Parenting with your tween’s interests in mind
  5. The importance of art and self expression
My Review:
While I may not have a tween yet I know that day is fast approaching and I don't want it to come here and not have some things prepared that will help my daughter keep her faith a priority while living in a world of selfish need to have pleasure now society.   

This book has typical tween drama but it keeps some on my values as priority such as prayer and a devotional life.   Two valuable life lessons I want my kids to use as they grow up!   

This is the first book in the series but I think my daughter will enjoy the series and be encouraged to be bold in her faith where ever she goes!   I always make declarations that she is spilling Christ's love every where she goes with wisdom and safety.   My daughters name also means to pause and reflect so I hope this book series will encourage her to think through all of life's choices.  

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