Tag Archives: frugal

Friday Favorite: Veggie Mix (1 recipe=4 meals)

29 Aug

FRIDAY Favorites

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Friday Favorites post for you fine readers! You probably already detected the reality– I took the summer off from my regularly scheduled posts: What We’re Reading Wednesdays and Friday Favorites. Well, school is back in session at the Mosley Casa, so I am hoping to get back to my regularly scheduled bi-monthly posts. Today’s Friday Favorites is one that I’ve wanted to share for a while! I made a double batch of this Veggie Mix this week, so I knew it was time! Here’s today’s Friday Favorites….

Veggie Mix

 

This summer marks the 3rd year that we’ve participated in a CSA in our community. What is a CSA, you ask? Read more here for a long exhaustive description. My simple explanation is that we buy a “share” of a local farmer’s produce crop, and our share of the crop is delivered weekly to a local produce store. We pick our weekly stash of fruits and veggies up on Tuesdays, and it’s almost like Christmas! Each week is a surprise! We have know idea what we will be picking up each week, so it’s always exciting. 🙂 After doing this two summers prior with the same farmer, I can anticipate what items we will receive. My hypothesis of each week’s “loot” may not be accurate, but I have learned that each CSA year we will, at some point, enjoy fresh strawberries and blueberries, cabbage, tomatoes, patty pan and spaghetti squashes, and a variety of other things. It has been an adventure in the kitchen for me each summer as I have received a variety of produce that was unknown to me! Embarassingly, I had to ask the farmer’s delivery man on more than one occasion the name of several vegetables. AND, I may or may not have googled a video on How to Cut Up a Bok Choy.  But, I digress!

Each summer, though, my excitement builds around August as I know that we’ll be showered with a ton of onions, peppers tomatoes, and eggplants. When those vegetables start appearing, it is time for me to make my Veggie Mix! I originally found this recipe in Southern Living. Its appeal was the title of the article, “Five Fast Dinners Begin with One Vegetable Mix.” Hmmm…fascinating! So, I ripped out the recipe and tried it. To summarize how this recipe works, you make a base “Veggie Mix,” and you end the day with 4 frozen packages for later use (or, you can use immediately!). The original recipe came with FIVE uniquely different recipes that can be made using one package of the “Veggie Mix” base and a few more ingredients. When I read this information, I was sold. I have been making this “Veggie Mix” for at least 5 years. Clearly, it’s a “keeper.” I love that each summer I make 8-12 frozen packages of the “Veggie Mix,” and we, literally, eat on it all winter!

Today, l share my version of the “Veggie Mix” recipe, and you can visit Southern Living’s website for the original version that contains the 5 different recipes–Individual Pizzas, Greek-Style Chicken Stew, Shrimp with Rice, Beef and Vegetable Supper (aka “Spaghetti” in our house), and Black Bean Soup–to make using your “Veggie Mix” base. We have tried all of the recipes except the Individual Pizzas. When I make either of the other 4 recipes, I love that the final meal tastes entirely different than the other, unused recipes. So, you can make this mixture on Sunday afternoon and enjoy 4 different meals that week. I promise that while eating the Black Bean Soup you won’t think, “Hmmm…this tastes just like the Greek-Style Chicken Stew expect it has black beans instead of chicken.” The recipes and tastes are unique. Without further ado, here’s the recipe!

photo (35)This week’s bounty. I doubled the recipe for 8 frozen packages to enjoy this winter!

 

Veggie Mix (adapted from this Southern Living recipe)

1-2 onions, chopped
4 bell peppers, chopped (I use a mixture of green, yellow, red, and orange.)
1/4 cup olive or coconut oil (I use either.)
1 large eggplant, chopped
3 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (or in the summer I use fresh tomatoes)
1/4 cup Greek seasoning (I make my own.)

1) Saute onions, peppers, and eggplant in oil 5-10 minutes, until cooked.
2) Add in tomatoes and Greek seasoning.
3) I bring to boil and then, turn down to lowest setting and simmer 15-20 minutes. This makes my house smell heavenly, so sometimes, I let it simmer a while!
4) Spoon 3 cups of Veggie Mix into freezer bag. Does this to create a total of 4 bags.
5) Freeze the 4 freezer bags of the “Veggie Mix.”  The original recipe says to freeze up to one month. Ummmmm, confession, I keep mine longer than a month in my freezer. 🙂
When you are ready to make one of the 5 recipes (Individual Pizzas, Black Bean Soup, Greek-Style Chicken Stew, Shrimp and Rice or Spaghetti) consult the original recipe for those directions. I usually pull out a ziploc bag of the “Veggie Mix” the day before I need it. I let it thaw on a plate (to avoid spills/leaks) in my fridge.

photo (32)

Aren’t these pepper beautiful?!!?

Additional hint: I pulverize my veggies! The first few times I made this recipe I chopped the peppers, onions and eggplant by hand. My sons were able to “sort through” the veggies and pick out what they didn’t like. (Awesome! Grr!) I got a little wiser and started pulverizing the veggies in my food proccessor! Now, they can’t organize the vegetables by peppers, onions and eggplant and “fish” them out to avoid eating. 🙂 I love the yumminess and healthiness that they are ingesting every time we enjoy a “Veggie Mix” recipe! Here’s a picture of what the pulverized veggies look like:

IMG_9960

I feel so “Sneaky Chef-ish.” 🙂 🙂 Please don’t tell my boys this little secret. Let’s just keep it between us, okay?

I’m excited to share this Friday Favorite with you! If you make this “Veggie Mix,” stop back by and comment below to let me know how you like it!

 

 

 

Friday Favorites: Energy Bites (aka “Chocolate Chip Balls”)

16 May

FRIDAY Favorites

I have three sons. Their current ages are 8, 6, and 4. My sons eat massive quantities of food. I spend hours each day preparing food for them (of course!), but I spend equal amounts of my day brainstorming ways that I can earn a 6-figure income in the next year or two. Why, you ask? It’s not because I’m desirous of a larger home or a sweeter swagger wagon mini van. No, my reasons for seeking a 6-figure income is because our sons are eating us out of house and home! It’s time to increase the grocery budget! ha! 🙂 I can’t fathom how much food they’ll consume (or how much the food will cost!) when they are all teenagers. Wow. Mind blowing.

To satiate their little  ever expanding tummies, I have started force feeding  serving them these yummy Energy Bites! We’ve actually dubbed them “Chocolate Chip Balls” around our house. They never turn away a recipe with “chocolate chip” in the title. Between the protein from the peanut butter and the fiber from the oats and milled flax seed, my boys can go longer than ten minutes without a snack! ha! Honestly, 4 or 5 of these, and the boys are good to go for an hour of two. (And Moms everywhere are cheering with joy!)

Another plus–these are very easy to make! I must warn you, though. These are very addictive!!! I have no self-control when I eat these bad boys. I promise myself that I’ll only eat one….and half the mixture later, I realize I’ve broken my self-promise. hahahaha! AND…a special shout out to my dear friend Melanie who gave me this recipe. Best recipe ever!

This recipe is so delightful the energy bites magically arranged themselves on my plate in this design. Isn’t that amazing?image

Energy Bites

1 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1 cup honey
3 cups oats
1/2 cup milled flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or in this case butterscotch, which is all I had!)
other optional “add ins”–sliced almonds, rice krispy cereal, cheerios, raisins, craisins. It’s very versatile!

1) Mix all the ingredients together.

2) Form into balls and serve. (I use this to scoop them out.)

3) The recipe instructions are over, but I wanted to include another “tip” about this recipe. 🙂 You can line them on a cookie sheet and through them in your freezer to flash freeze them. Once frozen, throw them into a ziploc bag. Now, you can pop them out of the freezer anytime! Going on a road trip? Throw several frozen energy bites in a ziploc bag. They will thaw as you’re traveling, and viola! Snacks in the car! We use these a lot in the summer before heading out to swim. Swimming=even MORE ravenous sons. 🙂 Energy bites=ravenous boys satiated=happy Mom. 🙂

image
I’m not even going to lie. This picture makes me so happy. I feel like I was channeling my inner Pioneer Woman when I took this photo. Doesn’t she always have the most magical food photos? I try not to covet her mad Kodak skills. Thanks to Apple and the iPad Mini for helping me reach my goal of channeling my inner Pioneer Woman. I’m sure it will take me at least 2 to 3 more years to take another cool “foodie” photo again. So, until then, I’ll just keep staring at this one. And…I digress.


imageThe finished product! I may or may not have eaten all of these as soon as I finished snapping their photo. Oops!

 

Friday Favorites: Southwest Cheesecake

2 May

FRIDAY Favorites

As I promised in last week’s Friday Favorites, here’s my other favorite cheesecake recipe. It’s called Southwest Cheesecake, and it is of the salty cheesecake variety. As with most recipes that I try, I am not certain what possessed me to try it! I am not a cheesecake fan, and I had no clue that salty cheesecakes existed. What possessed me to give this recipe a whirl? I’m thinking the biggest contributing factor was my husband’s love for cheesecake! Regardless of the reason for trying the recipe, I am so, so, so, so glad that I did! It’s fabulous! 

Southwest Cheesecake
Here are several reasons why I adore this recipe:
*It’s always a crowd pleaser. This recipe is delicious, in case you were curious! Every time I take this cheesecake to a gathering someone asks for the recipe! That always makes me a happy chef. 🙂
*It feeds an army. This is a great appetizer to take to or to serve at a party, event, or gathering. It’s almost as if the cheesecake multiplies as it is served. The cheesecake goes a long way. It is a crowd pleaser and feeds that crowd handily.
*It’s best to make it ahead. I get stressed out when I’m taking “party food” to a gathering. I usually make a dish the day of the event, but I’m always fearful that a recipe might flop. Then, if the recipe does flop, what would I take to the party?!?! The Southwest Cheesecake has made my “party food” anxiety fade away. The Southwest Cheesecake needs to be refrigerated for several hours, so it’s actually best if I make it the day before the gathering I’m attending. This recipe makes me stress free the day of the event because I already have the Southwest Cheesecake made! Plus, if the recipe flops, though it never has for me, I have ample time to remake the recipe before the event. Don’t you love being stress free?!?!? I do! 🙂
*It’s easy to make. I wrote in last week’s Banana Pudding Cheesecake post that making a cheesecake is actually super simple! The Southwest Cheesecake falls into that same category: cheesecakes=easy to make.

Southwest Cheesecake

adapted from Southern Living’s version

1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz. package. I use Nefuchatel cream cheese.)
2 cups Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese (depending on your “spice” level), shredded
2 cups sour cream (or one 16 oz. container of sour cream), divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups salsa
Guacamole or salsa, to garnish
2 bags of tortilla chips

Directions:

1) Crush tortilla chips until you have 1 1/2 cups. (Kitchen Tip: I put whole tortilla chips into a ziploc bag and crush them with a kitchen hammer until I have the correct amount.)

This is what the tortilla chips look like before I use the kitchen hammer…
image

This is what the tortilla chips look like after I release a little aggression via my kitchen hammer. ha! 🙂

image

2) Combine melted butter and crushed tortilla chips. Press into bottom of greased, 9 inch springform pan.

3) Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

4) Remove crust from oven and cool on wire rack.

5) Combine cream cheese and shredded Monterrey jack cheese and beat with mixer until well combined.

6) Add 1 cup of sour cream and mix until combined.

7) Add eggs one at a time into existing mixture until well combined. Stir in salsa and pour into prepared crust. It should look something like this…

image

8) Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until the center is almost set. I shake the cheesecake, if it still “jiggles” in the center I cook additionally for 2 minutes (and repeat) until the center only slightly moves. It should look something like this. If there are craters or cracks on the top, no worries! They will be covered up. 🙂

image

9) Let cheesecake stand for 10 minutes on wire rack. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen the edge of the cheesecake from the springform pan. Cool completely.

10) Spread remaining 1 cup sour cream onto top of Southwest Cheesecake. Cool, minimally, 3 hours or up to 1 day.

image

11) Additional toppings of guacamole or salsa can be added onto the sour cream as a garnish before serving. Serve with tortilla chips. Here’s a tip with this salty cheesecake–do not cut the cheesecake into wedges and serve as you would a sweet cheesecake. Use a spoon to scoop out desired amount to serve.

I made this recipe last week for our Classical Conversations End of Year Celebration. I was hoping to include with this blog post a picture of my finished Southwest Cheesecake with the additional toppings I included before serving. However, sadly, the Southwest Cheesecake fell on the floor of our van en route to our house after our End of Year Celebration. Yes, it made a magnificent mess in our van, and no, I did not get a “finished product” picture for you. 😦 I did manage to capture a picture of the Southwest Cheesecake in the trash bag shortly after the beautiful, amazing, tasteful cheesecake crashed onto our van floor. There it is in the lower right hand corner of the picture. Wishing the picture of the Southwest Cheesecake could be better, but for now, this one will have to do. 🙂 ha!

image

Enjoy this yummy recipe!

Book It Program: Homeschool Registration for 2014-15 is OPEN

1 May

I wrote about this last year, and I’m excited to share it again this year! Drum Roll, please! It’s time to register your kiddos for Book It!!

What is Book It, you ask?!?! The Book It Program is reading incentive program where children can earn a free Pizza Hut personal pan pizza by reading! The Book It Program is available through public and private school children, but did you know it’s also open to homeschooling families? Registration for the 2014-15 school year is OPEN as of today for homeschooling families. To register your Kindergarten through 6th grade kiddos, visit this link. This will be our 5th year to participate in Book It, and my boys love, love, love it! They love it probably just as much as their Mom did when she was a girl! Enrollment is free! You will receive your Enrollment Packet in the fall with your free Pizza Hut personal pan pizza coupons per eligible child. It always seems like the Enrollment Packet will never arrive as the fall approaches, but it always does. (Don’t panic like I usually do! ha!)

So, stop what you’re doing and register your children! As a Mom, I feel like Book It is a special treat for me, too. I always save the boys’ pizzas for lunch on a school day. It’s so nice to have one day a month “off” from being the “school lunch lady.” 🙂

 

Kindle On Sale-$49

29 Apr

Just saw that Amazon Kindle (the “basic” model) is on sale for $49 (a $20 savings)! Thinking to do some birthday shopping for our oldest two since they’ve hijacked their parents’ Kindle. 🙂 Why have they hijacked their parents’ Kindle you ask?It’s the library’s fault! 🙂 Our library has thousands of children’s books that can be virtually checked out–for FREE! To say that our boys love this reality would be an understatement! They think it’s pretty cool and “grown up” to read on the Kindle! I think whatever keeps them interested in reading, right?!?!

The Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi and various various Kindle Fire models are also $20 off. It appears that there is one deal per customer. This is a Mother’s Day sale, so snag this deal before it’s gone. 

One other perk that our family uses. 🙂 If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get to check out one free Kindle book a month from Amazon. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, enjoy a 30 Day FREE Trial!

Old Story New (Family Devotion) Kindle edition–currently $0.01

24 Apr

Our friends introduced us to Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God a couple of years ago. We’ve heard nothing but great things about it! It’s on the “docket” for our family once we finish The Child’s Story Bible. I had heard a few months ago that there was a follow up to Long Story Short called Old Story New. My husband almost bought it for me two weeks ago at Together for the Gospel, but instead he bought me this (which is currently knocking my socks off!). The good news is that NOW I have both because the Kindle edition of Old Story New is currently $0.01! Yes, you read that correctly–ONE PENNY! I quickly snagged that and can’t wait to use it with our family!

Want to get this for your family but don’t have a Kindle? No problem! You can get the Kindle App to use with phones, tablets and computers. Don’t miss this great deal and fabulous resource for gathering your family around the Bible. 🙂

Friday Favorites: Favorite Places to find FREE Audio Books

11 Apr

FRIDAY Favorites

I’m wrapping up my last post about audio books today in my Friday Favorites series. In the previous 2 posts, I wrote about an apologetic for incorporating audio books into our children’s (and family’s!) lives and a laundry list of my boys’ favorite audio books divided into three age ranges: Preschool, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary/Middle School. As promised, I am writing today about my favorite places to find FREE audio books.

Free Audio Book Resources

LibrivoxThis is an online resource that contains audio versions of public domain books. Anytime you see the phrase “public domain,” it is safe to assume that these books are old and the majority of them are in the Classics genre. Copyright stays with a book for a specific length of time, and once the said length of time has transpired the book becomes “public domain.”  Public domain books, therefore, can be used as you like. photo 1
On Librivox’s website you can search through-literally-hundreds of free audio books. Once your selection is made, you can simply listen (aka “live stream”) to the audio files via Librivox’s website or download the files to your computer or iTunes. Librivox’s website contains detailed, “how-to” instructions  for downloading the audio book files. Once downloaded onto your computer or iTunes, you can burn the audio book onto cds and enjoy in your car, or your child can use the CDs in his/her room at naptime/restime. By downloading to iTunes, you can use an MP3 player/iPod/iPad/iPhone to listen to the audio books. I especially enjoy having this audio book-on-my-iPod option for exercising. I listened to Stepping Heavenward (by Elizabeth Prentiss) thanks to Librivox, and it was great motivation for exercise. I only permitted myself to listen to the book while exercising. I was so enthralled and drawn in by the book that I easily made exercise a priority because I wanted to listen to the next chapter! 🙂

There is an expansive list of genres available on Librovox: Children’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Poetry,  just to name a few. Best of all–the books are FREE! (I love free!!!)

photo 2

Books Should Be FreeThis is another website similar in concept, access and functionality as Librivox. In fact, some of Books Should Be Free audio books are accessed via Librivox. There are a few distinctions to note on Books Should Be Free. This website makes available audio and eBook versions of books. If an eBook version of a book is available (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, .pdf) in addition to an audio book version, it will be indicated on the specific page dedicated to the book. If your kiddo enjoys following along in the Kindle version of the book while he/she listens to the audio book version, Books Should Be Free will be a tremendous resource for you! you can download both audio and eBook versions from the same page!

Another distinction with Books Should Be Free boasts itself as “a primarily visual browsing experience.” This evidences itself when perusing through their website. Instead of listing book titles in alphabetical order with pages of text, text, text to sort through, Books Should Be Free includes a photo of each book’s cover. The visual images of the books make navigating through their website simpler. Searching for a specific book becomes less of a wild-goose chase filled with frustration and more of an attainable goal with a happy ending.

Books Should Be Free mirrors Librivox in that you have the option to listen to the audio book online via live streaming or to download it to your computer, iTunes (including via Podcasts), or MP3 player.

Library–Don’t forget one of the most accessible places for FREE audio books is your local library. Our library’s children’s section has a vast expanse of audio books available for checkout. At any given moment, you’ll likely find 3 or 4 different audio books from our library in our home. All 3 of my boys (currently ages 8, 6, and 4) usually have about an hour of rest time each day in their rooms (and consequently, me, too! Woot!). The boys LOVE this time of day because 99.9 % of the time this one hour of rest includes an audio book! Another plus, thanks to audio books, is that they rarely complain about rest time; they’re eager to listen to the next chapters in their current audio book!

If your library has a limited, small, or non-existent audio book collection, don’t be discouraged! Talk to your librarian! You may have these options:

  • Audio Book downloads via your library’s website–With advances in technology, many libraries are expanding their online access for digital and audio versions of books. Through our library’s website, I can download audio books from my library’s collection to iTunes for a specified length of time.
  • Petition for audio books to be purchased–Most libraries add to their collection each year. If your library’s audio book section is less than ideal, communicate your desire to see their audio book collection expanded. Most libraries are eager to hear input from their patrons.
  • Make Interlibrary loan your BFF–Just hearing the words “interlibrary loan” (ILL) makes me think of my college library. ILL is a program allowing a library patron to borrow a book that is unavailable at his/her library from a partnering library. I was continually ILL-ing books during my undergrad and graduate years. I never thought of a local library having ILL; I had only associated it with college libraries. However, when my quest to find a classic, well-loved children’s book at our local library left me striking out, I mentioned this to the librarian, and she suggested using interlibrary loan. I gladly obliged. (As a note of encouragement to the previous bullet regarding suggesting books to your librarian, I noticed several months later that the book I borrowed via ILL had been ordered and added to our library!) Your librarian can assist you with the interlibrary loan process at your local library.

So, now that I’ve encouraged you to make audio book listening a part of your life and provided resources where they can be accessed for FREE, what will be your or your kiddos’ first/next audio book?!?!? If you have any suggestions to share with Suzanne Shares leaders, please comment and include them below!

Thanks for stopping by for today’s Friday Favorites!

 

Reading Eggs–Free 5 Week Trial: Read-to-Cure Challenge

28 Jan

Our first year of homeschooling was quite unexpected. We were moving to plant a church, our house wasn’t selling, and school options whittled away to only one–homeschooling. Having never been trained as a teacher, I had no idea what I was doing. 🙂 I love learning, so my sons and I tackled it together. (Never did I anticipate loving it as much as I did and do! NO JUDGEMENT for those who school their children other ways. I know homeschooling is not for everyone, and I promise there is nothing “special” or “amazing” about me because I do. I’m sure those of you with school-agers feel the same way I do–it’s only God’s grace that gets us through schooling our children! Can I get an AMEN?!?!) One website that we stumbled upon was Reading Eggs. My oldest son, in kindergarten at the time, enjoyed doing something on the computer, and I loved that his computer time was educational. What I also loved was that I noticed an improvement in his letter recognition and reading only after a few short weeks. Now, we’ve used it with Son #2 for kindergarten last year, and Son #3 already begs to play it as well!

Reading Eggs has a fee to use their program. However, right now, you can sign up for a FREE 5 Week Trial if you are not currently a Reading Eggs user. We “test drove” Reading Eggs via a “Free Trial” as well when we first learned about it. I was thankful for the “test drive” because I hated to spend the money if my son hated it. If you’re curious to know if it would be a good fit for your family, sign up for the FREE 5 Week Trial. Reading Eggs has lessons for ages 3-13, so there is a vast expanse of lessons to navigate and explore! Another win-win for signing up for the 5 Week Trial before March 7th is that Reading Eggs is donating $1 to the National Children’s Cancer Society for every new free trial sign up! Love it!

So, sign up and give it a go! I would love to hear if your kiddos enjoy it!

Earn $ while Christmas shopping in your pjs

19 Nov

imageI got this check in the mail last month from Shop at Home–$30! Yay! Do you know you can make some cha-ching while you’re shopping online this Christmas (and the rest of the year?!?!?)

ShopAtHome Banner

SHOP AT HOMEI love Shop at Home because it allows me to do shopping at home while in my pjs and wearing no make up if I’d like. And, while I’m shopping away, I earn money for each purchase made through Shop at Home. Do you want to get paid to shop? Yes! Me, too! Shop at Home has partnerships with different retailers. By going through the Shop at Home website to a partnering retailer you earn a percentage back based on the total of your purchase. I like free money! 🙂 I am doing 95% of my Christmas shopping online because it’s convenient and I can wear my pjs and no make up, but also I do so in order to earn part of my money back from Shop at Home.

Ready to sign up for Shop at Home?!?!? If you sign up for Shop at Home through my referral link, you and I both get $5 added to our account if you make a qualifying purchase within 30 days of signing up. :) So, go sign up and refer your friends and earn more money! You will receive a check once you accumulate $20 in rewards. I love that on “My Account” page I can always see how much I’ve earned and how much more is needed to receive my $20 reward. It also clearly states when you will receive your check, so there’s no guessing.


SWAGBUCKS-I also love SwagBucks for earning money while shopping online in my pjs with no make up. 🙂 Swagbucks, essentially, is a search engine (think Google, Bing, Yahoo). When you sign up for Swagbucks, you download a Swagbucks toolbar for your internet browser. You, then, use the toolbar as your regular search engine, and you are rewarded with Swagbucks randomly as you search. On the toolbar, it shows your total number of Swagbucks. You can use your Swagbucks to purchase items in the Swag Store. They have almost any gift card imaginable in the Swag Store. My favorite gift card to buy is the $5 Amazon.com gift card, which requires 450 Swagbucks. Since I signed up for Swagbucks about 3 years ago, I’ve probably earned the $5 Amazon.com gift card 12-15 times. There are multiple ways on their website to earn more Swagbucks rapidly. If I had more time, I’d attempt some of those. However, just by my usual internet searching online–not going out of my way to do anything extra–I’m earning the Amazon gift card 4 or 5 times per year. I love free money. 🙂 Thank you, Swagbucks. 🙂 AND, once you sign up for Swagbucks, you can refer your friends and you’ll both earn Swagbucks! (See, I’m referring you, so that means I’ll earn Swagbucks based off of my referral to you.  Thanks!)

So, if you’re like me this Christmas season and doing lots of online shopping, earn part of your money back while you shop. Don’t worry–spit-up-stained, ‘holy’ t-shirts, and “au natural” make up are all acceptable wear when you Shop at Home or search via Swagbucks. 🙂

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

Scotch Laminator–$21.99 currently @ Amazon

17 Nov

I just noticed that the Scotch Thermal Laminator  is currently $21.99 at Amazon. This is the same one I have and purchased 3 years ago. I love it (laugh, if you will!) and use it frequently. I just used it to make cute little Bag Tags for the kiddos in my Classical Conversations class as Christmas presents. 🙂 Even if you’re not a homeschooler, you would be surprised at how useful it is to have one of these around the house. It transforms any sheet of paper into a reusable document with the assistance of a dry erase marker. Use these laminating pages with the laminator (to be purchased separately). I’ve found them the cheapest at Sam’s–roughly $20 for 200 sheets.

Happy laminating. 🙂 If anyone laughs at you for putting this on your Christmas list, just let me know. I will chat with you and make you realize that it’s not silly to ask for one for Christmas; you’re in good company with me. 🙂

With Christmas right around the corner, now is a good time to sign up for a FREE 30 Day Trail of Amazon Prime. Our family loves Amazon Prime–free 2 day shipping, movie & TV episodes free streaming, and one free Kindle book to “check out” each month. I love shopping, not leaving my house and picking it up off my front porch 2 days later. 🙂

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.