Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hey, Friends! I was over at The Crafty Classroom (one of my favorite websites)and read about a fantastic giveaway! Hearts at Home is giving a away $100 to spend on curriculum in their store. YES! It's true! Visit the link above for The Crafty Classroom,(Click on The Crafty Classroom), to see how to enter. You only have until tomorrow night, Friday, July 29th to enter. The contest ends at midnight Pacific Time. Sorry for the late notice but I only found out today. Good luck to all who enter!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Savings for School

Another Sunday afternoon of Back-to-School deals. Boy, I love it. I really do! It gives me a sense of satisfaction to fill up our school closet for the year for so little.
First we stopped by Staples. I had all the kids with me today since Dave was working. I have to say they did very well in the store and were a huge help. Sweet Pea even purchased some folders & a memory stick of her own. This is what I bought. A 7-pack of Zebra Z-grip retractable ball point pens (A free treat!), two 2-pks. of Bic White-Out (Great stuff!), two 2-pks. of Sharpie pens (Love these!) & 25 folders (Use these ALL the time!). Normally these would have cost me over $22. With my rebate I will have spent only $1.75. Savings? = A little over $20.

Our next stop was Office Depot. At first I wasn't going to stop but our visit to Staples was so quick I figured why not. Here I only bought was what on sale. I was very pleased that even though they had run out of the white board markers they were breaking up large packs & putting them in two's to offer more to customers. Now THAT'S good customer service! So I bought 6 white board markers & 3 pencil sharpeners. This was the maximum limit of each. The total would have been $11.94. I spent only 78 cents. A savings of $11.16 Nice!

Our last stop was Walgreens. I tried a different store this time. Though the cashier was very nice & helpful not one thing was priced correctly with the sale prices. It was hard to know which were the sale items. Definitely a pain. I kept sending Sweet Pea up to the cashier to check product & prices for us. She is a great help. After a lot of time we got out of there with all of this. I am still pleased with the savings. But I will definitely be going back to my store down the street.

Regular price total = $32.67 I paid = $8.31 Savings = $24.36

In the end that's $66.61 of school supplies for only $10.84. Who says it doesn't pay to shop the sales? Not me! Lol! =0)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birthday Balloons

Elvis' birthday fell on a camp day this year. He was excited to spend the day at one of his favorite places & let everyone know it was his special day. When we went to pick him up at the end of the day I brought these balloons to surprise him with. He was grinning from ear to ear! It made him feel special to be celebrated in front of everyone. To top it off as we were walking to our van friends of ours stopped and sang 'Happy Birthday' to him at the top of their lungs. What great friends!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Planning for Princess

Here are a few more items I picked up for Princess' school time & Busy Box. Many of them I found at the Dollar Tree. I ADORE that place!
Wooden lacing beads, wooden magnetic numbers & wooden magnetic letters.

These are for her to play with in her Busy Box & water table.

These are to use with crafts & with her 1+1+1=1 activities.

For her Busy Box. I may even let her have them for bath time too. =)

These will be fun to use with paint.

PERFECT for her Busy Box! I had priced these & was thrilled to find one at Target for only $2! Dave laughed at my childish glee.

I bought this to use as her Busy Box. I bought Rubbermaid because I wanted something that would hold up to playtime & that had a tight, snap-on lid.

I have a few more items I found at the curriculum sale last Friday. I'll share those soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

I decided to make an ice cream cake for Elvis' birthday party. My best friend, Megan makes a scrumptious one but Elvis thought it too sweet. Those words do not exist in my vocabulary but since it was his birthday I complied. Lol! I researched online & came up with a combination of Megan's recipe & and one online. Here is the result.
First we baked two 9x13 chocolate sheet cakes. This is one of them. It will be the base. We actually baked them the night before & froze them. It made them a lot easier to work with & saved on freezing time before the party.

Next I spread whipped topping on top of the base layer. Then I started to sprinkle crushed cookie crumbs on top. You can use Oreos but to fit in the budget I bought a similar brand at Aldi. I crushed the cookies by putting them in a Ziploc bag & then rolling over it with a rolling pin.

The next layer is ice cream. I cut chunks from a boxed 1/2 gallon of ice cream. I ended up using an entire 1/2 gallon & then one slice of another. The amount depends on how thick you want your layer to be. Like Megan, I recommend you splurge & use a quality ice cream. It really does make a big difference. We used Purity.

My little helper enjoyed licking the lid of the whipped topping container while she watched.

I forgot to take a picture, (I was in a hurry that morning b/c of the party), but I added another layer of cookie crumbs. Then it was time for the 2nd cake layer to be added. Before I did that I put globs of whipped topping in each corner. This helped to hold the top layer to the rest of the cake. After that I put a thick layer of whipped topping over the whole thing using it like a frosting. It was hard to get on the sides b/c of the hot weather. In the end it didn't really matter. Once it was all assembled we popped it in the chest freezer to await it's debut.

A very important step! Don't forget to let your sidekick get a lick of the spoon when you are done. This will make them very happy.

Princess & Bugsy were fascinated by the whole process. They waited patiently & were each rewarded with a spatula to lick.

Add a few sprinkles, a candle & some Star Wars figures and here is Elvis' birthday cake! We poured hot fudge sauce over each piece as it was served too. This treat was a HUGE hit with the kids & adults. Our kids are now all asking for the same treat on their birthdays! =0)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

The Back-to-School sales have begun! YAY! Let the games begin! I went to Staples today as they had the most items on sale. I got all of this today. I found some added items I left out of my original photo and they are in the photo beneath the big one. They are all one purchase even though it's in two photos. Want to guess how much I paid?

Isn't this great? Okay, if you are wondering the total for all of this at the original prices would have been $115.98. That's not counting tax. Wow, eh? Now for what I paid. I paid $21.31. Yep. That's it. And that's not the best part. The computer copy paper is a rebate item. After the rebate it will only cost 25 cents a package. So after all is said & done I will have paid $9.83 our of pocket for all of these items. And that's including the 9.75% tax. =0)


Saturday, July 2, 2011

New for School!

Today our family was getting ready to head out to Goodwill. Right before we left I decided to take a quick glance at Craigslist & scroll through the yard sale list. One immediately caught my eye. She had a long list of learning items! It turns out she is a school teacher & had cleaned out her classroom of things she didn't need anymore. I was happy to help her out. Lol!

Front of kit ~ BRAND NEW, never opened
Back of kit
This will be perfect for Bugsy this year!

We can use these for so many projects, adventures & experiments!

How cool to have one for each child & Mama too!
(Of course some for back up are always welcome!)

Perfect for Boo Bear's studies this year.

Princess already loves these.


I'm looking forward to seeing what silly sentences he comes up with.

The flash blocked it out but it says, "Rhymes with pan". You flip up the flap & not only does it say "fan" but has a list of several additional rhyming words too.

Blank world maps.

A calendar for Bugsy & eventually Princess. It also has two additional posters of the calendar set up. I may use these for assignment or activity calendars. Hmmmm.........

Bingo chips. I can use them for Bingo, math, reading or even other games.

I've been looking for some quick, easy crafts & these are perfect!

Here they are out of the bag.

Elvis found 3 bags of play marbles. I bought one for him.

As we walked back to the car I realized I had better get one for Bugsy too! He wasn't with us and was happy & surprised with his gift!

I'll post my Goodwill finds soon!