Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Photo by jslander
This week's reading theme challenge at Teaching Tiny Tots is If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff. My daughter and I enjoyed reading this book together! Instead of pancakes, we enjoyed waffles for dinner on Feb. 24 - National Pancake Day.
I decided to do a pancake themed storytime for my toddlers and preschoolers at the library this week, also. Here are the other pancake books I found!
Mr. Wolf's Pancakes by Jan Fearnley
Hey Pancakes! by Tamson Weston
Round is a Pancake by Joan Sullivan Baranski
The Pancake Day by Foster and Erickson
Curious George Makes Pancakes by Margret and H.A. Rey
In addition to sharing these books, we enjoyed a few fun pancake rhymes and songs from TheBestKidsBooksite - Pancakes theme. If You Give A...at the Virtual Vine also has some cute activities to accompany the book. The last thing we did at storytime was focus on phonological awareness by playing a letter "P" guessing game. I gave the kids clues, and they had to guess what letter "P" word I was describing. The words I used were: popcorn, pizza, pig, pumpkin, pancake, and pie.
I had a lot of fun with this theme and my little one liked the book (and the waffles!), too!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Photo by Randy OHC
Lent, or the 40 days before Easter, begins today. My husband always gives up chocolate (this is a true sacrifice for him), and I do as well, as a support to him. Our church does a daily prayer ministry. Each person takes a Lenten devotional and the names of three families in our church. We commit to praying for these three families each day during Lent, and then contact the families at the end via phone, mail, or in-person. I have always looked forward to finding out who was praying for me. I haven't decided if there is something else I would like to commit to for Lent: giving something up, committing to a new endeavor, or trying to do a better job with something I'm already doing. What do you plan to do to prepare during this season of Lent?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
For lots of delicious recipes, check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!
For more great ideas, visit I Am Blissfully Domestic!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Esentially, for each book that you "swap" or send to someone else, you get a credit to use to select a book from Paperback Swap's listings of books available (and there are a lot!). You pay for shipping for the books you mail to other members, but then the books you request are sent to you for free. At the beginning, you can also earn a credit or two for listing a specific number of books, even before you send one out.
So far, I've sent out 4 books and received 3. While this is not completely free, I love the idea of being able to send books that I no longer need that might be helpful or enjoyable for someone else. I know that I enjoy receiving books in the mail, also! Have any of you tried Paperback Swap or another similar service? How have you liked it?
For more frugal tips, check out Biblical Womanhood's Frugal Friday!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
If you click on the "Activities" link on her web site, you will be taken to different printable resources to use with your kids. From coloring pages to flash cards to masks, there are many wonderful quality resources that are seasonal and that connect with Jan Brett's books.
A few of my favorite Jan Brett books include:
You can sign up to receive email updates that will notify you when new items are added to her web site.
For more Jan Brett check out:
What are your favorite activities from Jan Brett's web site? Do you have a favorite Jan Brett book?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Photo by kathrynivy.com
I don't have a lot of actual books I'm reading this week, but I am looking at lots of magazines. A few I've been reading: Weight Watchers, Good Housekeeping, and All You. I also received a new Joyce Meyer book called In Pursuit of Peace: 21 Ways to Conquer Anxiety, Fear, and Discontentment (Meyer, Joyce) from Paperback Swap (I'll post about Paperback Swap later this week - I have been enjoying using this site!). I am looking forward to delving into this book. Also, I am working on reading Bud, Not Buddy (Readers Circle (Laurel-Leaf)) by Christopher Paul Curtis for my tween book discussion this month. What is on your bookshelf this week? Any titles I need to read?
Monday, February 16, 2009
For a great little girl's bedroom makeover on the cheap, check out "Big Girl Room on a Budget" at MomAdvice.
For more savings, check out Super Savings Saturday!
For more, check out I Am Blissfully Domestic!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Here are a few other books I used for my storytimes this week:
- Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
- How About a Hug by Nancy Carlson
- Where is Baby's Valentine? by Karen Katz
- Queen of Hearts by Mary Engelbreit
There are so many fabulous resources for Valentine's Day songs, fingerplays, and activities. A few I like are:
Check out I Am Blissfully Domestic for lots of other great Valentine's Day ideas!
1. Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30 - $8.99
This moisturizer doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and provides good sun protection.
2. Avon Magix Face Perfector SPF 20 - $10 but regularly on sale for $5
This product is like a primer and makes the rest of my makeup stay on even better.
3. Loreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation - $10.95 (I have gotten this on sale, with coupons, for much cheaper.)
I have very fair, yellow-toned skin and this is the only foundation I've ever been able to find that doesn't leave a line on my jaw. Lots of colors make it easy to find a good match.
4. Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow Quad - $6.99
The quad I am using right now is 04 Sandstorm. The shadows go on smoothly, blend easily, and stay on through the day.
5. Avon Glazewear Lipgloss - $6.00
Honestly, I prefer lipgloss over lipstick. I like the feel of it better and Glazewear comes in a variety of shades. They stay on well and often go on sale for $1.99!
6. Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper LipSmacker - $1.75
I replace my tube of this almost every year and always have it in my purse. It has just a touch of sheer red color and a bit of gloss.
If I had to pare down my collection, these would be my definite keepers. I am still on the hunt for just the right inexpensive blush...any suggestions?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sargento Cheese Sticks - 1/2 price @ $2.43 - $0.40 Q (doubled) = $1.63
Softsoap - $0.99 - $0.35 Q (doubled) = $0.29
Chex Mix - $1 - $0.50 Q (doubled) = FREE
Betty Crocker Frosting - $1 - $0.50 Q (doubled) = FREE
Skippy Peanut Butter - $1.25 - $0.40 Q (doubled) = $0.45
Progresso Soup - $1.25 - $1.10 Internet printable = $0.15
Another great deal: All clearance clothing, shoes, and accessories were an additional 50% off. I picked up a few things.
- A short-sleeved sleep T-shirt for $1.60
- A pair of jean for mydaughter for $2.80
- A floral hoodie for me for $4.25
- A pair of black heeled shoes for me for $6.25
Total spent: $46.79
Total saved: $90.55
If you have a Meijer store near you, leave me a comment if your clothing clearance is an extra 50% off. I'm curious if this is regional or chainwide. Happy shopping!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Early in the week, I stopped at CVS and picked up 4 Glade candles and some chocolate that I had coupons for. My total OOP was $0.29 - I used $9 ECBs and earned $5 this week. Also, I had the opportunity to try and qualify for 2 CVS surveys this week. I qualified for one and earned $10 ECBs that will print on my receipt next week. If you aren't a member of the CVS Advisor Panel, check it out and see if you want to join. I haven't gotten a lot of survey opportunities, but it is worth it to get the occasional survey and earn additional ECBs.
The other fun thing I received this week was our recent Children's Place Monster Sale order. I was able to get several items to save for later this spring or next fall for my daughter. This is what I got:
- Slip-on shoes
- Long-sleeved T-shirt
- Fleece hoodie
- Velour top and matching pants
- Black tights
Total cost: $23.83
For more savings stories, check out Super Savings Saturday!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Because she is fairly young, we didn't do a lot of activities with the book, but we did sing the "ABC" song and talked about some of the letters and their corresponding sounds.
I found some cute alphabet ideas to go with the story at these sites:
I thought the lacing letters and the alphabet breadsticks looked like fun!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at Little Giraffes
The celery trees and letter discovery bottles are great ideas!
KinderKorner ABC Theme
The coconut tree song looks fun!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Unit
The powerpoint here looks awesome and the cookies look delicious!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Book Break
There are some fun coloring pages and crafts here.
Molten Chocolate Cakes - Courtesy of Kraft
Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 8 servings, one half molten cake each
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter four 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Place on baking sheet. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Blend in eggs and egg yolks with wire whisk. Stir in flour. Divide batter among prepared custard cups.
Bake 13 to 14 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Serve immediately, topped with whipped topping.
I used large muffin cups to make these and they turned out well. We didn't have whipped topping and they still were yummy!
For more recipes, check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
1. Reduce gift spending by approximately 1/3, but not our gift giving.
We have been able to buy many gifts ahead this month by shopping a variety of clearance sales. I have a nice stash of gifts up in our gift closet, so I think we have a solid start working on this goal.
2. Continue to prepay mortgage.
We were excited when we received our most recent mortgage bill - we have paid down enough extra on our mortgage that our PMI has been removed from the bill. This will allow us to prepay even more on our mortgage because we will continue to pay the same amount we have been even though the bill is smaller.
3. Create a CD ladder for savings.
We finally made it into the bank and opened one CD. It's not a ladder, but it's a start!
4. Continue to save for daughter's college fund and general savings account.
The same day we went into the bank for the CD, we put our daughter's money into a savings account. We also were able to save a (small) additional amount in her college savings for January.
How are you doing on your 2009 goals so far? Check out Money Saving Mom for others' monthly check-ups!
2 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C solid shortening
1 C granulated sugar
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C peanut butter
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream shortening and sugars; add eggs; beat until fluffy. Blend in vanilla, then peanut butter. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape dough into small balls; flatten balls with a glass that has been dipped in granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes o until golden brown.
These cookies always come out nicely shaped and freeze well. They make a lot - this recipe yielded 5 dozen cookies for me. I also added some peanut butter chips I had in my pantry. Do you have a recipe like this one? Can you remember where it came from?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Until We Reach Home By Lynn Austin
This title is another historical/inspirational fiction story. Three orphaned sisters travel from Sweden to the United States to make a new life for themselves. I think this book creates a fairly realistic picture of the difficulties immigrants faced in coming to this country.
Multiple Blessings By Jon Gosselin, Kate Gosselin, and Beth Carson
I've had this book on request for several weeks and it finally came in last week. I'm just getting started on it, but am enjoying it so far. I'm surprised that I like it because I typically am not a nonfiction book reader.
Indian in the Cupboard By Lynne Reid Banks
This is our book discussion book for my tween book group at the library this week. The book is a fantasy story and is quite humorous and engaging. I would recommend it for the 3-5 grade age group.
What books are on your bookshelf this week?
Monday, February 2, 2009
Marcus and the Mail: the Sound of M By Joanne Meier and Cecilia Minden
This book focuses on the sound of the letter "m" while telling about a boy named Marcus who gets some special mail.
Bunny Mail By Rosemary Wells
This darling story is a Max and Ruby lift-the-flap book. Max tries to write a letter to Santa, but the mailman has trouble reading Max's letters.
Love and Kisses, Kitty By Max Haynes
This simple lift-the-flap book shows kitty making Valentines for all of her animal friends!
A Letter to Amy By Ezra Jack Keats
This is another charming story by the author and illustrator of The Snowy Day.
Fingerplays, Songs, and Activities
When I taught Kindergarten, the students loved to write "letters". Save all of the junk mail envelopes, notepads, stickers, and address labels you receive. Set out some crayons, markers, and pencils, and let your kids "write" their own letters. This will even work for preschoolers who are not writing yet.
Mail Carrier Theme Station
Many different songs, activities, and fingerplays about mail and mailmen are available at this site.
Visit this site for many more books, songs, and fingerplays!