Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beginnings Book Review

I was ready to move on the to the next book in my stack which was Beginnings: Sommerfeld Trilogy #2 (Truly Yours Romance Club #15) by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  I was excited to find out what was going to happen next in this short triology.  The first book left so many questions that I picked up the second book immediately and couldn't put it down.  I got a ton of reading done while my husband was watching track and field...I was done with the Olympic addition when swimming and diving was over.  I like track and field but I can't do 4 hours of it without getting bored because they are literally running in circles.

Beth Quinn is struggling to find a place to belong in the Old Order Mennonite Community of Sommerfeld, Kansas. When she starts a business designing stained glass windows, two men—one a Mennonite, the other not—begin to vie for her attention. Andrew Braun, a member of the Sommerfeld fellowship, is dedicated to family and faith. Sean McCauley, the son of a successful businessman, may only be interested in Beth’s talents. Will Beth look to her heavenly Father to fill the emptiness within, or will her desperate quest for love shatter more than one heart?

I am really glad that picked up the second book in this interesting series at one of the summer reading programs where I got free books.  It gave me the chance to pick up all the books at the library and read this great series.  Now I get to put the second one on my shelf that I can read anytime but I got the fun of reading the whole series.  It was good to see Beth starting to make a life after having a really tough time in the first book.  She has done a lot to try to settle into her life and grow up after all the trouble she had in the first book but she is carrying some baggage from all those events.  She sold the dinner and opened a stained glass shop.  She is working on making her dream of being an artist a reality but many things get in the way.  You need to pick up the book and find out all the things that happen to Beth along her journey.  I hope that you enjoy this book and others in the Sommerfield Triology as much as I have.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bygones Book Review

I reserved the other books in a series that I had gotten a copy of one in the middle of the series and I knew nothing about it.  But I know that I like to start at the beginning so I picked up BYGONES (Sommerfeld Trilogy) by Kim Vogel Sawyer which was the first book in the series.  I was excited to read it and knew that I needed to get reading because I had already renewed them once so there wasn't a lot more time!!  The great thing is that I read way too long in the summer months and was up until after 1 am reading this book and woke up to read it again!!  It was quickly finished!

Widower Marie Koeppler and her grown daughter Beth reluctantly return to the Mennonite community Marie abandoned twenty-three years ago. Soon after their arrival in Sommerfeld, a series of mysterious thefts raises the community's suspicions against the ""outsiders."" Can Marie prove their innocence, or will she be forced to flee once more? Henry Braun thought he'd gotten his love for Marie out of his system, but soon begins to wonder if she's stolen more than his heart. When it's all said and done, can Henry and Marie let bygones be bygones, or has their love been doomed from the start?

I loved the story of Marie and Beth returning to Marie's Mennonite upbringing.  It was interesting to see all of the differences between the Amish life and the Mennonite life.  However, the house that Aunt Lisbeth left them had no electricity and many of the items that are found in an Amish home.  It was interesting to watch both of the women find their way in this new environment.  I wasn't sure what was going to happen with a little bit of mystery popping up in the book but I was excited to hang on and find out.  I know that you will be enjoying the ups and downs of this book too!!  I hope that you enjoy this book and others in the Sommerfield Triology.  I know that you will like them as much as I have!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 8/29

Monday- Lime Chicken with white rice and snap peas
Tuesday- Pasta with garlic bread (served with leftover sausage for my husband) and asparagus
Wednesday- Grilled Spiedie Chicken and salt potatoes
Thursday- Chicken fries, Popcorn Chicken with homemade fries
Friday- Chicken Paninis with leftovers
Saturday- Leftovers
Sunday- ??

Can I skip this week?!  I don't want to cook anymore!!  Wait, that isn't an option or we would all starve...or maybe only eat ice cream for dinner.  I started off the week alright but then I realized on Tuesday morning and I needed to take all the meat out of the freezer for the week!!  Oops!!  Normally I am on top of these things but not this week!!

We did Chinese food Saturday night for dinner and then leftovers on Sunday night for dinner so those plans were thrown out the window.  My mom came to visit last week and is still here so I was trying to make the meals something that everyone would enjoy and something that would be easy to cook after working for the first time in months.  As my son said, "Ohh man, I am going to miss summer!"  Me too!!!  We are still going to be eating summer food for awhile but less time to eat them for sure!

Hope you have a great week and enjoy some tasty meals!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Marry Me at Christmas Book Review

I have a confession to make...I pack way too much into a day normally and we are at the end of the summer with plenty of things to do but I said that we were doing nothing today.  I stayed in bed and finished the end of the previous book and started on this one.  I didn't get out until I finsihed all of Marry Me at Christmas (Fool's Gold, Book 21)

Wish upon a Christmas star with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery's sparkling Fool's Gold romance!  To bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug, organizing a Christmas wedding sounds like a joy—until she finds out she'll be working closely with the gorgeous brother of the bride, movie star Jonny Blaze. How will a small-town girl like her keep from falling for the world's sexiest guy? Especially with mistletoe lurking around every corner! Jonny came to Fool's Gold looking for normal, not for love. Happily-ever-after only happens in the movies. Still, nothing about this quirky town is quite what he expected, and "ordinary" Madeline is the most extraordinary woman he's ever met. Refreshingly honest, disarmingly sweet. Achingly beautiful. Planning the perfect wedding leads to candlelit dinners and strolls through snow-covered streets. And Madeline finds Jonny in real life even more captivating than her celebrity crush. But will the action star be brave enough to risk his heart and step into the role of a lifetime?

I have really enjoyed the series and while there is one more book in the series, I currently don't have it in my reading pile.  I am going to go back to the triology that I got long before I started this series which stopped my reading of all other books while I was plowing through the over 20 books!!  This was a great stopping point with the wonderful Christmas story of how the super star Jonny Blaze moves into a ranch on the outskirts of Fool's Gold and starts to work his way into the small town.  The characters seem to come to life even more in this book with some of our old favorites that we have already met and new ones that have only just been introduced.  This series does a great job of bringing you straight into the life of Madeline and finding out exactly what does make the best fit for a wedding dress.  I hope that you check out this book and all the other books in the wonderful Fool's Gold series.  I have enjoyed it and I am going to save the last book in the series for after school starts to bring a little summer back into my life...if I can wait that long.  Here is hoping that the other books on my shelf keep me plenty distracted!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Kiss Me Book Review

I have been reading this series "all summer" from my son's report.  He knows the author and proudly tells people.  Well, Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, Book 19) by Susan Mallery was the next in the series and I guess I better start reading the classics so that he can tell everyone that I am reading Moby Dick or Great Expectations!!  I have enjoyed this series and I am quickly at the end of it so I guess I am going to have to find something else to read while going into the school year with just a few more short days until my son goes to school and I go back to work!!  Enjoying the rest of the summer while I have it!

After Phoebe Kitzke's kind heart gets her suspended from her job in LA, she swears off doing favors—until her best friend begs for help on the family ranch in Fool's Gold. Unfortunately, sexy cowboy Zane Nicholson isn't exactly thrilled by the city girl's arrival.  Thanks to his brother's latest scheme, Zane has been roped into taking tourists on a cattle drive. What Phoebe knows about ranching wouldn't fill his hat, but her laughter is so captivating that even his animals fall for her. One slip of his legendary control leads to a passionate kiss that convinces him she's exactly the kind of woman a single-minded loner needs to avoid.  In his arms, Phoebe discovers she's a country girl at heart. Yet no matter how much the small town feels like home, she can't stay unless Zane loves her, too…but is this cowboy interested in forever?

I love horses so this trip to the country with a cattle drive was wonderful.  Phoebe learns to relax and enjoy a little vacation from her normal life although she quickly turns back to helping people.  She loves every living things including the horse and the steer they are driving.  Zane, the single cowboy, is helping her learn to ride and instantly falls for her hopeless love of everything.  It is a fun story with great action so make sure you pick it up and find out all about it.  I hope that you enjoy this installment of the Fool's Gold series as much as I have and check out this and others at your local library or bookstore soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Kids Wednesday: Learning About Florida

My son has been doing a few states every summer and during the breaks if we get a chance.  We have already learned about Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Together we decided that we were going to learn about New York and Florida which are the two states where his grandparents live.We have a binder with all the states in it so the information goes in and out of there as we are working on it.  The finally binder gives all of the information that we get to have a finished copy of all the work that he has put in so that he could look at it.

He was excited to get started this summer and learned all about New York in the first half of the summer and Florida in the second half.  I got all the books from the library that we available from the NEA book list by state.  The books include the following:

  • Florida
    • Donald and the Fish That Walked by Edward R. Ricciuti
    • Panther Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Bigmama's by Donald Crews
    • Shortcut by Donald Crews
    • Sam the Sea Cow by Francine Jacobs
    • Stealing Home by Mary Stolz
    • Sunken Treasure by Gail Gibbons
    • Michael Graves by Eric Kudalis
    • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

My son read the two Donald Crews books by himself during his reading time one more.  We read the Sunken Treasure and Sam the Sea Cow together snuggled on the couch one afternoon.  We enjoyed the Because of Winn Dixie Book on CD as a family in the car when we went different places.  My son fell asleep and my husband and listened to the last few chapters and quickly went back and paused it near where my son fell asleep.  All the books were entertaining and there are always other books that you can find at your libraries to fill in the spaces or expand the learning.

We found a book on our shelves at home that was about the Manatees in Florida so we added that to the pile.  Manatee Blues #4 (Vet Volunteers) by Laurie Halse Anderson was an interesting find in our own books that we were going to read and learn more from after finishing all of the library books.

These are our wonderful at home resources so we can start on any state at a moments notice or look up additional questions about states or capitols.  This is a great start to any state learning.

I download and print the information from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom which includes the following:

  • Creative Writing (Make a Travel Brochure)
  • Door Hanger (Completion Certificate)
  • Handwriting Practice
  • Puzzles
  • Research Project
  • State Bird
  • State Capital
  • State Flag
  • State Flag Wall Card
  • State Flower
  • State Location
  • State Landmarks
  • State Wall Card
 We use almost all the information except the travel brochure because my son has never been really interested in doing those and it is a little too flexible a structure for him so I thought we might be able to take it on as he got older.

There is a wonderful cover for the state including a picture of the state with lots of the cities labeled.

This research fact sheet is usually completed in three different times because there is a lot of writing and research for our purposes.  The beginning is basic information that helps get to know about the history of the state.  The next section has different things that can be found in the state.  The last section is usually one of the last things that we do with the things that make this state unique.  It helps include all of the information that we have learned and add anything else that we might have not put anywhere else.

The first sheet that is completed is the state and the capitol with the practice on writing.  We try to write these are a few times which always depends on the mood that my son is in because he wrote this one three times after tracing the first.

The main part of the information is on these four sheets.  My son likes to cut out all of the pictures and glue them on the bottom of the sheets.  The next step is writing the words at the top in pencil.  Then there is coloring and fact finding which are normally done in another two stages.  These are the main part of our state learning.

The coloring of the flag is always something that is interesting.  We have a scrap piece of paper to test the color against the picture on the sheet of paper.  We worked on matching colors and finding the best to match the picture.  The detailed picture is always harder to do so my son pictures the color and I color in the sections that he tells me so that the final picture looks similar to the sample.

I also found another picture that I thought looked very interesting to add a little more creative aspect to the project and I went back and printed all of the states that we have already done.  I am not sure if we are going to get all of the past ones done but I do plan on adding these going forward but feel free to add them if you are interested.  You can find these pictures here.

Hope that you take some of this wonderful information and learn about the states with your kids!!  I promise that you will learn as much as they are because there is ton of information   Hope you enjoy all the learning!

Christmas on 4th Street Book Review

I had to go backwards again this another Christmas book that was not at the library so I jumped ahead in the series.  Christmas on 4th Street: Yours for Christmas (Fool's Gold, Book 14) by Susan Mallery was the next book in my pile and I was glad to get to read this winter story set in the wonderful small town of Fool's Gold.  It was nice to be reading a winter story while sitting outside in 100 degree heat but it made it a lot less believable because I was sweating so much!!  Best read indoors where you can imagine that it is cold outside :)

There's nowhere better to spend the holidays than with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery in the town of Fool's Gold, where love is always waiting to be unwrapped… Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of it. That's why she's opening her own store in Fool's Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that's magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush.  Gabriel's memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugarplums, thanks to his drill sergeant father. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from an injury sounds as appetizing as last year's eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle…and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can't stop sharing.  Gabriel didn't think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse….

It was a great Christmas story about Noelle Perkins who moved to town and opened a Christmas store in town after never going to visit it before but picking it out from a map.  She tried to hire help who only leave her store closed whenever she leaves in order to go skiing.  She puts up a help wanted sign and ends up hiring Gabriel who is in town visiting his twin brother Gideon.  Gabriel is escaping the exhaustion that he has been feeling at his job as an army doctor on the front lines of battle.  This Christmas turns out a lot different then either had expected but both uncover secrets about the other which they have to learn whether they can live with.  I hope that you check out this wonderful Christmas story at your local library or bookstore soon.  Add it to your wish list and enjoy the holiday season in the middle of the summer!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Is August Over Yet?? Too Much Shopping!!!

I have been on a granola bar buying binge!!  I feel like there are more granola bars out there to be purchased but I already hit two stores and waiting until the last day of the sale is never a good thing... I was supposed to have my act together yesterday and all the coupons cut but I didn't :(  So here is what I got with 5 transactions and three different Harris Teeters over a few days.

Harris Teeter $9.23-$2 cash back= $7.23 

We were already out as a family near the Harris Teeter farther away from the house so I stopped in and grabbed the Saturday freebies (yogurt and juice).  I also grabbed six boxes of granola bars which were supposed to ring up 6/$10 and there was a shelf promotion of $3 off 5.  I got the $3 off 5 and didn't get the 6/$10 promotion so I went to customer service even though it wasn't my store and they gave me $2 cash back.

Check out these promotions and together they make an amazing deal!!! It means 6 boxes for $7 with simple math and then I realized when I went through my coupons that I hadn't cut that I had coupons for $1/3 boxes of Chewy granola bars and $1 off the new Chewy Snackwich granola bars.  I lost out on $2 because I didn't have a clue what coupons I had because I was behind cutting but check out the deal below that I did at two of the stores!!!

Harris Teeter $5.23 + $5.23 - $2.05 cash back= $8.41

I dropped my son off at camp and went directly to the store but still not the store closest to the house so they don't know me there either.  I did two transactions which they didn't have a problem with.  I bought three of the Quaker Big Chewy Bars and three of the Chewy Snackwich bars in each transaction.  I used one $1/3 Big Chewy Bars and three $1 off Chewy Snackwich Bars to get them for $5.23 for each transaction.  Of course, the 6/$10 didn't ring up again so I went to customer service and asked and they gave me $2.05 cash back (including tax this time).  I didn't want to push my luck since I did two transactions so I only asked for the money on one receipt.

Harris Teeter $5.23 + $5.23 - $3.08 cash back= $7.38

 I went to my store and did the same thing.  I explained to customer service that there were two deals and showed them the newspaper and online and she decided that I missed the $3 promotion and not the $2 promotion because of the way that it rang up so she gave me back more money.

I realized that I could get a great deal on the Chewy Snackwich bars but I needed to buy too many per transaction to use the coupons.  There is a limit of 3 or 4 of the same coupons per transaction so I didn't want to push my luck and my son only likes the Big Chewy Chocolate Chip ones so I decided that I got a great deal at $0.70 per box at the first store and $0.61 per box at the second store.  It really makes my $1.20 per box from the weekend look horrible but I am going to call it all a win because I got a ton which is great because we just used up the last bar from the last time that I bought them!! 

Total Retail $104.44
Total Savings $81.57
Total OOP $22.87

I came home and stocked the cupboard shelf.  We are going to have lots of granola bars to last us through the beginning of school.  Of course, I was tempted to try to go to another store and get another two transactions but I decided to get some things done at home.  I estimated that I would spend $20 on granola bars getting 12 of them but I really went a little farther then I thought by getting 18 of the ones for my son and 12 for my husband and I.  I know I got a great bargain and they are going to come in handy for breakfast when school gets back in session!!  Trying to talk myself out of going to another store and doing it again!!!!!!!!!!

I got a bunch this month but there are always a few things that I think that I need which is why I try to leave a cushion at the end of the month.  This month we only have $31.35 left as long as I stay out of the stores to get more granola bars this afternoon!!!    Here is hoping that you are having a great month too!!!

Total Monthly Retail $378.14+ 104.44= $482.58
Total Monthly Saving $272.36+ 81.57= $353.93
Total Monthly OOP $105.78+ 22.87= $128.65

Hold Me Book Review

Hold Me (Fool's Gold, Book 18) by Susan Mallery was the next book in my pile to read.  I got a ton of books at the same time at the library so I was glad to see that there were still some on the shelf.  Luckily. I was able to read them so quickly that I haven't even had to worry about renewing the books.  I think that might be a problem but the series has gone quickly and was a great summer read!!

Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does.  Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker's cool facade is a woman who needs more than he's ever given. With her, he's ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust—and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.

I thought that this was a good book but not one of the best in the series.  There was lots of things that unfolded that created interest but I wasn't a fan of the book as a whole because the characters made strange decisions that I just couldn't get behind as ringing true.  Both Destiny and Kipling have gone against their parents to the other extreme which equally impairs their life.  It is great to watch the ups and downs so that the characters grow from their experiences.  I hope that you check out this book at your local library or bookstore to see for yourself because it just might have been an off day for me.  Add this and the rest of the Fool's Gold series to your reading list and enjoy!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 8/22

Monday- Chicken fries, Popcorn Chicken with homemade fries
Tuesday- Spiedies Chicken with white rice
Wednesday- Grilled Buffalo Chicken Wraps with mac and cheese
Thursday-Chicken Paninis with Chopped salad with pepperoni
Friday- Tacos with spicy saffron rice
Saturday- At friends house or leftovers
Sunday- Pasta with garlic bread (served with leftover sausage for my husband)

Last week we ended up doing leftovers instead of it a bad sign when I don't have enough energy to make pasta.  We didn't have a ton of leftovers but we cleared out the fridge and I ran the dishwasher so that was a mission accomplished in my book. On Saturday we used our Cheesecake Factory gift card but we only got two meals so that we could save room for cheesecake and ended up spending $12 on the extras and tip so not a frugal trip but a tasty treat.  We had dinner at a birthday party Saturday night.  Sunday brought leftovers for lunch and that pasta dinner we didn't have the previous week.  I didn't have a big plan for this week so I had to try to make it up on Sunday night and we are going to have company this week so trying to plan out something easy to make so we will see how that goes!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Loyal Heart Book Review

I am not always a big fan of historical fiction but I love Shelly Shepard Gray so I knew that I had to check out The Loyal Heart  (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story) by Shelley Shepard Gray as soon as I saw it.  The wonderful cover and the author was all I needed to know in order to read this great book.  Check out what it is about in case you might have any questions :)

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places. Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.  After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone. Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can. He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

It took me a little bit longer to get into this book because it was set in the middle of the war in 1865 but once I was in, I was ready to root for Miranda.  Although less able to relate to the main character, I knew that she was at an all time low and needed a little bit of hope.  Robert Truax came into town and was her hope that things were going to get better.  She immediately had someone who supported her against the town of people who look to talk about her husband behind her back.  There are lots of surprises and I know that you will be as entranced with the characters and seeing a picture of Texas back in the 1800.  I was fascinated with the history of the war and how things were for people coming back from the war but mostly I loved the characters who came to life on the page.  I hope that you add this to your reading list soon!!  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I did!

**I received a copy of this book for my review but all opinions here are my own.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August Finally Middle of the Month Grocery Update

I wasn't sure even what was on my list for the month but as always, I was looking for the best deals.  Luckily, there was triples are Harris Teeter to stretch my money as far as possible.  Here are all of my trips so far this month.  I posted the information about the first four trips to the store and you can click on the title to get more details on those trips.

Just a quick review that my budget for the month for my family of 3 is $160.  I don't break that down into weeks or anything else because there are usually times when I can stock up and get great deals during one week and not get a ton the next week, plus it tends to work really well with my style of shopping.  I feel like the month is over but we are only half way!! Check out what I got below:


Harris Teeter $11.40

An amazing trip to the store which I got to do by myself (Thanks to my friend Ann for watching my little helper).  I got two bags of Chex Mix and two bags of Bugles at $0.25 each bag.  I got the Froot Loops with the coupon and electronic coupon so it was $0.59 for the box.  I bought the Toaster Pastries for $0.l7 each.  My husband loves Corn Dogs so I got two boxes of them with 6 in them for $1.02.  I got an apple for $0.59 and turned in a rebate for $0.25 from Ibotta and $0.25 from Checkout 51.  There were three boxes of Old El Paso shells on sale for $1 each with $1/3 coupon and $1/3 electronic coupon so $0.33 per box (and there was a $1/3 saving star rebate which should post soon).  I got a container of Cinnamon Jif because it sounds interesting but it was a little bit of a splurge at $0.79.  I got a package of Hershey's Pudding for $0.74 (pictured to the right of the Jif).  I got two bottles of Dawn which were $0.22 each.

My crazy purchase (along with my inability to read a sign but it is pictured so you can try to read it too) was the Magnum Ice Cream Bars.  I should have read this a few more times because I totally messed it up.  I thought that they were $2.50 but the shelf price is $6.49 and on sale for $2.50 off to make them $3.99.  If you read the bottom, it also says save $2 when you buy two packages.  I bought three because I can't read and I was thinking 2 or more!!  I got two packages at $0.74 and one at $1.74 which is still better then the shelf price and the ice cream man!  Still upset that I didn't read the sign correctly because I had 6 coupons and I could have done the deal three times but when I used three, I could only do it one more time.  In addition, there was a catalina that should have printed out.  The nice customer service person gave it back to me during another trip to the store.

I got 6 containers of whole milk yogurt and 6 containers of Light and Fit yogurt and 2 snickers for free!!  Great purchases that will certainly go to use between my mother's visit and making some yummy scones and muffins.

Harris Teeter $26.74

This total was big because we got the Coke promotion for Buy 2, Get 3 free which was $13.98 for the 5 cases.  It was also going to be high because my whole family was with me!!  I got Chex $0.25, Bugles $0.25, Country Crock $0.35, Fruit Snacks $0.75, Hershey Pudding $0.74, and Honey Nut Cheerios $1.50.

There were a few things that I bought and didn't even use a coupon....I KNOW!!  My husband picked out a Gatorade which was on sale for $0.67.  The Peter Pan Peanut Butter was on evic sale limit 2 for $1.27 so I got two.

I got free Belvita Breakfast Biscuits, Krusteaz Meyer Lemon Bread Mix, Krusteaz Cinnamon Coffee Cake Mix, and Rev Wraps.

I should get $0.35 back for Country Crock from Saving Star

Harris Teeter $4.81 

We were farther away from the house with a trip to a library so we stopped at another Harris Teeter because we have been out of yogurt and turkey at our Harris TeeterThey were also out of a lot of the same items but we grabbed these deals which made the turkey $2.32 per package which is lower then Aldi so I bought two and hope that they last through some of September.

Aldi $19.63

We were out of milk and cheese so I went to the store.  We also had just run out of Nacho Chips, Tortilla Chips and Pretzels so we got those too.  I didn't have any more Rosemary Triscuits so I really wanted those.  I got a few packages of margarine sticks because we were running low.  I got lettuce because we were having tacos and salads a lot so I thought we might need another.  The oyster crackers are to make seasoned ones for my husband's lunch which I thought we were almost out of but I wasn't sure because I made four different kinds last time and we used up two containers.


Harris Teeter $7.76- $1.91= $5.85

They have been out of a lot of things and I went to get the Magnum bars with a rain check and my last remaining coupon.  It was over a 100 degrees so we got practically all the ice cream we could fit in the cart!!  It was the last day of triples and the sale so we grabbed a few things that were still on sale and I had some remaining coupons while we were in the area between library programs.  I had my helper and very little time so I didn't get to check a lot of things but rather went through very quickly because I was afraid I was going to miss something.  I was going to buy another Coke deal but I didn't have the time or the energy so I didn't get them.

One of the catalina coupons didn't print out last time so they gave me the money back and printed me out another receipt because mine didn't come out correctly...only the right side printed and I needed to turn in for Ibotta so I got them to do a print from the office but it didn't have the Harris Teeter with the date on it so I also did a return and re-buy so that I would have every receipt to possibly get the $0.75 back from Ibotta and good news is that it worked!!

Total Retail $378.14
Total Saving $272.36
Total OOP $105.78

I didn't realize how much I spent for the month already but it leaves me $54 left to spend for the month.  I just checked out specials for Harris Teeter which start on 8/17 and there are my son's Quaker Granola Bars on sale for 6/$10 which is $1.67 each.  I am going to probably spend at least $20 on granola bars so here is hoping that we don't need a lot of other things with my remaining $30 for the month.  

How is your month going?  

Until We Touch Book Review

I was excited to get the third book in the triology that was this section of Fool's Gold.  Until We Touch (Fool's Gold, Book 17) by Susan Mallery was the last in this group of books and I was excited to see who it featured.  I went through this set of books what seemed like faster then some of the others even though I seemed to have less time.

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool's Gold, California.  Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!  When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

This was an interesting and different story that I thought for the first time wasn't going to turn out well.  Larissa Owens decides after her mother announces that she is in love with her boss Jack, that she actually is!!  WHAT?!  She also decides that the only way to get him out of her system is to date him and decide that she doesn't like him as much as she thought.  Larissa was hoping that she would find out Jack had some bad habits that would really bother her but she never found those problems.  Jack falls apart and pushes Larissa and everyone in his life away so he is totally alone.  You have to pick up the book to find out what happens with this different book.  I hope that you check out this book at your local library or bookstore. I think that you will enjoy it as much as I did!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kids Wednesday: Learning about New York

My son decided that he was going to learn about all the states at a very young age.  He liked the maps and the puzzles which quickly moved to state capitols.  We decided that we were going to learn more about each state of the summer and school breaks.  He started with Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania which are the states that we live by and have visited.  After finishing those, he decided on New York and Florida where his grandparents live.

We started with New York.  I got lots of books about New York both fiction and non-fiction so that we can learn in new and interesting ways about the state.  I usually get some books from the NEA list by State.  Sadly, most were about the city and not a lot about the rest of the state which is where all of our family lives. 

The list included the following books for fun options:

  • New York
    • How Pizza Came to Queens by Dayal Khalsa
    • Hessian's Secret Diary by Lisa Banim
    • Tar Beach by Faith Ringold
    • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
    • Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein by Johanna Hurwitz
    • And Still the Turtle Watched by Sheila MacGill-Callahan
    • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
    • Ruth Law Thrills a Nation by Don Brown
    • The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra Barracca
    • When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
    • The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
    • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
    • Hattie and the Wild Waves by Barbara Cooney
    • Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks
    • Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber
    • Remember Me to Harold Square by Paula Danziger

After reading the library books, my son was really interested in the Brooklyn Bridge so we got another one about that which was still in the pile of books to be read.  We like to have some short ones and some long ones so that he is kept reading when he wants to read a certain kind of book.  We add and subtract books based on what is the most interesting.

We also got the fact books about New York State and all of the things that we needed to reference.  These books all lay things out differently so it is nice to have options especially since they are all from the library.

We also have our 50 State Book and the 50 States Fandex which we find a lot of information.  The book was purchased at the Dollar Tree and I got the State Fandex at a yard sale so those are great resources to look for at low prices to keep at home!

My favorite book because it included lots of fact in an easy to read format and was about thge whole state was the E is for Empire book.  In the back of the book, there were questions and answers.  Those made it is a great discussion that night at dinner as well as the reading we had done during the day.

I also use the wonderful resource from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom that gives you a nice outline of things to learn about the state with a great cover with a picture of the state and a nice reminder page that gives the different pictures of the flower, bird and others colored in.

There is one sheet to practice writing including a page to complete about the state and the capitol.

A page about the flag and matching the colors to the colors there.  The insides of most of the flags are hard to color so I normally help out and color with the markers that my son picks out where he tells me to color.

There is a page about the whole state which usually gets the top filled out at the beginning of our learning and it is done in three parts because my son needs to have a little break in between to try to put in his best work.

There is a sheet about the state outline and where it is on the US Map, one with the state bird, state flower and state landmark.  The first thing that we always do is cut out the circles and glue them on the sheets that they are ready to be labeled, colored and information written.  These can be done one at the time or batched by different thing like we do them. Here are a few pictures of the finished product.

The last thing that we do is the puzzles and the door hanger.  My son likes to hang up the door hanger on the front door when we finish so that my husband knows that we are done with the state.  It is a great exercise to do over the summer so the kids focus on something like school work and learn fun and different things about the states that they might not otherwise known.

I love using lots of free resources to get into the details of the states and learn lots more information without having to buy many items with the use of the internet and the library with a little planning, we have been able to learn lots of information about the state and its history.  I hope that you use some of these resources and others to learn more about your state and others across the wonderful United States.  I know that we have enjoyed our learning and can't wait to learn some more!!