Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cranberry Salad Dressing from Cranberry Sauce

I was very excited to make some more cranberry salad dressing with the leftover cranberry sauce from Christmas dinner.  It was amazing and I was super glad that we had leftovers.  It might even mean that I am more excited to get the cranberry sauce next Thanksgiving...and I will be taking all the leftovers!! 

I got out all the ingredients and measured the cranberry sauce first to see how much I would make.

Last time I used the homemade cranberry sauce that I made from the berries and orange juice.  They were both tasty and I enjoy them both.

I learned from my aunt and uncle that if you make the salad dressing from canola or vegetable oil instead of olive oil that it will stay more liquid and not the solid that I had from the refrigerator like before with my other salad dressings so I was excited to try.  I put all the ingredients into the blender so that it would be super easy to mix together my large batch.

When it was done, I poured most of it into my glass salad dressing container but there was so much that I had to put it into another one.  I have enjoyed bringing this to work with me for my salads and having it at home.  It is super sweet and flavorful and tastes better then most of the salad dressings that you can buy in the store.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe with your leftovers!  I promise you will be way more excited to have cranberry sauce (only my husband likes to eat it...and who can eat the whole can?!)  Now nothing goes to waste.

Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or white vinegar (used orange champagne vinegar from Trader Joes)
1/3 cup canola, vegetable, and olive oil mixture to taste
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup cranberry sauce (used the gel this time and homemade last time)

Mix vinegar, oil, cranberry and salt and pepper in the blender and mix until combined.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 1/30

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken and homemade french fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Thursday-Spicy Honey Mustard
Friday- Leftover Night
Saturday-Roasted Chicken
Sunday-Breakfast for Dinner

I am very surprised that this week went so well with so little time to prepare and because I was starting off sick.  I am feeling way better now and back to my old self.  I was hoping to get lots done this weekend and I don't think that I got a ton done but we went out to finally get the rest of our returns done from Christmas and my son's birthday which have been hard to do because the stores haven't gotten restocked with things to exchange the items for.  Luckily, we only have one Skylanders left that has to go to Toys R Us to trade for one that isn't out yet so here is hoping that it comes out soon and I don't have to carry it in the car forever.  We went to Home Depot to use the $10 off coupon that I got in my email and this was the last day to use it and we got our last (hopefully) bat of insulation to do the attic, super glue to fix something that my husband broke (UGH!), filters for the furnace and a clearance paint (normally $45, it was a mistake so I got it for $9).  We used all the gift cards that we had left and only had to pay $9.09 so it was my major win for the day!!  Bad news is that we are out of Home Depot gift cards so I need to start working hard on swagbucks to get some more credits.

The great news is that I am ready for another week which just happens to go into February!!  I haven't done the February menu plan yet but I started by filling in Monday night for Chicken fries and Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries (from potatoes as my son tells people).  Last Monday I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he said, it is Monday and I would like our normal Monday meal please because it is my favorite dinner.  I offered lots of other things and he said that he wasn't going to change his mind.  I think that is going to be our Monday meal for awhile.  Tuesday night is basketball practice now and in the other season was soccer so it has been pasta for awhile.  I am declaring Friday night leftover night because I don't want to cook after a long week.  I put the tacos and the spicy honey mustard chicken fingers in there because we haven't had them in awhile.  I am pretty excited about the meal this week and after going through the freezer, I can't wait to get the rest of the menu on schedule for February.  I know that we have tons ready to go and the only thing that is on the list to get this month is blue cheese because we are totally out of it.  Stay tuned for my monthly budget nightmare!!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Four Book Review

I was looking through the library website and came upon a list of the most requested books in our library system this year.  I found a book that I never heard of and decided that I would reserve it.  Four: A Divergent Collection (Divergent Series Story) by Veronica Roth was the next book in the series which I loved.  I couldn't resist taking it out of the library to see what else happened since the last book.

Fans of the Divergent trilogy by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by Four: A Divergent Collection, a companion volume that includes four pre-Divergent stories plus three additional scenes from Divergent, all told from Tobias's point of view. This collection also makes a great pick for fans of the blockbuster movies who want to delve deeper into the character played by Theo James.  Readers first encountered Tobias as "Four" in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character's backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias's life. The first three pieces in this volume—"The Transfer," "The Initiate," and "The Son"—follow Tobias's transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, "The Traitor," runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty—and love—that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior.
Also includes three additional scenes from Divergent, told from Tobias's point of view!

This book was made of a bunch of shorter stories which came from different points of view and including some information that wasn't in the book series.  I think that most fans would want to read these short stories because there are more of the wonderful series but there wasn't a lot of new information that was missed in the books.  I enjoyed the book and the short stories were perfect to read before falling asleep or in a time that I was taking a break because the length wasn't too long.  It was nice that there was a few stories to make a more complete book but I would have loved even more....because the series was amazing.  I obviously need to go back and read the series again soon!!  I hope that you check out this book if you enjoyed the Divergent series as much as I have.  This new book after the trilogy is a perfect book to check out to remember why you loved it so much!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Homemade Pasta with my Kitchen Aid Mixer

I got a wonderful Kitchen Aid Pasta for Christmas from my aunt, uncle, and cousins and I was so excited.  I was sitting there hugging it for awhile.  Now I am going to work on figuring out how to use it!!  Here is what I did!

I decided to make this pasta recipe for my first time.  I knew that it was really simple but that means that I wouldn't waste anything if it was horrible and I messed it all up.  The first step was easy and I put the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.

I mixed the eggs in a measuring cup to make sure that they measured enough to see how much mroe water I would need. I  added the water here as well.

I mixed the wet ingredients into the dry and it was very crumbly so I was a little worried.

When I was patient and followed the instructions and I got this dough that came together better then I expected.

I kneeded it in the bowl and it was a good consistency but maybe a little thick.  Next time I would add a little water but I never know the first time I make a recipe.

I put the pasta maker on the front of the machine.

It was pretty easy to use and figure out but the dough went in small balls to wait to be put into the pasta maker.

Then, after while the pasta started to come out.  There is a special tool to push the dough down into the machine so that you don't loose your hand.  Doesn't this look like a playdough machine??  I think that I could have just used one of those instead :)

It was really interesting and hard to figure out how long the spaghetti should be but we cut it when it touched the counter for a little bit.

The laying it out was the hardest part because the pasta was warm and started sticking together so it needed flour and we ended up laying it out on a drying rack for the best result just while we made enough to cook for the meal.  I am sure that a pasta drying rack would have been easier but I didn't have one so I worked with what was on hand.

I cooked the spaghetti which cooked very quickly in the boiling water and rose to the surface almost immediately.

We enjoyed our meal which was only half of the pasta.  I had mine plain with butter and garlic salt.

My husband had his with spaghetti sauce and we both enjoyed it.  My son did not enjoy it as much so we made him a batch of the store bought pasta.  Here is hoping that I make some with another recipe that suits him too.

After eating, I used the rest of the dough to make this neat pasta.

When it got to a good length, I cut them off and these were really easy and helped me learn to better make the pasta quickly and easily.  I don't know if I could do the spaghetti by myself but this was pretty easy to do by myself.

I laid them on the now empty drying rack.  I figured that these would be easier to dry and store.  I left them on the rack over night and put them in a container.

There is another recipe in the book that looks good in the book that came with the machine.  The directions are a little different then the ones that I followed but I hope that either will help you if you try to make your own pasta.  I mixed them together a little to make the best idea of pasta since I really didn't know what the consistency of the dough should feel or look like.  Having two recipes made me a feel a little better that the end result would turn out well!!

I hope that you enjoy the recipe and the process to try for yourself.  I am hoping to try some different flours to make a more tasty and tender pasta.  I can't wait to try again soon!!

Homemade Pasta Recipe


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, sifted (plus extra flour for preparing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons water plus more for dough to come together


  1. Place flour and salt in mixer bowl. Attached bowl and flat beater. Mix eggs and water in measuring cup to note measurement (difference in egg size might mean more water later). Turn to speed 2 and mix for 30 to 60 seconds. Add more water if the dough is too dry, in 1/2 Tablespoon increments (I used 1/4 c and added it faster then 1/2 tbsp.)
  2. Change out the flat beater for the dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for 2 minutes. Remove the dough and knead by hand for 2 minutes. Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Roll dough into small ball pieces before processing with pasta press. Attach the pasta press to the front of the mixer.  Turn on the stand mixer to speed 2 and run the pasta dough through the press.
  4. When the pasta comes out the bottom of the press, add flour to the outside so that the pasta doesn't stick to each other.
  5. Allow pasta to dry for a few minutes before boiling.
  6. When boiling your pasta, it only needs 3 to 7 minutes to boil or tender to taste

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Amish Wedding Book Review

I was excited when Amish Weddings (Neighbors of Lancaster County) by Leslie Gould came in the mail.  I read an earlier book in the series and was excited to figure out what happened next.  I love series and especially love when they keep going.  The sad part is that this is the end of the series but a wonderful book.

Gregarious Rose Lehman, who's always the life of the Amish youth singings, is determined to marry the bishop's son, Reuben Byler--until the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law shows up in Lancaster County. In comparison to Trevor, Reuben seems downright boring. Trevor shares Rose's sense of fun and adventure, and her easygoing disposition.

When her sister Lila's buggy is rear-ended and Lila is horribly injured, Rose finds herself with more freedom than she's ever experienced. Everyone is so concerned about Lila that no one realizes Rose is sneaking out with Trevor. Except for Reuben. But in his usual passive way, he doesn't confront her, nor does he address the situation with her Dat or anyone else in the district. Rose appreciates Reuben's discretion, but she also resents it. Part of her relishes the freedom she's found with Trevor, but the other part of her wishes Reuben would "fight" for her, as much as any Amish man would. Too late, she realizes the foolish choice she's made. Has she ruined her best chance at love, or is there another path to happiness she just hasn't seen yet?

It had been too long since I read the last book in the series and I really needed to reacquaint myself with the characters but once I got into the book, they all came back to me.  This book was a great resolution to the issues started in the last book as well as a host of other issues that were brought to the surface.  Lila had a fast change in her life when she was involved in a buggy accident that left her bed ridden for a long recovery a month before she was supposed to be married.  Rose's life changes forever and I think that you will be amazed at the changes in this once selfish person who seemed to be the least Amish person that I have ever seen written about in Amish fiction to the new person in this book.  I don't want to give away all of the things happening in this great book but I can tell you that it was a page turner and I had trouble putting it down.  The writing and the characters were both very realistic and I enjoyed this last in the series.  I hope that you enjoy this great book and wonderful series and are as amazed by the twists and turns as I was.

**I received a copy of this book to read for my review and was not required to provide a positive review.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Orange Lemon Cookies

I was looking for something to make for Christmas and my aunt sent me a few recipes from my grandmother for me to choose from.  My husband decided that we would go with the Orange Lemon Cookies.

 I was making the cookies with my mother and husband so I totally forgot to take pictures!!  We used the microplaner to grate the orange peel and my husband juiced the citrus fruit.  My mom mixed all the ingredients in the mixer to get the dough ready (so no pictures there...sorry).

We used the small cookie cutters to make circles and placed them on the cookie sheets.

We put them into the oven to bake.

The finished cookies looked very lightly browned on the edges and not very different from those in the oven.

The cookies got a little hard in the container so I put a slice of bread in the container and they got softer and super tasty. We also made some with a simple glaze with powered sugar and orange juice that was tasty!!!

 I hope that you make these yummy cookies for yourself because I know that you will enjoy them.  I know that I will make them again soon!  Sorry it took me so long to post!!

Orange Lemon Cookies

2/3 c shortening 
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
3 c flour
1 1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
orange rind
1 T orange juice
1 t lemon juice

Cream sugar and shortening and eggs together until creamy.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.  Add lemon juice, orange juice and rind to the dough.  Roll out to 1/4 inch think and cut into small cookies.  Bake for 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Top with powdered sugar or glaze on top or eat plain.  If the cookies become hardened in the container then add a piece of bread to soften cookies.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 1/23

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken and homemade french fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Lasagna
Thursday- Barber Chicken with white rice
Friday- Leftover Night
Saturday- ??
Sunday- Birthday Party so who knows ??

Well, I got the stomach bug and the last thing that I want to do is worry about food because it sounds horrible.  I have been eating crackers and still getting sick.  I really need to step on a scale and see if this is going to going to help with weight loss but I really doubt it.  I am exhausted of being sick so thinking positive thoughts and hoping for better week this week.  I am sure things will move around as the week gets more crazy then expected but here is hoping for a speedy recovery because I would like to eat with my family again!!

Hoping you are having a better week then I am :)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Blew the Budget and then some!! Will this month ever end?!

I posted recently about how I was over budget already and a little disappointed that I couldn't get it together for the first month of the year.  Well, I have already been back to the store twice!!

Harris Teeter $6.60

I went to the store because they were having a deal on Coke and we were totally out.  I know that it is not an urgent crisis and we certainly would have made it through without it.  This has become our treat at the end of a long day to sit back and enjoy a soda and I got two free coupons from the Coke Rewards before Christmas.  The sale was buy two, get three free so I used my two coupons (maximum value $4.99 each) and got all 5 cases for $4.  I love the Laughing Cow Cheese and I bought the Aldi's brand before for me to have lunch at work.  These are shelf price $3.99 and they were on sale for buy one, get one and I had two $0.75 off coupons which doubled so they were $0.50 each.  I grabbed the brownies for my son's lunch which were $1.79 less $1.10 coupon so I thought that it was worth $0.69 which is sadly why I am grossly over budget this month because we totally didn't need these.  I got the onion for $0.47 and turned it in for a $0.25 rebate from Ibotta and I will get another $0.25 from Saving Star so it is a money maker. 

Aldi $13.88

We needed milk and I grabbed two packages of lunch meat which should last us through the next month (hopefully).  My son decided that we had to have potatoes.  I grabbed the crackers for my lunch to go with the Laughing Cow I just bought.  My husband wanted some bananas for breakfast since they were on sale, I got a small bunch.  I turned in a Mobi Save rebate for $0.10 for the bananas.

Total Retail $65.52
Total Savings $45.04
Total OOP $20.48

Monthly Total Retail $633.58
Monthly Total Savings $422.56
Monthly Total OOP $211.02

I am now $51.02 over my $160 monthly budget with 10 more days in the month.  I am hoping that this means that there are no more purchases that need to happen but I certainly know that isn't the case.  I hope that this means that February being a short month will lead to a total under $100 to even out!!  Horrible start to the year but hoping that it will lead to less spending going forward.

How are you doing so far this month??  Hopefully better then me!!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Turbo Twenty-Three Book Review

I was ready to read this book from the second that I heard that it was coming out but I was like 500 down on the library reserve list.  I figured that it would be forever before I got the book but although I read many others and moved up on the list, it still felt like a long time.  It quickly went to the top so most other people must have given up and bought it or borrowed from a friend at that point.  Turbo Twenty-Three: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich showed up on my shelf while I was finishing my last two books so I was excited to get to read the book while on vacation with my family.

Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.

As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs—who are naked and afraid—and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate, but for a girl who claims to have “virtually no marketable skills,” these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best.

I hope that you check out this newest book because it is as entertaining as all of the other books in the series.  I might have waited a long time for the book but it was totally worth the wait.  The series follow a predicable pattern with the main thing being that trouble always happens to Stephanie Plum. This book was no different because Stephanie got into a lot of trouble through her work as a bounty hunter and working in the factory to try to find out who was behind the recent murder.  It was amazing to follow this mystery and find the answer to who was behind the trouble for the ice cream factory.  It was a great vacation read and I finished it all before vacation was over!!  It was a great new edition to the series and I can't wait for the next one.  I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did!!  If you haven't read the books in the series, now is a great time to start.  Hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Back to the Shopping Trips!

I thought that I got so much at Super Doubles that I was going to stay out of the stores more but that wasn't the case at all.  I was at Aldi right after super doubles was over.  There were so many good deals this month that I couldn't help but make it to the store and spend a lot of money.  I posted all my super double trips and here is what else I have been doing this month and the money that I spent.

Aldi $11.73

I went to get turkey and pepperoni but also decided to get rice, chips and apples because we were running low.  I couldn't remember about the powdered sugar and my son's birthday cupcakes had to have frosting so I grabbed a just in case bag.  Turns out that I had enough but I used all of what I had so I guess it was a good choice to get.  If I hadn't of gotten it, I would have needed it for sure!

Wegman's $25.96

I took my son for a few errands and decided since I was close I would run by Wegman's to get my ground beef.  I found that the chicken was also on sale for $1.88 per pound so I grabbed that too.  The mac and cheese was on sale for $0.33 each so I bought three instead of the case (which works out to $0.32 per box) which I had been doing before but I hope that we get to enjoy these soon.

Harris Teeter $26.99

There was an electronic special loaded on my card for $1.77 for granola bars limit 4 so I was trying to decide whether it would be worth it to buy enough to use two coupons because there is currently a coupon for $1/3 and when I got to the store, they were on sale for $2 so I grabbed 9 and used three coupons.  There was another electronic deal for some Kelloggs cereal at $1.97 so I grabbed the ones that I had the coupon for so I used $1/2 for both sets of cereal and there was another $1/2 electronic coupon which I had to have adjusted at customer service but I ended up paying $1.10 per box.  The cranberry juice was on sale for $2 each so I grabbed a few more.  The margarine was on sale for $0.77 which is cheaper then I have been getting it and Aldi's seems to carry a way more expensive brand here now.  I added the Annie's mac and cheese which was free after sale, coupon and electronic coupon.  The Special K bars were $0.50 so I splurged and added something for me at the end of the shopping trip!!

Harris Teeter $42.65

My car was out of gas and I knew that I wouldn't have time to fill it the next day before work so I dragged myself out to get gas and grabbed 9 more boxes of granola bars because the sale and coupon made them $1.67 per box (way better then the $3.49 shelf price that made me choke).  The toilet paper deal was something that I had been thinking about because it was normally $15.99 shelf price and it was on sale for $12.99 but I got a electronic deal that it was $9.97.  In addition, I had a printable coupon for $1.50 off 18 pack so I got them for $8.47 which was $0.47 per roll.  That is a great price since the shelf price makes them nearly $0.89 per roll.  I had three coupons so I got three packages of toilet paper which blew my monthly budget.

Total Retail $199.35
Total Savings $92.02
Total OOP $107.33

Monthly Total Retail $568.06
Monthly Total Savings $377.52
Monthly Total OOP $190.54

I seem to have been over shopping and already went over my monthly budget.  I am a little sad that I went over on the first month of the new year but I know that I got a great deal on the toilet paper with the sale and the coupon for $1.50 off which is very rare.  I also got 18 boxes of granola bars but they were also an amazing deal with a coupon that was quickly expiring.  I only made it to the store for the second time to get the last trip because my husband couldn't fill my gas tank and since I was already out, I stopped at the store.  I didn't look at the amount of money I spent so far in the month so that was also my downfall.

I am torn but I know that there is another deal to get Coke and I have free Coke coupons so I will be back in the store this month and I have already gone over my total.  Here is hoping that I use a little creativity and make a lot of meals and special things to keep the total down next month.  I certainly haven't had the time to make a lot of things yet this month but hoping things are turning around. I know that I have chicken, ground beef, and many more things to last for a long time but I will need milk and lunch meat soon.  I will certainly be grumpy spending even more then I have already this month!!

How are you doing this month??

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

High Heat Book Review

I saw that there were two new books at the library in the Richard Castle series so I was super excited to grab those.  I find that I can't keep up with any series when I rarely look at the new release section but then I also run into the fact that things stay on the new release in our library system forever!!!  I often look at the same book that I already read to see if I have read it.  Do you ever do that??  Needless to say, I took High Heat (Nikki Heat) by Richard Castle out of the library and was pleased to find out later that I hadn't actually read it yet!!!  It was actually a semi recent new release.

An ISIS-style beheading of a journalist, carried out by a New York City group pledging fealty to that rogue state, becomes more than just another case for NYPD Captain Nikki Heat when the killers announce their next target: her husband, magazine writer Jameson Rook. Meanwhile, Heat is haunted by a fleeting glimpse of someone she swears is her mother... a woman who has been dead for nearly twenty years.

Super enjoyed this great book!! It was a great follow along to the television series and the books series already in progress.  There are many things that are interesting to follow and the clues are laid out in a way that makes you wonder if they are going to figure out the mystery or what the missing piece is going to be to make the whole picture fall into place.  Jameson Rook is always entertaining in the different trouble that he gets into and this was even worse because he is in the middle of the trouble.  Nikki Heat is charged with trying to run the police precinct and protect her husband, Jameson Rook.  There is an ISIS cell that is capturing journalists and beheading them and Rook was the next one named.  This was a highly stressful problem but kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next.  I enjoyed this series and the characters so I am hoping that there are going to be more of this good series even though the show is over.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Driving Heat Book Review

I was so excited to find this new book in the series and I was surprised that I missed the book when it came out.  Driving Heat (Nikki Heat) by Richard Castle was the next in series and I was excited to start reading it when I got home from the library.  I couldn't wait to get back into the series based on the television series Castle that was on ABC.  The series is the book series that Richard Castle is writing in the television series and they are very interesting mystery novels.

On the morning of her first day as the new captain of the Twentieth Precinct, Nikki Heat is rocked when her NYPD shrink washes up dead on the banks of the Hudson River. But the jarring murder of the man who knew her most intimate secrets is only the first of a series of blows to batter New York City's top homicide detective. She is soon blindsided by the discovery that her fiance, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jameson Rook, had been secretly meeting her psychologist as part of an explosive investigative article he is writing for a magazine.Nikki's sense of betrayal deepens when Rook refuses on ethical grounds to share confidential information he has learned about the victim. His headstrong stance and continued meddling in Heat's case strain their engagement to the breaking point as their professional lives drive straight for a collision.In this riveting new novel from his blockbuster series, New York Times bestselling mystery author Richard Castle steers Nikki Heat full throttle through the heart-pounding obstacle course of her most daunting and dangerous case yet. Her stakes have never been higher or more emotional as she races to stop an ingenious repeat killer with a chilling MO and a long list of targets. In her quest for justice, Heat confronts a narcissistic dot-com tycoon, deals with a headline-hungry auto-safety whistle-blower, weathers a hacking attack that cripples all of New York City's police technology, and faces unrelenting danger to herself and the man she may yet marry-if they both survive this deadly ride.

Another great book in the series!  This is the first book that Nikki Heat takes over the precinct to start leading the team which she used to a member of which causes lots of conflicts.  While trying to be involved in the investigation, she is still trying to balance her new leadership role the best she can.  Then they get a case that is close to home with her psychologist who was murdered.  With many murders on the board, they find out that they are related and have to work extra hard to find the missing pieces to solve these many mysteries.  I hope that you check out this book and see how great they are too.  If you like the television series. make sure you check out this interesting books.  I promise that you will enjoy them.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 1/16

Monday- Little Caesars Pizza
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries
Thursday- Chicken Stir Fry with green beans and white rice
Friday- Leftover Night
Saturday- Dinner out with family
Sunday- ??

Last week went a little crazy very quickly with too busy days and way too busy nights.  We ended up with a lot of leftovers.  My husband and I had leftovers on Tuesday while my son had pasta.  We ended up having tacos over the weekend with a busy night with my cousin coming into town and not a lot of time to make dinner so we had Barber Chicken on Wednesday night.  We ended up with recreated leftovers on Thursday night and my husband had leftover while we were at a birthday party on Friday night.  I went with super easy meatball subs on Saturday because my husband was watching football and I was exhausted. We went away on Sunday but the hotel had a kitchen so I made chicken and rice after a long day at the museum.  We ended up having lunch and dinner take out on Monday on the way home so we moved my son's favorite meal to Wednesday.   I just bought chicken so I am going to try to cut it up and freeze it and save the pieces for an easy stir fry for this week with my free green beans.  Here is hoping that this week goes better then the last even though I still had no time to prepare and a busy schedule with basketball practice, Spanish class, staff meetings and grocery shopping....tired just thinking about it.  Time to start the to do list!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Super Doubles Extravaganza!!

I was actually mostly ready for Super Doubles with a clean coupon basket and my coupons cut....except that I totally didn't have enough time!!  My son's birthday party was over the weekend.  I had to bake cookies because he wanted to decorate cookies at his party.  I also had to make the cupcakes for later in the party and then we had the party itself.  If that wasn't bad enough, we also had a snow storm that was horrible!!  I was totally ready to get lots of deals but no time to do it in.

I went to the store after work on Wednesday and Thursday but I just couldn't make it there on Friday with all the things that I didn't get done for the last few days.  I went to two stores on Monday which was my day off but barely had enough time.  Then, one last trip on the final day!!  I was hoping to make it more but I think that I got a great haul so here are all the pictures and amounts.

Harris Teeter $4.99

I went quickly after work and grabbed the free kids shampoo and the men's shampoo.  I got the clearance tea for my mom which they nicely price adjusted at the register so that I didn't have to go to customer service but that meant that I didn't get the full amount of the coupon which was a bummer.  I grabbed the Earthbound Farms salad mix with a coupon and paid $1.69 for fancy organic lettuce that has been a welcome lunch for me with my homemade salad dressing.  I bought the 8 lb potatoes for $2.77 which isn't a great deal but we were almost out.  

Harris Teeter $23.03

I used a rain check for the Twix and Milky Way Bites and the Quaker granola bars and the Barber Chicken saving a bunch off the shelf price and letting me use a coupon to get a great deal including $0.50 candy and free chicken.  I got some great deals but the Celestial Seasonings tea didn't show up on sale and neither did the P3 packs so I went to customer service and they gave me lots of money back.  It all ended up working out to the most savings trip of the whole super doubles even though I got a lot of splurges like my husband's favorite tater tots which are normally $4 but they were on sale and I had coupons so one cost $1 and the other was $1.50.  He was so happy to enjoy them again.  Last minute grab of the mini marshmallows for my son's birthday party and the ones we didn't use just went to make rice krispy treats.

Harris Teeter $31.51

I got two free bags of fancy organic frozen green beans, free snickers and lots of other deals including $0.08 taco seasonings and $0.99 mozzarella cheese. My favorite deal was the $0.77 Cooked Perfect meatballs and my husband's cough drops for $2 (since he paid full price at CVS last time he was sick).  I used a rain check for the Dixie Crystal Sugar which moved it from $3.59 shelf price to $1.88 and there was a coupon for $0.50 off each so they ended up being $0.88 per bag!!  The shortening is actually cheaper then Aldi so I picked it up because we were totally out.  The vinegar was on sale for $0.50 off and we are out so I figured that I should grab it.

Harris Teeter $6.72

There were a lot of things out of stock at the store but I got $0.39 rice and pasta sides, $0.50 Chicken Noodle soup (my husband sick comfort food), free Suave shampoo, free airwick starter, free sausage, $0.23 raviolis and $1.50 Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  I was a little sad that there weren't more deals to be had but I think that I still got a good savings.

Harris Teeter $16.96 

Final trip to the store and got all of the deals that I could.  I went to my other computer to print coupons and get free Zing sweetner, free ortega taco seasoning, free snickers, free sausage, $0.77 meatballs, $0.23 cheese raviolis, $0.50 tissues, $0.97 cereals, $0.97 Lance cracker packages and my husband's shampoo for $2.99 for huge bottles.  I wished there were some of the other deals still available or if I had enough time to come more earlier but I think that this was a great trip!!


Total Retail $368.71
Total Savings $285.50
Total OOP $83.21

The great news is that I got lots of things but I am half was through my monthly budget.  I had a few more things that I wanted to get and they were out of them for the whole time.  I am really low on tea bags and I need some more which were free with super doubles but I never got a chance to get any.  I have a bunch of coupons so I guess I will need to go back get some that aren't free!!! AHHH!!  Overall, there are a ton of things in the cupboard and freezer for months to come.  Here is hoping for a very productive second half of the month with lots of great purchases including a few things that we are out of like ground beef and mac and cheese from Wegman's and a great deal on chicken.  Hope your month is going well!!!