Monthly Archives: February 2011

Help Me Out Here…

Hello everyone!

I am going to be totally shameless for a minute.  I have a HUGE (but pretty easy) favor to ask.

My family is in a contest to win free milkshakes for a year from our local Chick-fil-A!!!  We are one of 10 contestants.  To enter the contest, we had to submit a photo of ourselves enjoying Chick-fil-A shakes WITH A MUSTACHE.  So fun!

To win the prize, our picture has to have the most “LIKES” on it.  So….here’s the favor.

Will you go over HERE and like this picture?  In order to like it, you first have to LIKE Chick-fil-A at South Jordan.  The contest is open this week only.

Will ya do it?  I’ll love you for longer than forever….

Gallery of Giveaways

It’s another week, which means more opportunities for some awesome giveaways!  Here are a few of my faves:

Here’s a good one ending today:  GO HERE for your chance at winning a BPA free customized water bottle! You’ve got until midnight tonight to enter.  I’m a big fan of anything that will help me and my kids drink more water, and when it’s BPA free, I’m there!!

Or how about this:  Enter for a chance at a 4-pack of can organizers! How much more useful and practical and wonderful could a giveaway get?  This giveaway ends tomorrow night.

Now y’all know I love a good book.  That’s why I’m TERRIBLY excited about this one:  Win a copy of The Solution by Lucinda Bassett. It’s all about giving yourself an “emotional makeover”, and it looks SO good!  This giveaway ends March 29.

Now it’s your turn…link up your giveaways, or browse through a few!  And have a great week, will ya? :-)

I Have an Announcement

Hello…is this mic on?

I have an announcement to make, so listen up.

Are you listening?

Drum rollllllllllll…………………………….

As of 10:25 am MST, February 25, 2011, my family and I are officially:

DEBT FREE!!!!

  • I’d like to thank my husband for being willing to drop the landline and go exclusively with his employer’s cell phone discount.
  • I’d like to thank the same cell phone company for providing us with very crappy, but FREE internet service.  Has all this terrible internet suffering been worth it?  An hour ago I would have said no.  Right now, I say YES.
  • I’d like to thank my cute Munchkin for “teaching” me frugal living classes.  These usually consist of her setting all the stuffed animals up in a classroom setting, wedging me between them, and displaying her homemade jewelry while asking “So class, do you think this is organic, or not?”  (You see, apparently organice homemade jewelry helps us save money.)
  • I’d like to thank our very old car that is going to die any minute for hanging in there and waiting until we’re out of debt to die.  I will thank this car in advance for holding on a few more months so that we can save up for a replacement.
  • I would like to thank my Buddy Boy for trying really hard at getting potty trained so I won’t have to spend so much on diapers.
  • And just because I can, and I’m in the mood to ruffle a few feathers (yes, I’m feeling THAT GOOD), I’d like to thank President Barack Obama for giving us the biggest tax returns in the last two years we’ve ever seen, for without them, this wouldn’t have been possible for another 8 months.  (Don’t you judge me…this aint no political blog!)

Woo hoo!!!

PS.  I’d like to thank MYSELF for all those pantry challenges and coupon dealing and you know, for being my awesome self. :-)

Friday Freebies

Register for Tylenol’s Just Keep Moving Program and you’ll get a healthy living kit, which includes a pedometer.

Fill out THIS FORM to receive a free sample of Fanah Face Wash.

Try Hearos and Sleep Pretty in Pink for free.

GO HERE for free Disney Printables that you can create fun crafts with.

Request free Poison Help Magnet and stickers.

Sign up to send a free Kleenex pack to a loved one.

TEACHERS ONLY:  Go here to request a free small pet care classroom kit.

Friday’s Frugal Food – Black Bean Soup (GF)

Today’s frugal meal is one I tried in an attempt to be a little more healthy.  (although I admit to having added some cheese:-))  The result was pretty dang good!

Black Bean Soup

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp onion powder

2 cups cooked black beans - (I cooked my own dried beans in the slow cooker during the day.) – can substitute 1 can black beans

2 cups homemade turkey stock – can substitute 1 can chicken broth, but watch the sodium.

1 cup canned tomatoes OR 1 cup salsa - I used tomatoes that I canned from last years harvest.  If you use salsa instead of tomatoes, you can omit the onion powder.

1 tsp. salt

1/2 – 1 cup corn – I use frozen or fresh, but canned will work too.

juice from 1/2 lime (optional)

grated cheese

sour cream

In a saucepan over medium heat, spray a little olive oil into your pan and add the garlic.  Cook for 30 seconds.  While that’s cooking, puree your black beans and tomatoes.  Add to the saucepan along with the turkey stock, cumin, onion powder and salt.  Stir to combine, and then add the corn.  Heat to a boil, stirring often.  Once it boils, you can remove it from heat and serve.   Stir in lime juice (you can use lemon juice if you don’t have limes on hand).  Spoon into a bowl and top with cheese and sour cream.  You can serve this with tortilla chips or homemade bread if you choose.


I’m Being Featured…

So, the Better on a Budget Blog is being featured in TWO different spots today!  Head on over and give these gals some blog love, would ya??

First, check out my feature over at Chez Mukweto.  The gal over there is all about creativity, and I love her blog!

And second, head on over here to Feeding Four’s Recipe Link-Up and feature. She has featured my taco salad recipe! I’ve been following her blog for some time because it’s so fantastic.


So, pumpkin, peach, sweetie pie, honey….will ya show some love?  (I can give you an even cheesier nickname if that’s what it takes.)

MWAH!

Thoughtful Thursday

“I would be true for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare;
I would be friend of all – the poor, the friendless;
I would be giving and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up – and laugh, and love, and lift.
– Author unknown

Philanthropy: Pledge to the Good Egg Project

Thanks to Live Laugh Love to Cook for sharing this information:

America’s food banks and charities continue to need more food, especially high-quality protein foods like eggs, which help build muscle and allow people to feel fuller longer and stay energized.

America’s egg farmers donate more than 12 million eggs per year to food banks and charities.

Join America’s egg farmers in a commitment to living more healthfully and giving back to the community.

For every pledge made, we will donate one egg to Feeding America – up to one million eggs!

That’s in addition to the 12 million eggs donated annually. Pledging is easy.
Join in our commitment to live more healthfully and give back by pledging to “Eat good. Do good every day.”

Click the picture below to make YOUR pledge!
I Pledge to Eat good. Do good every day.

“Read ‘em All” Challenge – LDS reads

I’ve lost my mind.

Yep, I’m crazy.  Crazy excited!!

I’ve decided to join in on the “Read ‘em All” 2010 Finalists Challenge.  The 2010 Finalists is a list of some of the most popular LDS-authored books from 2010.  I’m joining in on the challenge to read each and every one of the finalist books!

I. Love. To. Read.

I joined the 'Read Em All' 2010 Finalists Challenge

This is gonna be fun.  The challenge will include giveaways and fun, so feel free to join in yourself!

So far, out of the 35 books, I’ve read 3

Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon

Blink of an Eye by Gregg Luke

Alma the Younger by H.B. Moore

 

Wellness Wednesday – The WEIGHT Saga

Well, I suppose it’s time I face it. Time to accept the reality and take responsibility for it. Face the cruel fact in the face and fix it.

I’m talking about my weight.

In light of all the health issues I’ve faced in the last 2 years, I think it’s past time. I believe stress is the major cause. Two and a half years ago I received the news that my son has autism. And did you know that studies show that mothers of children with autism have the same levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone) in their systems as combat soldiers? It’s a crazy world we live in, and apparently I’m not handling it well. Of course, I cannot “delete” stress from my life, and so I will do what I can to assist my body to physically handle it better.

I’ve made a lot of changes in the last 18 months or so:

  • I’ve dramatically lowered the amount of processed food that I’m ingesting. No more TV dinners or frozen waffles. No more potato chips. You get the idea. My processed food shopping has gone down by 75%.
  • I’m making homemade cleaners for my home. Essentially all of the items I use to clean my home are homemade and natural now.
  • I watch when and what types of food/medication I ingest. I avoid acidic fruits by themselves, and I don’t allow myself to eat after a certain time in the evening. I treat my headaches with a homeopathic remedy.

And yet, I still am not where I want to be. My immune system is pathetic…when I get sick, I STAY sick.  I still have chronic back pain and I still suffer from ulcer “attacks” on a daily basis. The migraines have declined, and I’ll be forever thankful for that!! But there is still more work to do. So, I’m going to tackle the issue of my weight.

I’m gonna be honest and upfront, and tell the truth: I am 5’4”, and I weigh…

(Gulp)

150 lbs.

I have taken a couple of pics of myself, but I’m not gonna post them here because I’m so horrified by them! Maybe when I’m a skinny hot chick I’ll post some before and after pics to impress you all, but not until then! :-)

The plan?

Turbo Fire.

I started Monday on the Turbo Fire plan and schedule. It’s flippin TOUGH. In fact, I cried during my first workout lol. That’s gotta mean it’s a good workout, right? We will see.

Every week I’ll share my progress and other tips that I stumble across for healthier living. I hope you’ll join me in making this year the healthiest yet!

*Current Stats as of 2/21/11:

Weight 150 lbs

Waist 35”

Hips 42.5”

Upper arms 13.5”

Thighs 26″