Monthly Archives: May 2011

5 Things Challenge

So…how did your week go?  I’m hoping (for your sake) that it was more productive than mine!  :-)


Check out this pretty little list of things I didn’t get done:


  1. Go to preschool field trip with Buddy Boy. YES, I know, impressive right?
  2. Contact all potential donations for charitable carnival; arrange delivery/pick up. – NOPE
  3. Get items that HAVE been delivered/picked up priced and ready to go. – NOPE, but I did start…that count for something?
  4. Prepare 3 garden boxes. NOPE. I did about a half box.  Best get on that.
  5. Finish downstairs bathroom. – NOPE.  But hey, at least he’s still working on it.

This week is one of those weeks that I hate.  The kind of week that you have 20 appointments, and so you’re busy enough, but because you slacked (NEVER!!!) all the other stuff is also catching up.  Serves me right!  Here’s the plan:


  1. Go to doctor appointment (3 hours – I’m getting a ton of blood work done)
  2. Volunteer at Munchkin’s school for the week, at Buddy Boy’s school, and again at Munchkin’s school for their un-birthday party.
  3. Get EVERY LAST ONE Of the donations picked up, priced, and ready, since the carnival is in ONE WEEK!  (augh!) For those local, it’s from 6-8 pm at Arcadia Elementary school in Taylorsville.  100% of the proceeds will be going to Taylor’s family to help offset the medical expenses she’s accumulating due to her cancer diagnosis.
  4. Take both kids to the dentist. I’ve NEVER taken Buddy Boy before (judge away, you alpha mums ha ha), and I’m scared to death.  We’ve done a social story about the dentist, and I’m praying it’ll help.  I’d rather not have him put under just so they can clean his teeth.
  5. Prep ALL the garden boxes; transplant the garden stuff outside (finally!)
  6. Print up all hubby’s paycheck stubs from last June to now (annoying huh!!) and get them sent into Social Security. I would have loved it if they’d let us know beforehand that they would be asking for a year’s worth of paycheck stubs…but hey, I know now!
  7. Make summer schedule chart. Buddy Boy has made so much progress the last 9 months, and I believe a huge part of that is the structure he gets at school.  Let’s face it, I’m not exactly organized, and I can’t provide as much structure as the school can, because of LIFE, but I’m determined to do as good a job as I can!  I’d like it done this week so I can give him a couple of weeks to get used to it.
  8. Go to the Family Fun Fair. I made reservations for the family to go to this.  It’s a cool thing that Westminster College does once a year for kids with Autism and their families.  Also that day I signed us up to do a kid craft at Lowes.  Oops.  I think I overbooked us!:-)


Ya got any fun plans for the week?



Menu Monday





Another week, another menu…I feed my family of four on a monthly budget of $250.  That budget includes any going out to eat, diapers for my son, and general household needs (toiletries, cat food, etc).  I wanted to post what we eat on a weekly basis to give you an idea:


Last week I didn’t really follow my plan.  AT ALL.  I really don’t know why.  Food just didn’t sound good to me, and so I mainly just cooked what the kids would eat.  Heck, I lost a coupla pounds last week, so I won’t complain TOO much.  Instead, I’ll repeat a lot of the plan this week.


Monday 16 – *C3PO pancakes, bacon, fruit salad


Tuesday 17 – *Creamy Corn Chowder


Wednesday 18 – Pizza


Thursday – 19 – Quesadillas


Friday 20 – Chicken Fettuccine


Saturday 21 – Grilled BBQ Chicken, salad, something else on the grill (cheesy potatoes?  Corn on the cob?  Only time will tell)


Friday’s Freebies

Go here for a free sample of Tena Men products.


Costco members can get a free sample of Fiber Choice.


Smokey Bones is offering a free appetizer when you sign up for their mailing list.


If you have a Rita’s near you, you can head on over there and get a free sample of their newest flavor, Juicy Pear Ice.


Get a free Emeril Seasoning sample.


Like Zone Perfect on Facebook and get a free bar.


Ocean Spray is offering samples of their new sparkling drink on facebook.


Go here for a free “Wild About Healthy Vision” activity book.


Go here for a free Alpo dog food sample from Walmart.


Get a free Mom’s Rising Bumper Sticker.


At midnight Eastern Time tonight, May 13, Suave is giving away 100,000 samples.

Book Review: Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann



An inseparable bond.
An insatiable force.

Book Description:

Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety.

From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone.



My Review:


Indivisible was not at all what I expected, which is neither a good or bad thing.  The story is full of characters with skeletons in their closets, so to speak, and all seem to be battling their own personal demons.  The characters are likeable, but I wouldn’t necessarily say they are relatable (at least not to me).  While very real and fragile, the inner issues many of them deal with are so…unnerving that I had a hard time relating to them, although I did certainly enjoy each of them.


The book is well written.  The characters’ individual stories are sewn together smoothly, and I found myself fully immersed in the lives of the people living in Redford.  The book definitely kept my interest.  I appreciated the fact that the language is clean and that although there is a romantic side to the story, there are no sexual “scenes” written into the book.


All in all, a good read.  I’m giving this book 3 stars:  I liked it.


*I received no monetary compensation for my review. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.

Book Review: Live Loved by Max Lucado

Live Loved Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life

By Max Lucado
Published by Thomas Nelson


Book Description:

Imagine how your life would change if you were sure God loves you!

Using the same popular format as Grace for the Moment, Live Loved brings fresh, new devotionals based on the writings of Max Lucado. Included is a broad range of topics such as facing your fears, accepting His grace, and truly knowing God’s omnipresent love. Each devotional is accompanied by an ending prayer to nurture a stronger prayer life for new believers, as well as long-standing Christ followers. It’s a new devotional from one of America’s leading Christian writers that will help men and women experience life from a whole new perspective.


My Review:

This is a beautiful, hard cover book that is full of sweet devotionals.  It includes excerpts from some of Mr. Lucado’s other  books, and scripture references for each devotional.  I used it as a daily reminder of God’s love and read one devotional each morning.  What an easy, enjoyable way to get a boost first thing every morning!  I really enjoyed this book so much so that I got a copy of this for my MIL for Mother’s Day.  The devotionals are quick and easy reads, and are very uplifting.

I give this book 4 stars:  I really liked it.

*I received no monetary compensation for my review.  I received the book free of charge from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.


Fast/Easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa 2 comments

(My apologies for the lack of quality pics…my cell phone was all I had on me while making food.)



SOOO…I think a lot of us have probably heard of and even made the black bean and corn salsa.  I love making it completely homemade; it is just so dang good and healthy!  The other day, however, I was running low on time and didn’t want to have to measure out herbs, spices, and seasonings.  Here’s a great easy solution:

I love using the packets of dry italian dressing seasoning.  They make everything taste good!  Well, almost everything…

(All of the ingredients were bought on sale, so these are the sale prices I found):

Fast and Easy Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can diced tomatoes ($0.99)

2 cups frozen corn ($0.50)

1 can drained black beans (or do like me and cook up some dry black beans in advance…you’ll want around 1 – 1 1/2 cups….much cheaper!) ($0.25)

1 packet dry Italian seasoning ($0.34)

Mix all the ingredients together and stir to combine.  Let sit for 30 minutes for flavors to “mesh”.

If you happen to have some fresh cilantro growing in your window, then by all means, chop some of that up and add it just before serving!   Most people eat this with tortilla chips, but I love it on top of my rice.  Whatever floats your boat!


Total Cost:  $2.08


Children’s Claritin Review and Coupon Giveaway 7 comments

I’m a BzzAgent, and as such, was given a free sample of Children’s Claritin to try.

I tried Children’s Claritin with high expectations.  I was especially excited that it claims to be non drowsy.  I’m happy to say that it lived up to those claims!  No one in my household experienced drowsiness after taking the Claritin!

My kids don’t suffer very badly from allergies, but when they got even the littlest sniffle and itchy eyes, we tried the product (We’ve had so much rain lately that no one is dealing with allergies yet)!  My 8-year old daughter felt better fairly quickly, and later went out to play…no energy depleted from her!

I read the directions and saw that adults can also take this.  Since I suffer from more allergies than my kids, I decided to try it as well.  I didn’t feel a bit drowsy, but I didn’t experience relief either.  (Hmm, maybe that’s why it’s specifically labeled “children”.)

Still, I think this product is a good one for children, and I would recommend it!


I also received a few coupons for $3 off any Non-Drowsy Children’s Claritin (4-oz syrup or 10 count or larger).  I would like to give two lucky readers 3 coupons each!!


To enter this giveaway, you can do any or all of the following things.  Each counts as one entry, so please be sure to comment for each thing you do!  Good luck:


  • Follow Better on a Budget via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment letting me know.
  • Subscribe via RSS feed or email to Better on a Budget and leave a comment letting me know.

This giveaway is a quick one, and will end on Tuesday, May 17 at Midnight Mountain Time.  Good luck!!!


*I received a product sample, coupon, collateral or other special premium from BzzAgent.  I received no monetary compensation.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.