Thursday, May 19, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 min
Ready In: 15 min
Servings: 4
Calories: 624 | Total Fat: 55.9g | Cholesterol: 0mg

  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed
  • 10 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  1. In a large bowl, mix the spinach and strawberries.
  2. In a blender, place the sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil, and blend until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Thrifty Thursdays ~ Eggshell or Egg Carton Tulips

Supplies needed:
  • Eggshells (or foam egg cartons sections)
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Tempera paint and markers
  • Hot glue or white glue
  • Clean eggshell halves and dry them gently. Or, for an easier craft with more durable flowers, use foam egg carton sections. Cut the cartons sections to look like a tulip.
  • Using tempera paint, decorate the shells to look like tulips. Let the paint dry overnight. When the paint is completely dry, add details to the tulips using markers.
  • Twirl one end of a green pipe cleaner into a spiral shape (this will be glued onto the base of the tulip).
  • Glue the spiral to the tulip (if using white glue, let it set for a few hours).
  • Enjoy!

(this craft came from

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy Recipe

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25 min

Ready In: 40 min

Servings : 4

Calories: 319 | Total Fat: 18.5g | Cholesterol: 122mg


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Form into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties and onion in the oil until patties are nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the beef patties to a plate, and keep warm.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and drippings in the skillet. Stir in flour with a fork, scraping bits of beef off of the bottom as you stir. Gradually mix in the beef broth and Vanilla extract. Season with seasoned salt.
  4. Simmer and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the gravy thickens.
  5. Turn heat to low, return patties to the gravy, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Moment of Me Wednesday.. Make your own bath oil

There is nothing I love more after long day than to start up the hot water, grab something yummy to drink and soak in the tub. Its funny how a bath can make everything just a little better. Now Im what my bf fondly calls a scent fanatic, I love grabbing peppermint extract, vanilla extract, almond oil anything that smells good and making my bath nummy, but hey some of us like a little more um not random baths. So I have brought today a recipe to make a nice basic bath oil and you can add scent if you want :D

Basic Bath Oil

  • 1 1/2 oz. olive oil
  • 3 oz. almond oil
  • 1 oz. sesame oil
  • 1 oz. canola oil
  • 1/2 oz. wheat germ oil

Pour oils in a jar, cap with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Add 1 oz. oil per bath. Makes 7 oz.

Or if you prefer a milk bath

  • 1 cup organic dried milk powder (if you have oily skin use nonfat milk)
  • 1/4 cup orange peels
  • 1/4 cup lemon peels
  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil

While the water is flowing slowly add the dried milk. Then add the orange peels, lemon peels and the lavender oil. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

Sometimes the oils will form a film on the surface of the water. To avoid this add one capful of pure castile soap or a very mild natural shampoo (like natural baby shampoo) to disperse the oils in your bath water.

Take a moment for you, and enjoy a nice bath!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lemon Bars Recipe

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 50 min
Ready In: 1 hour 10 min
Servings: 24

  • 2 prepared crusts
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5/8 cup lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 1/4 cup of flour so there will be no flour lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Totally TCF Tuesday ~ Getting to know TCF

So I wanted to do something fun on Tuesdays, and I thought how about a get to know TCF post every Tuesday. You can ask me random and bizar questions and Ill answer. Just post a comment with your question and on the next Totally TCF Tuesday Ill pick 5 to answer.

So since we are just starting out I've come up with some questions to answer to start us off!

1. If you could be given ANY gift what would it be?
A 501C3 for TCF seriously if someone could give me that as a gift it would be awesome

2. What is your favourite TV show of all time ie you've seen them all, can watch it over and over again and quote lines from it?
Of all time Charmed, that I can quote Glee

3. What is your favourite way to wake up and whats the first thing you do?
Slowly and leisurely with plenty of time to cuddle, the first thing I do check my email, literally right away I check email and check FB to see if I need to take care of anything before I do morning chores.

4. If you could have any animal/creature, What would be your ultimate pet be?
A Freisian Arabian Paint Mare Ive wanted one since I was a little girl

5. What did you want to be when you were little and do you think you ever will be?
I wanted to be a ballerina fairy princess doctor teacher superhero... yeah I wanted it all lol.. hey I got a bit of it I am a fairy!

So what do you want to know?

Why we request it as a gift a brief background on paypal payments

So as most of you know we ask that our monetary donations be sent via paypal, lately you may have noticed we have been asking for you to send it as a gift, and we have had people ask why. So I thought I would take a moment to let you know a bit about paypal fees.

When you send money via paypal in the normal fashion you are not charged there are no fees on your end, however before the money reaches the person you are selling to paypal deducts a fee. This fee is 2.9% of the money sent plus 30 cents. Now at first this may not seem like much, if you
break it down into our average donations this is how it works.

However if you take for instance our $50 challenge, we are challenging people to donate a total of $50 in one day, by having 50 people donate $1 so if paid the normal way, we would lose 30 cents for every dollar this means we would lose a total of $15, you see how it can add up?

So onto why we ask you send it as a gift. If you send it as a gift (personal transfer) according to paypal sending as a gift makes it "
Free when the money comes from PayPal balance or bank account". Sadly if you pay with a credit card or paypal credit it still charges but we find most pay with money from the bank or from their direct paypal. Thus making it so TCF and Back to school fairy, get the full amount and not a partial amount.

So now you know why we request you send it as a gift, so how about it feel like donating today? Our paypal is

Monday, May 16, 2011

Money Saving Monday ~ First Aid Kit

I'll be honest with you folks, I'm having some medical issues right now and I'm in a lot of pain and really distracted. We don't know exactly what's going on with me as of yet but we don't think it's a huge deal. Either way, I just want to feel better again.

So, on the “sick” subject, let's talk about First Aid kits. Remember how I talked about free samples a few weeks ago? Most of the things in my medicine cabinet were free samples and I LOVE not having to pay for overpriced medications. Another thing that saves us money with medicine is ALWAYS buying generic unless you have coupons to make the name-brand cheaper. Some stores like Rite Aid will even give you an even deeper discount if you buy their store brands.

What should go in a first-aid kit?

-Adhesive tape
-Adhesive bandages
-Elastic bandage
-Antiseptic wipes
-Triple antibiotic ointment
-Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen
-Hydrogen Peroxide
-Disposable instant-cold packs
-Calamine lotion
-Plastic gloves (latex or not if there are allergies)
-Mouthpiece for CPR
-Aloe Vera

That's what's in my kit. What do you have in your kit? Do you have anything that you never leave home without?

Merry savings to all and to all some spare change,

Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken Recipe

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min

Calories: 277 | Total Fat: 2.3g | Cholesterol: 68mg


  • 1/4 cup lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups dry white wine


  1. In a small bowl, mix lemon pepper, dry mustard and crushed dried rosemary.
  2. Place chicken breast halves in a medium bowl. Rub with garlic. Introduce the lemon pepper mixture and rub it into the chicken. Pour in lemon juice and dry white wine. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before grilling.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  4. Cook marinated chicken breasts on the prepared grill until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear, or to desired doneness.

(this recipe came from

Request FREE Glad force flex bags to do a volunteer project!

You know we love when you help others, and now Glad wants to help you help others! If you are planning on volunteering, from starting a food drive, to collecting clothes for the homeless you can request FREE Glad ForceFlex bags. Smaller jobs can get 50 FREE bags while larger jobs can get up to 450 bags. Isnt that fabulous!

(Thanks to Couponing to Disney for the heads up on this one)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Glidden Paint is giving a way 200,000 quarts of paint in 20 min!

Heres another hot one! Glidden Paint will be giving out 200,000 quarts of paint at 12:01 Am EST Monday thats in about 20 min! So make sure to be ready to snag it! You can choose from any of their 306 colors, and they will ship it to you.

So be speedy!

(Thanks to Super Coupon Lady for the heads up on this one)

Mushroom Sauté Recipe

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10 min
Ready In: 15 min
Calories: 182 | Total Fat: 16.2g | Cholesterol: 41mg


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter. Stir in mushrooms, onion, tarragon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  2. Saute until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in parsley and serve.

(this recipe came from

Hurry Rue La La Stylathon is about to begin get FREE stuff with your credits!

Its sunday! That means Rue La La's Sunday night stylathon is about to start! Did you get your $20 credit when they were giving out credit if you did you do not want to miss the stylathon cause you can get stuff FREE! Did she say free? Yes I said FREE!!!! Sorry.. Im a bit hyper, anyway heres how it works at 8pm EST go onto Rue La La and click Sunday night Stylethon then pick anything that is $10 or less and you will get it FREE with credit! Shipping is $9.95 and credit can cover shipping but hurry cause stuff goes fast!

and remember the $20 credit expires the 25th of this month so you only have till then to use it!

So Hurry and Go to RUE LA LA!!

Couponing, there is a right and wrong way. A Guest Post by Katie of Katies Money Savers

It's funny. I wrote and edited, deleted, and rewrote this post over and over again. Every time I thought it was good, I would hear from a friend about coupons. Lately I have been watching that "Extreme Couponing" on TLC. I definately have some opinions on it.

First off, this is not normal for couponers. I really became a "hard core" couponer when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. My first is only 1 1/2 and I am a stay at home mom. I don't do this to show off, I don't do it for no reason at all. I do it to survive. Like many people in this economy, work hours are not exactly great. But we do with what we can. I am very disappointed in this show. It really puts a bad light on coupons and couponers. Usually those people are doing things either the wrong way, using coupons fraudulantly, or they are treating the stores badly. They also have become obsessive and are changing their lives to fit their coupon use, instead of using coupons to enhance their lives.

Your average couponer will not have time to run to 5 stores to get a "free" item. (By the time you pay for gas it's not free anymore). However, I do encourage a REASONABLE stockpile. This should be about 1 year supply for your family. No more. This gives you the option to look for a sale or deal and never have to pay retail if you run out of something. No running to the store at the last minute for something. This also protects you in an emergency. There are weeks during the winter or early spring when my husband works only 10 or less hours a week. Having this stockpile keeps us going in lean times.

Do not run out and stock up items you won't use. Don't pay too much either, but don't be too frugal. If an item you use is on clearence for half off, and you don't have an "Extra coupon" for it, don't skip it. When you run out next week you won't be getting 50% off anymore, you will pay retail.

Donate when you can. Before I had my second child, my old high school was doing a "Fill the bus with diapers" for our community. I went home and took 5 packs out of my own stock, and 4 large packs of wipes. They were so grateful that the woman was practically falling over herself to put them away. I asked if they could use anything else. She said they were also taking donations for the homeless teens attending. I was shocked. I had no idea that an average of 75 homeless teens attend the school every year! I quickly went home and filled as many grocery bags as I could carry with deoderant, shampoo, razors, and other necessities I had stockpiled. I believe that to be blessed, we must bless others. Give back to the community. They were so blown away with what we brought I think the woman taking donations could have cried. Even when we are not doing great, we can still help others.

We also had some close friends, both husband and wife, lose their jobs. They had their daughter living with them, who had a young daughter only a couple of weeks older than my first. When we heard the news we quickly filled a basket with diapers, shampoo and other needs. They were so happy. Now they have learned the ways of coupons and we exchange leftover coupons and discuss deals. I'm so glad to see others able to do well with little money like we are.

The reality of couponing is simple. Buy a paper each week. Clip your coupons and keep them all with you at all times. You never know when a clearence will pop up on an item you didn't know you would buy. I made the mistake of throwing away a coupon a few weeks ago thinking "This item is $7 and the coupon is only $1 off. I won't use it" I later found the item on clearence for only $2.08! Luckily I found another coupon for the same item (from another paper) and was able to buy it for only $1.08 and add it to my stockpile.

If you are lucky and coupons match the deals, then you can score some amazing prices. Here are some examples of my trips. But this is not all the time. I do have to buy groceries without coupons on every item, I buy fresh fruit and vegi's and other things that are staples. That's normal.

This was 2 stores and a total of about $5 (with tax)

This is my infamous "Great Wall of Huggies" that I paid only about $65 for the entire wall! This is perfect for my kids. Please ignore the mess, we are right in the middle of moving. About half of the stuff is in boxes, and the rest is a mess while the 1 1/2 year old terrorizes the rooms.

This order would have been only about $2.78 without the baby tylenol. But it was a total of $5. Very reasonable since I needed it.

This all cost $4.16! (The similac is only one of 21 I purchased. )

In another trip I bought x20 similac to donate to our local abused woman and children center. I ended up getting about $20 in overage at walmart! This was perfect because we are buying new things for our room at our new house, and they can be expensive. During that trip I also got another $9 in overage from coupons. I got paid $29 to shop! This is when you really love coupons!

When you can manage, do stock up. I also use a coupon clipping service for coupons I really want or need. The particular fabric softener we like is up to $4.19 a bottle. There was a $3 off a while ago, so I bought 10. It cost me about $2, but saved me a total of $27. I bought all 10 bottles and put them away. We go through a lot of laundry with 2 young kids. If you do purchase coupons (clipping fees. not for the actual coupons) never pay too much. I don't like to pay more than what 1 or 2 coupons is worth. Otherwise you have to use all of the coupons and only save a couple bucks. I purchased $1/1 purex and got all of the sheets above for free.

Follow lots of blogs (especially on facebook. Some of the best promo's go on there) and sign up for as many freebies as possible. They usually come with great coupons.

The perfect example of why you should have a stockpile. Yesterday I woke up with a cold. Sneezing, sniffles and such. I went into my stockpile and grabbed everything I needed. Vitamin C, Emergen C packets, Zinc, cough drops, sinus rinse, anti viral tissue, and some things for my oldest daughter (the youngest is only one month, but nursing keeps her with enough antibodies to keep her well). I was so happy not to have to go to the store, thus exposing others, and making me feel even worse. By this morning with all of the items I needed I felt much better. And almost everything was free that I used. This made our bank account feel well too! Now I will have enough time to look for coupons for the next time and be prepared.

If you are in this side of the U.S. with me, then here are a few great coupons. Fred Meyer has a printable pdf coupon for every day this week. 50% off a different item each day. Today is sandwhiches, but tomorrow is kroger brand tylenol or ibuorophen! I printed my coupons and am ready to pick up what I need. It's 2 per transaction, so the small bottles (and the baby ibuprophen) should only be about $1-$1.50 a piece! This is perfect too because my baby medicine always gets lost and I end up having to buy more.

This wonderful post was brought to you by Katie over at Katies Money Savers, check out her blog and facbook for awesome deals, freebies, and coupons

Your Chance to get Free Pet Treats at 12AM EST Monday!

Check this out! You can enter weekly for the PetSmart Innova Pet Food Sweepstakes to try to win some awesome prizes for your four legged friend! The first 2,000 people to enter each week will receive a coupon in the mail in June for one 26 oz. bag of Innova dog treats (value $9.99) or one 3 oz. bag of Innova cat treats (value $2.99). You can only use these coupons at Petsmart stores.

You can enter each week, and only after you submit your weekly entry will you be told if you will receive the free product coupon. You want to do this right at 12am EST Monday if you want to win cause they will go fast!

(Thanks to Freebies4mom for the heads up on this one!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Groovy Green Smoothie Recipe

Prep: 10 min
Ready in: 10 Min
Calories: 205 | Total Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 4mg


  • 1 banana, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 (6 ounce) tub vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves


  1. Place the banana, grapes, yogurt, apple and spinach into a blender.
  2. Cover, and blend until smooth, stopping frequently to push down anything stuck to the sides.
  3. Pour into glasses and serve.

(this recipe came from

Free Can of Fancy Feast at Petco

Grab a coupon for a Free Can of Fancy Feast over at Petco, to use it you must present you PALS card and the coupon at the store. Expires 5/31/11.

(Thanks to thedailygoodiebag for the heads up on this deal)

Free Tank Top from Modnique

Hurry Modnique has a great Apparel Blow-out going on where they have quite a few Tank Tops priced at just $5!

After you join Click apparel then click Apparel Blow-out and scroll to the bottom to find the $5 tank tops.

You get a $5 credit when you sign up for new account with Modnique and you get free shipping by signing up for their emails!

Note when you first try to submit it may say something about no payment information just submit again it will work :)

Fabulous $4 off Printable Claritin Coupon Hurry and get it before the run out!

Right now has a $4 off any Non-Drowsy Claritin Allergy Product (24 count or larger) Coupon I dont know about you but with allergy season upon us I could use this fabo discount! Hurry and print today!

  • Click here
  • Go to Healthcare
  • the coupons should be right at the top
  • click it and then print but hurry it will probably go fast!

A big thanks to Mommy's coupon train for telling me about this deal!

(I do get a small incentive when you print out this coupon but its free to you. I thank you for supporting us, anything earned really helps TCF)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Greek Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta Recipe

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in 1 hour and 5 minutes
Calories: 446 | Total Fat: 19.5g | Cholesterol: 17mg


  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 3 small yellow squash, cut in 1/4 inch slices
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup torn arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 (12 ounce) package farfalle pasta


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl toss the red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, eggplant, and squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Bake vegetables 25 minutes in the preheated oven, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.
  4. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta 10 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  5. Drain the softened sun-dried tomatoes and reserve the water. In a large bowl, toss together the roasted vegetables, cooked pasta, sun-drained tomatoes, arugula, and basil. Mix in remaining olive oil, reserved water from tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and feta cheese; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until chilled.

(this recipe came from