Friday, June 28, 2013

Fabulous Friday



This is it. It is what I want for my yard. I wrote about how I was trying to grow Morning Glories before. Things are not going as planned. For some reason, they grew to be about an inch tall and then the leaves fell off. I have never heard of this happening before. I planted more and will keep you posted because I know that you can not carry on with life without an update.
Not weed friendly,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Earning Almost Free Airline Tickets

Yes, you can! It is going to take a little bit of work but you can still get almost free airline tickets.
I booked our return flight from Vegas for $35. Mind you, we are flying back late on October 31st but we are completely fine with that.
I know writing this, I'm going to start a fight. Some won't believe this works or there is a catch or you don't like Spirit airlines. But I have a plan for all of that!
First, sign up for Spirit's Free Spirit account(click on the member's log-in. It will have a place for new members).
After joining, go to this page on earning free Spirit miles! This is the important part!!! Scroll down and look for the e-Rewards link. E-Rewards is by invitation only but seems to be looking for people to do surveys all the time. E-Rewards is the game changer, people!
E-Rewards pays you in e-Rewards currency. And the pay is fair. You then take the "money" you have earned and use it to buy Spirit points.
Spirit points do expire but as long as you earn miles within three months they won't expire. Don't forget that. Just buy points every three months from E-Rewards and you are golden.
E-Rewards has quite a few rewards and not just from Spirit. You can earn free hotel stays, gift cards and can get points to different airlines too(see I told you, I had a plan). I don't know how the other airline rewards programs work so I didn't write about it. And I don't know how the hotel programs work so again-it's up to you on that one.
If you are willing to be flexible with dates and times you fly, you can fly for almost nothing. I would also suggest getting a Spirit account for you and your spouse. You will earn points faster if each of you is doing surveys.
Den and I have Spirit credit cards. The only draw back is the $70 a year fee. While, I don't like paying fees ever. I'm fine with this because it is helping earn points faster. If you do decide to sign up for a Spirit Master card, give me your email address and I'll give you a few tips on it. And I'll lovingly send you an email and get points for it. Hey, nothing else is a personal link!
The real key here is to sign up for E-Rewards. This will take some time but hey, its so cheap it's almost free!
I sound like an infomercial and I don't even have too much make-up on or fat hair. I just wanted to throw this out there.
Infomercial-free,
Sonya Ann

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What to Make of Santa?

I'm not sure what he is holding. It kind of scares me to think about what he does with the elves.
Oh and I'm rolling in it, poop not money. Just kidding, it's money. 
I got another $3 from Pinecone and I made another $20 from buying more gift cards from Jewel. Yay, Sonya!!!
So I have gotten..................
$145.43  BP
$5         free check from magazines.com
$54       Pinecone research(surveys)
$75       Energy Plus(electricity rebate)
$160     Jewel(bonus for buying gift cards)
$5.74    Bank of America Add it up(Like Mr.Rebates/My Points)
$15       AutoZone rebate/visa card

$460.17 for Christmas 2013. 
I'm so exciting! But not as exciting as that Santa.
Have a jolly time,
Sonya Ann

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes!!

 I totally stole borrowed this picture from Very Best Baking. These beauties are Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Cheesecake cupcakes!
See the first picture is way better than mine. And mine doesn't have dandruff, it was frozen.
These are a complete pain in the ass to make but the family loves them. And it is a nice frozen treat. It seems if I keep things like this in the house, they don't complain about having food in the house as much. So I'm hoping this will help with the grocery bill.
I changed the original recipe a bit.

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup water 
1(10 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
 1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line 18 muffin cups.
MICROWAVE 1/2 cup morsels in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 45 seconds; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Cool to room temperature. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Beat in melted chocolate; gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with water (batter will be thin). 
BEAT cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt in small mixer bowl until creamy. Stir in 1 cup morsels. 
SPOON batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 1/2 full(using a ladle to make life easier). Spoon filling by rounded tablespoon over batter. Spoon remaining batter over filling. Carefully clean your cupcake trays before you bake them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. While still hot, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup morsels(I would recommend using more) . Let cool for 5 minutes or until morsels are shiny; spread to frost. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
 
I would double the recipe. These go super fast.
Enjoy,
Sonya Ann
 
 




Friday, June 21, 2013

Fabulous Friday

The idea for this cute little planter comes from Home Design Find. You just glue some old tiles together and voila, you have an adorable planter. I'm liking it.
Off to scrounge up some tile,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Croutons or Milkshakes

"My crouton brings all the boys to the yard and they're like, it's better than yours! Damn right or I'd have to charge!" Or at least I think that is how the song goes.
I made croutons! I'm the only person that would get excited about making dried out bread. Yay, I'm dried out and excited.
This is the super easy recipe.
Preheat your oven to 350
Melt some butter
Brush it on the old, stale bread
Cut it into chunks
Sprinkle with seasoning(I used cheapy Italian seasoning from the Dollar Tree)
Bake for 15 minutes or until crunchy
Yup, it is so easy that I can do it! Seriously, these are amazing! My neighbor is German and he makes croutons but instead of butter, he uses bacon grease. I might have to give that one a try.
Easy and crunchy,
Sonya Ann

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Robbng Elves or Jewel



I'm still using free money to make more money. Yay!
I got $9 from Pinecone Research. And I bought $300 worth of giftcards from Jewel and got $60 worth of free catalinas/store coupons. I used the $60 catalinas/coupon to buy food and put the money in the Christmas fund.
$145.43  BP
$5         free check from magazines.com
$51       Pinecone research(surveys)
$75       Energy Plus(electricity rebate)
$140       Jewel(bonus for buying gift cards)
$5.74    Bank of America Add it up(Like Mr.Rebates/My Points)
$15       AutoZone rebate/visa card

$437.17 for Christmas 2013.
I think that I am going to buy another $100 in gift cards to earn another $20. And the really good news is I have 7 people done on my Christmas list. Not too bad considering it is the middle of June.
Off to work another angle,
Sonya Ann

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tupperware Love

This is my beloved Tupperware box. Me love you long time, Tupperware. A friend of my grandmother gave it to me when she replaced some of her Tupperware when I was barely 20. She also gave me an olive green flour and sugar container. My guess is they were from the 70's. They could easily be as old as I am. No wonder it cracked! I'm sure there is a joke in there and there is no reason it say it.
"Tupperware® Brand products are warranted by Tupperware against chipping, cracking, breaking or peeling under normal non-commercial use for the lifetime of the product."Yay, Tupperware! The only problem is you have to be able to read the number on the piece. Ummmmm, this is so old that it didn't have a number. I called and was told to bring it to a local consultant and he/she would determine if it was a true Tupperware container. Ok, that's fair. I contacted my local consultant by email and waited and waited. Two weeks went by and I decided that it was time for another call to corporate. See I have patience. Fine, it wasn't really patience, I forgot about it.
Corporate decided just to send me a replacement part after I told them that I was having a hard time finding someone to call me back.
Unfortunately, they don't make anything like this anymore. So they are sending me a cake carrier, all I had to do was pay $5.75 for shipping. I am so overjoyed! But I am going to miss my old container. It was a part of the family. Maybe someday I will get lucky and find another one at a garage sale.
I just wanted to say how happy I am with Tupperware! I know there are a few other companies that have a lifetime guarantee on their products but I have never had to get a replacement. Just thought I would share my
happy experience!
Who wants to experience me,
Sonya Ann

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fabulous Friday

Since we are getting closer to the 4th of July, I figured I would start looking for cheap decorations. I mean, we have to have a party. And if we have a party that means that I will surely go over my weekly food budget and then I will have more to write about. It seems like I am always choosing fun over my budget. I mean it though, I will get it under control. Just not during the summer.
The fun complainer,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wash Job

 This was my latest garage sale find. An old washboard for the laundry room that is never going to get finished. Oh well for $3 it will help make it a little better.
 My adorable old washboard looks to be the real thing. It's worth about $20 on a good day but I'm not going to resell it so it doesn't really matter. But it is nice to know that there is a profit in my little find. 
And this is the back with the hook already in place. I might need to start using it to save some money. I have no self-control with our grocery bill so maybe I can save a few bucks on the electric bill and laundry costs. I posted this little find because I didn't want to talk about how far I'm off my grocery budget. Fine, if you are going to force it out of me. I spent $205.59 for the week. And I have $100 budgeted. I SUCK. I sat down and went through everything and I'm spending too much time at the store and I'm making too many trips. I'm going to keep tally on the frig of my spending and I think this should help. Maybe talking about it is making it worse. So lets shut up about it and so back to looking at the washboard.
Off to spend save money,
Sonya Ann

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wicked Wednesday

I know a few people that I would let test my motorcycle. Ok, first I would need to buy a motorcycle but it might be worth it.
Have a wicked Wednesday,
Sonya Ann

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Movement

I've got more money to add to the pot. And speaking of pots, I'm glad that I don't have a chimney.
BP was ever so kind and sent me $25.17 and Pinecone research sent me another $3!
$145.43  BP
$5         free check from magazines.com
$42       Pinecone research(surveys)
$75       Energy Plus(electricity rebate)
$80       Jewel(bonus for buying gift cards)
$5.74    Bank of America Add it up(Like Mr.Rebates/My Points)
$15       AutoZone rebate/visa card

$368.17 for Christmas 2013.
And that is about as exciting as I get. WooHoo!
No Movement,
Sonya Ann

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Sad Little Garden



 It's not much but its all mine. Most of this comes back every year without any effort. And that's good because I'm a lazy gardener. We spent a total of $4.60 for my little project. We have chives, oregano, green onions and dill that has come back. We planted cilantro, parsley, lettuce and basil.
 Dead center is lettuce, to the right is parsley and bottom left is cilantro. I read that cilantro does better in a container and won't go to seed as fast. We shall see.

And there is my dill and basil. Everything was doing very well until went ape shit with the fertilizer. Less is more, Den. Less is more. He also got a hold of our impatiences in the front yard. They melted slightly.
It's probably best that we don't have a farm or a large garden. We would starve and do severe damage to the land.
My aunt has a large farm in southern IL and I told her how Den always wanted to live out in the middle of nowhere and live off the land. She asked me if he could hunt and farm. I said we would be living off the land for sure, we would be eating dirt. She laughed, I meant it.
Off to market,
Sonya-piggy-Ann

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I love this. Could someone please make me one of these? Or you could steal me one? Really, I'm alright with your sins.
Fine, don't steal. Just think about coming up with a way for me to get one of these. Let's drink and then concoct a plan. Yes, I think that this is the best plan that we have come up with.
Jailbird,
Sonya Ann

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shoppin'

I'm still trying to get my weekly shopping totals down. Riveting, I know. I spent $146.31 last week. Since I have budgeted $100 a week, this is getting to be a bit bothersome. That was a bit too mild of a statement. Fine, I'm pissing myself off really.
Of the $146.31, $10.32 was bleach for the pool so that really doesn't count as groceries since it comes out of the pool fund. And for everyone that doesn't have a pool-bleach is the same thing as pool chlorine. You just have to make sure that it isn't watered down bleach and Aldi's bleach doesn't seem to be.
So I actually spent $135.99 for the week. Still it is too high and I think I know the problem. ALDI! How can this be you ask? A lot of the food prices have dropped around here and have hit my stock up prices. My being a penny-pincher is the problem. Every time I see a deal, I load up.
Plus it doesn't help that we like to entertain. We are fun, what can I say?
I have averaged the weekly totals and I'm at $127.40 for 11 weeks. I am also going to track how many coupons I use a week. It was 5, by the way. I used 2 $1 coupons and 3 free coupons that I got when we bought the freezer. I have a theory that I'm not saving enough money using the coupons and it doesn't warrant the time or the money. 
And that's it for my boring life. How much do you spend a week on groceries and do you have a weekly budget?
Tally me,
Sonya Ann

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Holly Kisser?

I have another check from Pinecone Research. I'm rich I tell ya.
So I have $3 to add to the pot. Yay, pot.
And my totals are....................
$120.26  BP
$5         free check from magazines.com
$39       Pinecone research(surveys)
$75       Energy Plus(electricity rebate)
$80       Jewel(bonus for buying gift cards)
$5.74    Bank of America Add it up(Like Mr.Rebates/My Points)
$15       AutoZone rebate/visa card

$340 for Christmas 2013.
About a year ago I had $266 in the pot. But then we had to buy the kitchen appliances and we just about funded Christmas with the gift cards. I don't want to buy appliances again but if I could magically come up with $470 that would be great. Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that one. I wonder if I was really good if Santa would give me the money!
No jolly time for me,
Sonya Ann

Monday, June 3, 2013

Benching too Much

 This is the crappy old bench that we have had for at least 10 years. It's ugly and old.
 Yup, still ugly and old from this angle!
 And this is it, all nice and new! Den power washed it and stained the wood. He also found some black spray paint in the garage and repainted the metal. So if you come acrossed an ugly old bench at a garage sale, get it. It didn't take much to make it look new again.
I'm telling you, he is on a roll this summer. I don't know what has gotten into him. But he is all gung-ho on the yard and projects. Praise and beer?
We also have been collecting things for the yard to make it a bit better. The two flower pots and the round thingy we got from Goodwill and garage sales. 
And a closer look of the not crappy anymore bench.
Now I just need to get him to pull weeds around the pool and power wash the house. I don't think beer and praise will get it done. Hmmm, maybe cocaine. Ok, I'm soooooo kidding about the cocaine. I'm way to cheap for that.
Waiting for the K-9 unit,
Sonya Ann