Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Couponing Truth

Hey its me!!

I have people asking me all the time to teach them how to coupon. Although I love it when people are interested and want to know more, I feel hesitant at the same time. I don't want to mis-lead people and have them think I am this crazy coupon lady who can teach them "secrets" to save a bunch of money. So I am taking this opportunity to give my couponing truth. However, in reading this I want you all to remember that you get as much out of couponing & saving money as YOU put into it, as you put into it.

First of all, I only really use about $10-$15 in coupons on my weekly grocery shopping trips. Surprise! My savings from coupons, is not as grand as most would think. I get most of my savings from shopping smart. I shop by price. For example, if I want to get one item, but its not on sale and I know it will be soon, I will choose something cheaper instead.  I can always buy that item at another time, when I can afford it.

Coupons, mostly help me purchase items, for really cheap, that I would not normally buy. For example, I would never buy a $10 razor...but if I can get it for $2 or less, I very well might. And it would be a needed item anyhow.

So I guess what I want to reveal is that the biggest way I save money is just by analyzing what I buy, when, why, and for how much. It's called being honest with myself and having self control.

I feel like if you currently do not coupon, the best thing you can do for yourself is to really analyze your bank statement and be truthful with yourself.  We often do this every few months, when I notice that it seems like our spending is getting a little out of control. Print your last months statement, and look to see what all your purchases were. Is it something that can be cut down or cut out, like trips to Wawa or Dunkin Donuts every day? I know, I was there - those and CVS were my 3 big evil's of the bank account.
Back when I used to smoke, I noticed that I would stop at Wawa all the time for cigarettes and never did I buy JUST the cigarettes. There was always a soda with it, or breakfast, or coffee.  Once I became honest with myself, I cut out all the extra purchases.

When it comes to control, you need to learn to tell yourself NO. I am always seeing things that I really want. But I literally look, say "OMG that's so cute, I want it", and I keep walking. I walk away. I don't even give myself the time to talk myself into buying it.

I often analyze those impulse purchases with these questions:
1 - Will this item feed or shelter my family?
2 - Do I need this NOW, or can it wait until next payday?
3 - Are any of my bills behind right now??????

Also, I don't give into my kids. Ask them -  I am the mean mom who always says NO. BUT...they have a place to live, and food to keep them growing. That is what they will remember as adults.

And, before I go shopping for anything, I am always looking for a coupon. Pretty much all stores have coupons.Just take a look at RetailMeNot.com. They have coupons for all the typical stores you might normally be shopping like AC Moore, Old Navy and more. 

All in all, I think of couponing as a small portion of the way people can save money. Its all about your own will power.

THAT is my secret!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Crock pot Pepper steak? Beef with gravy?

Hey, its me!

So I have a recipe that I wanted to share with you all, a little creation of my own. however, I am not sure what to call it. Its a twist on my beef burgundy that I usually make, but I added more seasoned and fragrant veggies this time,which altered the taste. And it was really good!!!

*Beef cubes
*Beef gravy 2 jars/cans
*Burgundy Cooking Wine 1/2 cup (optional)
*1 Bell pepper
*1/2 sliced onion
*mushrooms (as many as you would like)
*Seasonings I used but that are optional - Onion powder, Garlic powder, Ground pepper
*Egg noodles
*2 tbls. of  flour

*Mix together the seasonings, Burgundy cooking wine, and gravy in the crock pot.
*Add in the meat.
*Cook on High for a for about 2 hrs. 
*Chop up the peppers and onions however you like, and add to the crock pot.
*Cook for about 2 more hours.
*Chop up the mushrooms and add them in.
*Now take the flour, and mix that together with about 1/4 of HOT water, until there are not any lumps of flour. Add that to the crock-pot. This will help thicken up the sauce.

*Once you are ready to eat, cook up some egg noodles, and serve the beef and veggies over them.

Notes to keep in mind:
-Veggies will cook faster then others. I added the peppers & onions at the same time, but I think I really should have put int he peppers first, then added the onions and Mushrooms together. Either way, doing it wrong won't ruin it at all. It's all about the flavors.

-If the sauce is still to thin, make a little bit of the flour rue, and add to the crock-pot a little bit at a time, and let cook for 30 mins. to see how thick it gets. Keep repeating until sauce is to your liking.

Hope you all try this recipe out and enjoy!!!  Thank you for visiting!!

Remember to follow us at  Google+ and at Instagram as HJPMOONS

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Morning

Hey, its me!

I really don't have a blog post for today, but wanted to just write about my Good morning. its not often that I have one where I am inspired to GSD (get shit done). And I am hoping my adding a blog post to my list of things done, it will help me to keep going for the day.

First, Brian had to be at work by 7:15 this morning, so I had to do all morning drop offs. Normally I do them all, but he is home, so I can leave the twins homes to finish getting ready while I drop Madison off. (7:50am). But when he is not home, everyone needs to be ready to leave at the same time, and we need to waste time in between Madison's drop off and the twins drop off (8:15).

I admit, I didn't want to get up. I don't know why, but I thought with bright sun shining in the mornings it would make it easier to get up and it just isn't working.  So to start off, I didn't have faith.

We finally got out of the house and dropped Madison off. Then I headed to Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee to drink to give me a boost, and munchkins for the twins.

Once we were fueled up a little, off to school it was. As soon as I dropped them off though, I was stopped by one the longest trains I have ever waited for. But I found it kind of peaceful and relaxing, which is odd for me.

Once I got through that, I realized I still had over a half an hour before I had to be logged in for work, and it was so nice out, I decided to hit the produce market up the street really fast.  Bananas, grapefruit, strawberries, mushrooms, peppers, cucumbers, and some Halo's for the kids. Yum!

Now its time to cut up the strawberries and get dinner in the crock pot. I will do a recipe blog post on it, if it turns out OK. Ha Ha

Hope you all are having a great and productive day as well!!

Remember, you can follow us here as well:
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Google+ = HeatherP (MamaMIA)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Living in a swamp??

Hey all!

I just wanted to get on here and complain a little. So if  you are not into any negative in your life, don't read this. But I need to vent.

In the course of a month, we have had FOUR plumbing issues. And now that its Spring, leak season has begun, on top of it all. And I am just sick of it.

First, about a month ago, my husband finally decided to fix this leak in a pipe from the sink to the basement, that has been slowly leaking for a few years. Well, in order to do so he had to shut off the water to the house. He had trouble fixing the issue himself, so we ended up having to get my cousin over for some help. YAY - its finally fixed, all is OK.
Two days later, we find that there is a leak on the main valve and since we had to use it, it agitated the leak. There was a big puddle in the basement.  And to fix this issue, we would need an actually plumber because we would need to shut off the main water from the street. OK......well, he fixed it. A temporary fix, but its done.

Last week, as you may have seen in my last post, we had a leak from the bathroom plumbing, and it saturated the drop ceiling tile so bad, it just collapsed. (the material used for these tiles, just soaks up water, so we only knew something was up when the tile looked saggy) 

Turns out the drainage pipe was leaking from a join. He was able to temporarily fixed that too with some putty. I know, we really should call a plumber, but this is what you do when you literally have NO money for a plumber.

So yesterday, we all slept in really later, due to being out at a few parties all day the day before. It was a good day. Doing some dishes before taking the girls to the park to meet up with some friends and I notice I am standing in water. Didn't think anything of it...thought I just missed while rising a bowl. Something make me look behind me and there was MORE water. So I followed it. To find this........
REALLY????????  Mind you, we do not have a dish washer and I hadn't done dishes in over 24 hrs so.....  I knew it had to be a fairly simple fix, so I didn't worry too much. I dealt with it. And hubby ran to the hardware store and fixed it first thing int he morning.

Today, we wake to pouring rain. its been raining like this since about 1am. I go to do laundry to see that, YEP, the basement is leaking. Its does this. I have accepted it. This house is 115 yrs old.  We know that it just needs to be resealed from the inside and re-concreted from the outside about every few years, and this year seems to be the one where it needs it again.

Not to mention, our back porch roof leaks a little too and for some reason I can't get "someone" to take care of it. So I have to keep an eye on that all Spring/Fall as well.


*vent over*

Friday, April 17, 2015

Life Update - 4.17.15

Hey all!

So I know I am have MIA lately, and thought I would pop in here with a bit of an explanation.....I don't really have one.
Well i do, but its not a good one.

There haven't been any new project or decorating posts because well, honestly, I havent' had to money for supplies. Money has been tight lately, and its slowly getting better, but I have had to prioritize decor and projects to the end of the list. Along with that, it seems though lately, as if the plumbing in our house is trying to take a massive poop. We had a leak that my hubby tried to fix and ended up needing help, which prompted the main valve to the house to leak, which he was able to semi-fix, and now......

.....a pipe for the bathtub drainage is leaking. That is going to be attempted to get fixed tonight. UGH

I have been couponing, but other then what I tell you all the time, there is nothing new and exciting out there....yet. I did just realize today that RetailMeNot has an app, and I am going to download ti and check it out. Will review it for you.

Also, my husband injections for his MS seem to FINALLY be kicking in. he's walking a bit better and its not as tired as often, but...the side effect of depression has kicked in. And I am one of those assholes out there who just doesn't understand depression. If I feel like I am slumping into something, I snap out of it. But I know its not always that easy, so I have been dealing with him and dealing with trying to figure out how to deal with him, from a caring perspective.

So......I apologize for those who actually DO follow me, that its been boring. But.....weather is getting much better and there will be more outings and events coming up, so I will mostly be doing posts about those things. More posts about personal level things, I guess.
I know its late, but to start it off, if you would like, here are a few photos from our Easter. The girls had a good morning that day.
Hope to see you all soon! Happy Spring!!!

It was a beautiful Sunday. Breezy, but sunny and nice!
Then we attempted to take a 4 person selfie in the car, ha ha.

And of course, our anual photo of the girls at my parents apartment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to snap yourself awake

Hey all!

Think about it, you wake up in the morning, on a normal day, and you just don't want to get moving. But on a day where you are late, you jump up, get ready and are out the door in record time. Interesting, huh?

Well, I have found an easy way to help you wake up faster.

I realized, that once I actually get up out of bed, I still have trouble keeping my eyes open. And its not always because I am still tired (although I am!). A lot of times its because of the sleep in my eyes. I found myself rubbing my eyes with water to get the sleep to go away, and that not always worked.

The solution......EYE DROPS!  Yes, simply put eye drops in your eyes, first thing in the morning. It helps clear away the sleep and helps you keep those eyes open, which helps you wake up faster.

Added tip -- use allergy relief drops. You can kill 2 birds with one stone.

WHO KNEW?!?!?!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tween Easter Baskets

Hey all!

Just wanted to pop in and show you my Easter goodies haul!!! I could have gone even more crazy then I did, but I couldn't. 
Just in case you are new to my blog, I have 3 daughters, ages 8 and 11. Yes, we consider the 8 yrs old as tween as well, because they tend to like everything the 11 year old does. 
We also try to do more along the lines of non-candy, as we always eat candy in this house, so holidays, we try to use that as a time to give them other things. So let's get started.

This is our current candy selection. We still need to get the big chocolate for the basket and we are going to be filling plastic eggs this year, instead of hiding real ones. 

 *bunny eggs with powder candy 
*Bunny Pez
*Reese's peanut butter eggs
*Bubble gum egg cartons
*Chocolate covered Peeps

Next we have some random things I grabbed, that I thought they would like.
 *Bubble wands
*stickers that have LED lights in them (pretty cool for Dollar Tree)

Next we have some fashion accessories:
 *Flip flops from Old Navy
*some headbands for the twins and hair ties and a wrap for Madison

Lastly we have some pampering and beauty items. The little items were purchased to go inside some of the eggs that the Easter bunny will hide, but they didn't quite fit. I may still try to find a package of eggs that are a little bigger, just for those items.
*Bath & Body Works body wash (one day flash sale + coupons = Score)
*roller ball perfume that were in the clearance at Old Navy
*mini nail polish
*mini polish remover pads, scented
*mini lip gloss
*eyeshadow singles
*make up remover wipes for the eyeshadow (stop using Mommy's)
*tinted lip balm (again, stop using Mommy's)

I hope this helps inspire you to step outside the box, for your child s Easter baskets. And I hope this finds you in enough time for some shopping (sorry).   Have a Hoppy Easter!!!