More Cooking Links to Share

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Would you believe that I have actually made several new recipes within the past couple of weeks? I’m determined to keep trying new ones on a regular basis rather than just saying I will. I’ll share a compilation of the keeper recipes soon. For now, here are a couple more that I want to try.

First, Jen reminded me how you truly can revolutionize your week with a power cooking hour. This could look different in all our kitchens, but it could benefit us all, too.

Tara shared her copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Capellini Pomodoro. I need to try this soon while I still have fresh tomatoes from our garden!

Lynette’s recipe for moist lemon cake looks simple and delicious. I do love all things lemony.

Christa actually made homemade bagels. It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to make and her recipe looks simple enough. Maybe I will!

Shaina’s recipe for lime and blackberry jam-filled doughnuts looks ambitious but so good! Doughnut making is one thing I’ve never attempted. Have you?

I’m trying to eat more vegetables so Ree’s recipe for grilled vegetable burritos caught my eye. With a burrito this tasty, you don’t need meat!

Brenda baked blueberry hand pies with orange glaze that look absolutely delicious. I think I’m going to use some of the blueberries I just froze to try this recipe. It’s at the top of my list. Did any of these make your list?

More Money Saving Links

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I always appreciate the encouragement to save money. I especially appreciate new and different ideas for ways to save some more. I also find a lot of encouragement by knowing I’m not alone in the desire to save more. Wouldn’t you agree? Here’s some more money saving ideas for all of us.

If you want to shop at a big warehouse store without paying for a membership, you may to read Andrea’s article about 9 ways to shop at Costco without a membership. I didn’t know a lot of these!

Emily shared a guest post at Money Saving Mom about her favorite ways to get free product coupons. I haven’t entered a lot of sweepstakes but after reading this, maybe I should! I like to email companies for coupons, too.

Jessica reminded me to use up those gift cards you’ve been stashing. I’ve had to happen where the stores close before I can use a gift card and that’s so disappointing! It’s a good reminder to enjoy using the gift cards you’ve been given and don’t wait too long to do so!

Jen shared how to create a meal solutions notebook. This will save you lots of time – and money – to be so organized. I need to do this with all my print outs of Pinterest success recipes.

Shelly reminded me that we can save money by cutting out convenience foods. I’m working harder at doing this again.

The Prudent Homemaker told how she writes a garage sale list. This is an important way to make the most of your time – and money – when garaging sale for bargains.

Finally, Crystal shared how to save $100 or more by staying home more. I think this is one of the most overlooked pieces of advice. I’m striving to combine my teaching and errand days this upcoming year so there are days when Nathan and I are truly home together.

Links I Love…Just Because

Links I Love Button

If you’ve been around here any length of time, you’ve noticed that on Saturdays, I share a collection of links to other sites. Sometimes there is a common theme, other times the links are a hodge podge. I do that because there are so many other worthwhile articles / ideas / recipes being shared online. I don’t want to keep everything I read to myself so I share these links I love…just because. I hope you enjoy visiting some of the sites that I share with you!

Edie shared 7 ways I simplified my life and saved money..in order to be generous. It’s a great reminder that we simplify and save so we can share with others!

Ruth, a talented piano teacher / organist friend of mine, wrote about getting kids to behave in church. Everyone with children has experienced this challenge and Ruth raises some important points.

Tsh wrote an honest post about tomato-stained stoves and dusty window sills. I could claim both of those right now, but am striving to take her message to heart.

Crystal (of huge Money Saving Mom fame) challenged me with this post about the #1 reason most people fail. How determined are you with your dreams and goals?

Andrea summed up every one of my thoughts with her perspective on why we eat some processed foods. So many people are tooting the benefits of eating organic now that I appreciated this perspective. It’s everyone’s personal choice so let’s make sure we’re not condemning each other for how we eat!

Finally, I’ve leave you with the reminder that we all have different stories. Deanna summed it up beautiful here!

More New Recipe Links

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Yes, I’m back with more recipe links because I’ve discovered lots more that I want to try. I simply can’t help myself! Don’t these look delicious?

Edie shared her recipe for best ever blueberry cake with lemon glaze. Since it’s blueberry season, it’s the perfect time to bake this.  I also want to try making chocolate covered blueberries.

Ree showed how she makes her own veggie cream cheese. Yes, it takes more work but you can easily customize it to your taste.

Jen reminded me of one of my Mom’s recipes with this no-bake chocolate eclair cake. What a perfect summer treat!

Ruth made a 5 minute ice cream cake which is another great summertime dessert.

Adriane shared her recipe for rhubarb cherry crisp. I don’t think I’ve ever had this rhubarb combination but it looks delicious!

Brenda made her take on rhubarb with her recipe for grilled angel food cake with rhubarb sauce. Another winner, I think!

Lynette intigued me with her recipe for juice pie. Yes, the frugal filling comes from juice.

Now, the ever important question. Which one shall I try making first?

Kroger: Back to School Sweepstakes

Kroger Back to School Sweepstakes

Kroger has a new Back to School sweepstakes running through July 26th. Enter to win free groceries for a year, a $25 Kroger gift card or an instant win of various food products. You can enter daily until the sweepstakes ends. Let me know if and what you win!

Quick and Easy Home Links

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So many times, there are big projects we want to accomplish but we find ourselves lacking in time and / or resources. Today, I’m sharing a bunch of quick and easy home ideas that we can all do to brighten up and / or clean up our home.

My Mom recently found this idea to make wool dryer balls. We are both intrigued! When I use up my free dryer sheets, I might give this a try.

Here’s a unique recipe for homemade tabs to clean up your garbage disposal. I use lemon peels and ice cubes to clean it out, but this seems like nice, too.

Better Homes and Garden shared a picture if an organized freezer trick by using baskets. We could easily pick up a couple at the Dollar Store to give this a try!

Red Chair Blog shared how she has 4 boxes set aside for things needed to organize, deliver or return. This is an idea I could tweak.

I’ve shared this before, but Mandi at Life…Your Way has over 400 beautifully designed printables to help you get organized. I’m rededicating myself to this task with the help of her printables. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to print and display some Scripture prints as well?

Finally, because I’m making de-cluttering a new top priority of mine, Buzz Feed’s post on 34 ingenious ways to declutter your entire life was motivating.

Here we go! Let’s get busy and do the next thing on our lists today!

5 Favorite Baby Gifts

5 Favorite Baby Gifts as Recommended by a New Mom - Simple and practical ideas that any Mom will appreciate!

Please note that the following post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these links, I will receive a small percentage back to support this website. Thank you! Still, I would recommend these gifts regardless of where they are purchased!

As a new Mom, we received many thoughtful and generous gifts when Nathan was born. I promptly wrote the thank you notes, and we have since put these gifts to good use. That said, three months into caring for a baby, there are couple gifts that I use more than others. Some we received and others I purchased on my own, on the recommendation of others. These five things are the items I will now give as baby gifts because they are so useful! I realize every baby is different but if you are looking for something unique and / or practical to give a new Mom, here are my top recommendations, coming for a new Mom who’s tried and used them all.

1. Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets

Before I had a baby, I thought these blankets were overrated. Then, a teacher from Andy’s school gave us two of these Aden and Anais swaddling blankets and I quickly learned why everyone raves. First, they are the perfect size of blanket, whether you are laying the baby on the ground or swaddling. They are lightweight enough that you can use these blankets year around. I especially like them to cover up when I’m nursing. The price is a bit higher, but you could do as the one teacher did, buy a set of 4 blankets (as they are sold) and divide it into two baby gifts. We’ve been perfectly happy with two of these marvelous Aden and Anais blankets. You can find these at Target and Babies R Us as well as online.

2. Booginhead Pacifer Clip

If a baby uses a pacifier, they are going to need a pacifier clip. Regardless of what kind of pacifier they use, there is one pacifier clip I recommend. It’s called the Booginhead. It’s a strong clip that doesn’t damage clothes and can attach to any pacifier. Plus, it’s available in lots of cute colors and patterns! We ordered ours from Amazon but I later saw it at Walmart. It is the best investment and will save you countless times of searching for and washing a dropped pacifier. Buy one of these sooner rather than later.

3. SwaddleMe

Swaddling has received a lot of attention in the recent years. Our hospital swaddled Nathan in the NICU and even sends all parents home with a sleep sack / swaddle. Nathan liked being swaddled, then didn’t for a small window, but then really liked it again. From week 3 on, we’ve used the SwaddleMe swaddle to help him get a good night’s sleep. We’ve found that it keeps him from jumping as little babies do, especially when they are sleeping on their back as now recommended by all doctors. The SwaddleMe is easy to use as it wraps the baby securely. We laugh that the baby looks like a little burrito, but he really seems to like it and sleeps soundly – which makes me like it. Again, you can buy these at Target or Babies R Us as well as online. I just purchased the bigger size at Once Upon a Child, a child resale shop.

4. Coordinated Onesies and Bibs

Let’s be honest. There are so many adorable outfits for babies. Boys or girls, it doesn’t matter. When you have a baby, your dresser and closet will be filled with the cutest assortment of outfits. What gets worn the most? The onesies. In my experience, the overalls and sweaters and pants are worn occasionally. They are too much work for a new Mom who is happy to be in clothes herself. Buy the baby some cute onesies – with bibs that coordinate – and she’ll be happy that the baby is dressed so cutely and simply. When the drooling starts around 2 months, as it will, she will be extra glad for those matching bibs and onesies. I’ll give bonus points if you buy bibs that wrap around and snap on the side of the neck instead of velcro-ing on the back. Those are my favorite bibs because they are easy to fasten and stay on securely. Here’s an example of some matching sets, but they can be found anywhere you buy baby clothes.

5. Pampers Diapers and Wipes

I stockpiled a lot of diapers before Nathan was born. I stockpiled diapers in all sizes and in all brands. Nathan hasn’t had a problem wearing any of the diapers and rarely leaks in any of them (no more so than the typical new baby). Of all the brands we have used, I have decided that Pampers are my favorite brand. These diapers fit securely and hold the most, especially in the newborn days. As for wipes, Pampers are also my favorites. I know some Moms don’t like these wipes because they are most moist than other wipes. To me, that is what I like the most about them. I feel like I can really get the baby’s bottom clean with these wipes. I will still buy the ones that are the best deal but am watching harder for deals on Pampers.

There you have it. If you are looking for practical gifts to give a new Mom, these are my personal recommendations. Of course, board books, baby wash and baby shampoo are also nice practical items always needed to round out your baby gifts. Freezer meals are also appreciated, especially once the baby is born! What would you add to this list? Are their other items Moms have appreciated as baby gifts? I’d love to hear in the comments!

I’m linking to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well, Spending Less

Top 5 Deals of the Week: 7/13 – 7/16

Top 5 Deals of the Week Button

This is a great week to shop at Kroger! I don’t do my every day shopping there, but their sales make it worth my time. This is a good sale week at Kroger. There are lots of good digital coupons that can each be used five times. Look in your ad to find all of those deals. Here are the top five deals I see for this week.

1. Blueberries (1 pint) at $0.99
Final price: $0.99 – They freeze great!

2. Kroger milk (1 galloon) at $1.88
Final price: $1.88 – Limit two

3. All laundry detergent at $2.99
Use printable $2/2 coupon or $1/1 coupon
Final price: $1.99

4. Doritos at $2.49
Use $1/1 digital coupon (Can use up to 5 times in one transaction)
Final price: $1.49

5. Ritz Crackers at $1.99
Use $0.50/1 digital coupon (Can use up to 5 times in one transaction)
Final price: $1.49

Home Edition of Links I Love

Links I Love Button

My Lehenbauer grandparents recently moved from their Ohio home of 20 plus years to a new retirement home in Florida. It was quite the move – for everyone! As a result of their downsizing, Andy and I have inherited their dining room table. Bringing the table into our home resulted in quite a few changes already – with more on the way. And can I just say it’s amazing what rearranging furniture can do? Now I want to do lots more! Here are a couple links that are inspiring me lately.

Young House Love does so many creative / practical / great home improvement projects. I really liked how they customized a simple Ikea shelf by framing it with wood. I would just use it as as regular storage because I AM going to get a square shelf like this for our house.

Our bathroom needs to be redone. Someday (hopefully soon), we’ll get rid of the dated 1950s green tile and the old carpet. Ugh. When we do, I like the idea of hanging canvases of Nathan in the bath just like the Newly Woodwards created in black and white here.

My kitchen is cozy and now that we have a dining room table, I’m contemplating getting rid of my kitchen table that doesn’t really match. I like the idea of adding an open shelf like this for more storage like Elli did here. Except, I wouldn’t paint my shelf green.

Hometalk had some cute ideas for adding farmhouse style to your kitchen. I like the shelf with a small counter top, too. Maybe I’ll replace my kitchen table with something like that instead.

We need a mantel over our fireplace. I like the simplicity of what the Lettered Cottage created here. I also really like the idea of book shelves on either side of the fireplace, perhaps something like this.

Of course, all these links are just ideas for now. We need the time – and money – to make them a reality. Isn’t that true of most houses though?  There are always projects to accomplish! Tell me I’m not alone!

Glade Daily Break Sweepstakes

Enter the Glade Daily Break Sweepstakes (via Facebook) for a chance to win one of 4 giveaways. Plus, everyone who enters get to print a $1/1 any Glade product coupon.

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