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Showing posts from February, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Saving money on K-Cups

Yesterday I asked this question over on my FB page.
Did you know you can REUSE your K-Cups?!?
Did  you?
I had NO clue you could do this!  I read an article about this last week {please forgive me, I have no idea where I found the article, guess I should have pinned it} and have since read a few more.
The first thing you want to do is take your spent cup out of your Keurig and CAREFULLY take the foil top off.  You will then dump the spent grounds in the trash (or compost) then carefully rinse the K-cup out.  Allow your now empty K-cup to dry thoroughly, this may take as long as overnight.

After the filter on your K-cup is completely dry you can add your favorite coffee to the K-cup.  I use one scoop and it nearly fills the cup.  You do not want it to be too full but you can adjust the amount of coffee you use to your preference.

At this point you will need to top your K-cup.  The most frugal way is to tap a piece of heavy duty foil on.  Make sure it is sealed well.  You {could} use re…

Friday Feature - Pattern Play

Amy Ellis is amazing!
Her store AE Baby was my very first Etsy crush.
Yep.  It was love at first site!
She was known all over Etsy for her amazing I Spy Bags.  Totally cool!  But for me, it was her pretend play Sugar Cookie Set that made my heart swoon.
{Source AE Baby}
Seriously what little girl would not LOVE to play with this set?  Adorable right?
A few weeks ago I got word that AE Baby would be closing it's doors.  This made me SO sad!  But, not to fear!  You can still find Amy's creations on Pattern Play!  YAY!
She has some of THE BEST patterns around!  What makes them so wonderful?  They are clear and easy to follow.
I just ordered the pattern for these  boxes...
{Source Pattern Play}
I am still trying to find just the right thing to get my pantry organized and I think these will be great!  I also need extra storage in my closet and these totes are the perfect solution!
I also wanted to show you this...
{Source Pattern Play }
Yes!  That is play food!  Isn't that CUTE?!?!  I love …

Double Chocolate Muffins

Oh chocolate muffins!  There is nothing better.  Well...except DOUBLE chocolate muffins!
In college, on my way out of the dorms I always stopped and got a BIG Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffin and a chocolate milk.
Breakfast of champions!
I have bought many mixes in the past to make these glorious muffins at home.  While they have tied me over for years they just weren't the same.  I ran across a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (she NEVER stears me wrong) and knew I HAD to give it a shot.  Now, you know me and you know how well I read a recipe before I start making it.
Yep, I actually never pre-read recipes.  HA!  I always figure out about halfway through that I really should start doing that.  I have yet to learn my lesson though.  I got stuck with putting in some of your chocolate in with the butter to melt.  I didn't want my chocolate melted!  I wanted to bite into the muffin and have the pieces of chocolate explode in my mouth. 
I should have re-read that part and th…

Mocha Cupcakes with Sweet Cream Frosting

I first talked about these cupcakes here but thought they needed their own post, they are REALLY good!  Also note, I have yet to find the coffee extract that I used on these (the one I used was a product test I was doing at the time).  If you can find coffee extract, use it, if not you can use very strong coffee in it's place. {Coffee Cupcakes}
Ingredients
1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
Eggs, Oil, Water (according to box directions)
2-3 Tbs Coffee Extract or Strong Coffee

Prepare cake according to directions on box and add Extract while mixing.
Place batter in cupcake tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray or that have cupcake liners in them.
Bake according to directions on box.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes
Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

{Sweet Cream Frosting}
1 Bag Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Sticks Butter - softened
4 tsp's Coffee Extract or Strong Coffee
3-6 Tbs Coffee-Mate Italian Sweet Cream Creamer

Place butter in mixing bowl and cream, you…

San Francisco Chops

My mom first introduced me to this recipe when I was growing up.  It is really very good.  She would serve her version with egg noodles, I actually prefer this version, but you can use rice as well.
{San Francisco Chops} Serves 4
Ingredients
4 Pork Chops (1 1/2lbs)
1Tbsp Oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Sauce
2 tsp Oil
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper*
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water

Directions
Trim fat off of chops
Heat oil in skillet
Brown chops on both sides then remove from pan (you are just browning at this point, not cooking through)
Add a bit more oil to pan, if needed
Saute garlic for 1 minute, being careful not to burn
In a small bowl combine oil, wine, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper, set aside
Return chops to skillet and pour sauce over.
Cover pan tightly with lid or foil
Simmer over Low heat until chops are tender & cooked through (you can add up to 2 Tbs water if  needed to keep sauce from cooking down too much)
Turn once dur…

God is working on ME

I first shared this post August 8th, 2010 on my personal blog.  After reading it again this morning I decided to share it here as well.........

Isn't it amazing to just sit back and let God have control of your life?  Have you ever done that?  Have you ever just sat back and said "Ok God, I am tired.  I know there is more to my life than what I have now.  I know you have a plan for me and I am ready to see this plan come to light.  God, I am putting you in control of my life and I am taking a back seat."  If not, you really should. 

For the past year I have felt this tugging on my heart.  I am lucky to be surrounded by some pretty amazing women of faith, I will call them out.  They are my Money Saving Queen sisters.  I have been watching what God is doing in their lives and I wanted to be like them.  Sometimes, you just know you are not complete.

In March (I think it was March) I was invited to speak at a local church about coupons.  My friend Susan goes to chu…

Friday Feature - Liberty Images

**Good news guys!  Jen has offered a coupon!  She said " I'd like to extend a coupon to your readers—with the code "PrincessBrandi", y'all can get free shipping on your order until May 17 (one use per customer, though!)."  Isn't that GREAT!  So GO!  Go check her out!

As I mentioned last week, I am starting a new feature on here where I feature some of my FAVORITE Etsy/Artfire/Homemade/Handmade artisans. Today’s featured artist is the ever so AWESOME Jen B from Liberty Images!
Image found here
Jens images are SO clear and INSANELY crisp!  She offers something for everyone.
Do you like floral or landscape shots?  She's got those....
Found here
Isn't that stunning?  I can totally see that hanging in my bedroom!
Or maybe vintage cars or signage is your thing?  Yep, she has those also!
Found here
I learned from Jen's blog that she took a trip down Rt. 66 last spring.  Oh how I wish I would have known her then.  As it turns out, I live JUST off of Rt. 6…

Homemade Seasoned Fries

(WHEW! These were right out of the fryer....HOT) {Homemade Seasoned Fries} Ingredients 3-4 Potatoes Oil Kosher Salt Italian Seasoning
Directions Wash and peel potatoes Slice into slim pieces and place on baking sheet Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees While your potatoes are baking heat your oil in a deep saucepan, use enough oil to completely cover potatoes Remove potatoes from oven and start frying Fry in small batches and stir a bit so the fries do not stick together, continue to fry until fries are a light golden brown Remove from oil and place on paper towels to allow oil to drain Season with salt and Italian seasoning to taste
Enjoy!

Ghirardelli Squares Review

A few days ago I was sent a package of the Ghirardelli Milk and Truffle Squares.
Oh!
My!
Gosh!!
These are SO good!  
I am not going to lie, I have been a fan of Ghirardelli for a while.  It started with the Caramel Squares and then the Dark Chocolate and Caramel Squares.
Yes, I have a thing for Caramel.
I was hesitant to try at first because I had seen just a couple of bad reviews.  They said the center was like a syrup and the flavor was just too sweet.
Luckily, I did not agree with those reviews at all!
The center is smooth and creamy and the sweetness is exactly what I would expect from milk chocolate.  Plus, they come individually wrapped so I can enjoy just one a day and not feel like they are calling my name like an open bag of chocolate usually does.
I will for sure be purchasing the Milk and Truffle Squares for special occasions.
Please note, I was given a free package of Ghirardelli Milk and Truffle Squares from SheSpeaks for my review.  All opinions are my own.

Confession - I am a MESSY cook

Seriously.
I get stuff EVERYWHERE when I cook.


EVERY! WHERE!

The other day I was baking, my dough needed to rest in the freezer for 20 minutes.  I looked around my kitchen and ALMOST just went to sit down, like I usually do, and wait for the time to be up.

Instead, I decided to use it as a challenge.  I challenged myself to pick up my kitchen in that time.


I was able to unload and load the dishwasher....


Wash a few dishes by hand.....


Prep my pans and clean the counter off.


While it wasn't a deep clean I was able to get most things picked up and put away and ready for the next round.

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you are all able to spend today with someone special.  For me, I am spending it with my sweet little family.  I woke up this morning to the girls running in my room with a card and a box of chocolates, followed by hubby with a card.  So sweet!  I love them so much!
Today I wanted to share something with you that I have had for 15 years.  That is how long I have known my hubby.  We met when I was a sophomore in high school, he was a freshmen in college.  I knew the moment I walked in his sisters house and made eye contact with him that cold December night, we were going to get married one day.  Yes, I really did!  We ended up breaking up and getting back together a few times over the year or so we dated back then.  I eventually moved away, went to college, moved even further away and grew up a little.  We started dating again when I was 21 or 22 (sorry, years tend to run together sometimes lol), I moved back to Tulsa (from Dallas) and the rest, they say, is history.  It hasn'…

International Delight #IcedCoffee Klatch #CBias

Have you tried the NEW International Delight Iced Coffee yet? OH MY GOSH!  It is SO good!  Seriously....SO good! I can not tell you how excited I was when I found out about the #IcedCoffee from International Delight.  One carton costs about $4 and I can get about 8-15 servings out of one carton, depending on glass size of course.  That is SO much cheaper than Starbucks!  PLUS, I can pick one up at my local Walmart so that makes it even better! A few nights ago I invited a few friends over for a Coffee Klatch, a little get together, to try the new flavors.  We had SO much fun!  Seriously tons of laughs.
This is my friend Natasha.  She was SO excited to try the iced coffee.  I will get to what she thought about all the flavors in a bit.
This is my friend Crissy.  She really liked the iced coffee, vanilla was her fav (it is my fav as well).  I think she said her lineup would be Vanilla, Mocha and then Original.  She has two teen girls and I think they would absolutely LOVE this product.


My fr…

My Etsy Favs

I am going to start a new feature called {My Etsy Favs}.  As some of you know, this blog was born a few years ago thanks to my very own Etsy store.  I made hairbows, ruffle socks, pillowcase dresses, and all kinds of cute little things for your cute little girl.  In 2010 I had to shut my store down because of tendinitis in my wrist.  Oh the pain was just unbearable. 



While my store was open I had the chance to meet some pretty {AMAZING} artisans/crafters.  While some of them moved on from Etsy I will still be featuring them because they are just that awesome.  Since the closing of my store I have also found some new stores that I LOVE.  I hope you enjoy this feature and find some cool things for yourself, your home, your family and your friends.  I feel it is important to buy handmade and support other women.

My first featured store will be posted next week.  I would love it if you would pin something from the featured store on Pinterest and share the store with your friends on Facebo…

Pinsperation

This week I am going to focus on {SWEETS}, you know I LOVE them.
Up first is this {AWESOME} cake!  Oh! MY! GOSH!  My little brother would LOVE this.....ok, so he isn't SO little anymore but, he would still LOVE it!  I think I may very well win sister of the year if i made this for him!  Oh if only I had mad cake skill.  My little brother seriously watched this movie at LEAST once a week growing up!  Not even kidding, totally wish I was.

When I saw {THIS} cake my jaw dropped.  I LOVE this cake!  It is so cute!  My birthday is in May, if anyone would like to make this for me....I would not refuse.

My friend pinned this {BEGGING} someone to make them for her.  Shouldn't be hard to pull of!  Two chocolate chip cookies, buttercream frosting and strawberries.  YUM!  These would be GREAT for a fun summer get together.

{SPRINKLES} Who doesn't LOVE sprinkles?!?  Did you know you can color your OWN sprinkles?  It is super easy also!

You guys know I have a thing for doughnuts!  BUT!  Did …

Turtle Pecans

My Granny was an {AMAZING} candy maker.  Ok, she was an amazing cook and baker and just an amazing person as well.  But today, we are talking about her candy making.

I remember her making Divinity {EVERY} Christmas, that recipe will be coming soon.  I don't however, remember her making Turtles.  I was going through her recipes the other day and found her Turtle recipe and couldn't believe how easy it was.  Another reason I decided to make the Turtles is because my husband gets a free box of pecans every Christmas from a company his work is associated with.  Pretty cool right?  Especially since pecans are nearly as much as gold right now.

I am going to give you my Granny's Turtle recipe in just a bit.  I am also going to give you my version.

{Turtles}
Makes: 4 dozen

1 (14oz) package of square Caramels (wrappers removed)
1 1/2 Cups Pecan Halves
5 (1.5oz) Chocolate Bars (like Hershey's original bars)

Arrange groups of 3 or 4 pecan halves two inches apart on greased baking …

Recipe Review - Baked Doughnuts

I have been wanting to make cake doughnuts for a LONG time, I just never had a fancy pan.  Michaels was having an AMAZING deal a few weeks ago and I got it for 40% off!  AWESOME!  I now need to go back and get a second pan......waiting for another awesome deal first though.

I first found this recipe from Kristy over at Mommy Hates cooking, she adapted it from this recipe found on Fake Ginger.  I decided to take both and combine and change a few things on each.  The first thing I did was change the buttermilk/skim milk for what I had on hand which was 2% and I added 1/8 tsp cinnamon rather than 1/4.  Next time I will skip the cinnamon all together.  I then doubled the recipe.

I made the Vanilla Baked Doughnuts first and then added a few tablespoons to the left over batter to make chocolate.  I preferred the Chocolate Baked Doughnuts over the Vanilla.

I found these to be very dense doughnuts and I don't know how to change that.  For whatever reason the Chocolate version was not as …

Potty Training

Oh boy!  Here we go!  It is time to potty train MG. 

With Mads it was easy, I went to work and hubby trained her.  By day 5 we all felt comfortable about leaving the house and not having an accident.  With MG, well I am just not sure we will ever get to that point.

The method we do is this:
Wake up on day one and go potty.  After they potty on the toilet they get a prize and then you walk around the house, find all the diapers and throw them away.  Then every 15 minutes we go potty in the toilet.  Repeat for 3 days and you are done.  We also night train during this time.  Go potty before bed, then we wake her up and go potty before we go to bed, then wake her up when we get up to go potty again and then potty again when she wakes up.....and then you start the 15 minute routine.  Also during all of this one, and only one parent is responsible for taking them to go potty.  We decided that since hubs has done this before and it doesn't stress him out.....he should do it again.

I made…