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Showing posts from November, 2009

Print Your coupons before they reset

Now's the time to check at Coupons.com and print out any coupons you want before they reset in December. This month there were some great coupons for pasta, cheese, and crackers.

Save Money and Stress Less this Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be joyful - not spendy and stressful. If you are lucky enough to escape family drama, then there are really only 3 major areas that might cost you time, money, and sanity. Those are shopping, decorating, and cooking.
Let me share with you how I will be saving money and stress this holiday season
1. Shopping - I shop for most of my holiday gifts before Christmas. Just like with birthday gifts, I am always on the lookout for things my family might like. When I see it on sale (and sometimes not on sale - oops!), I pick it up and take it home. This saves so much time and money.
I always have my kids with me when I go shopping, so one less trip to the store, especially during the frazzled and rushed holidays, is extremely welcome. I don't enjoy shopping during the Christmas rush. People are mean and pushy. It's not a great time to be out and about. Plus, most of the greatest deals come after Christmas. ;)
Take a look at how we operate our kid's Christma…

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways here! Then come back and check out some of these great giveaways! Lots of fun opportunities to win! Don't forget to enter my new giveaways:
EcoSMART - Safe Home Bundle IBW - Interactive Books $100 Blog Design
Blush Topless Undershirt Chuck E Cheese Pizza Maker and ICEE Maker

We're ALL Shredding!

I'm still going strong on my 30 Day Shred goals. I feel stronger and I'm finding ways to make time to exercise every day! But something even better has been happening!
Other people are joining in! One of my sisters is shredding! Two of my neighbors are now shredding! Lots of bloggers are shredding! Wahoo!
I love to spread the exercise love! If you are shredding, please keep me updated - it's so motivating to hear your successes. One of my neighbors even cancelled her $200 a month personal trainer -she's loving the easy 20 minute shred so much! Savingmoney and working out - Now we're speaking my language!!
**Just so you know....I'm not affiliated with The Biggest Loser or Jillian Michaels in any way. I just think the 30 Day shred is great, fast, and effective exercise.

EcoSMART natural pesticide - Giveaway

{This giveaway has ended: Congratulations to #101, Priscilla} I need to be 100% honest when I say that I do NOT like to kill bugs. I love them and think they are an incredibly valuable part of our ecosystem. That being said....when they come into my garden or into my house....something must be done.
When I must use pesticides, fertilizers, or cleaners; I want to use something that's non-toxic, natural, and biodegradable. EcoSMART provides a safe, natural pesticide that I'd feel comfortable using.
EcoSMART would like to offer one Suburban Jungle reader their Safe Home Value Bundle:
The Safe Home Value Bundle includes:
-- Ant and Roach Killer (14 oz can) -- Home Pest Control (24 oz spray bottle) -- Flying Insect Killer (14 oz can) -- Insect Repellent (6 oz bottle)
To Enter: Visit EcoSMART and leave a comment with one other product you'd like to try.
Extra Entries: 3 extra entries - Blog about this giveaway. Include a link to this page, and leave 3 comments (1 with your link) 2 ext…

Prepare Your Berries for Winter

It's cooling down, so it's time to start preparing your berries for winter. I'm not a gardening expert, but here is how I prep my berries:
Raspberries - By now, you may have already pruned out your dead canes. If not, you can either do it now or wait until spring. I have multiple varieties and each of them have their own pruning recommendations, so be sure to search which canes to cut for your variety. Other than that - leave raspberries alone until spring. Then you can fertilize them right before they leaf out.
Black Raspberries - This is a great time to prune out any dead canes (those that produced fruit this year) and also prune the 1st year canes to maximize fruit next season. Here is a great link about pruning black raspberries. Since I tip-layered my 1st year canes this year, I won't be pruning until spring.
Strawberries - Most people regenerate (mow down) and cover their strawberries with straw in the fall. That's a great idea. But I'm a lazy gardener. In e…

Make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches without butter (paninis too!)

News Flash! You do not need butter (or any buttery spread) to make grilled cheese sandwiches, or paninis, or any other grilled sandwich. All you need are bread, non-stick cooking spray (I like the olive oil kind) and some cheese (and/or other ingredients).

In the example to the right, I used our george foreman grill. Best $8 I ever spent (garage sale...brand new.) But it works just as well on a pan or griddle. Just spray the pan, put down your bread, layer on your sandwich insides of choice, top it with another piece of bread, spray the top lightly and cook.

I can only imagine the amount of saturated fat and extra calories (for anyone keeping track of calories) this saves. And they taste great. I personally, do not miss the greasiness.

The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure and the privacy policy.

How to Cook for Crohn's and Colitis

How to Cook for Crohn's and Colitis: More Than 200 Healthy, Delicious Recipes the Whole Family Will Love

When I came across this cookbook, I initially thought, "eh...I don't have Chrohn's or colitis...boring!" But then I opened it up, and it was engaging from the beginning to the end. The opening story was both heart warming and motivating.

And the recipes! This cookbook is full of great recipes that are low in saturated fat, and high in natural goodness. There are no artificial ingredients and no gimmicks. Since it is geared toward IBD, they do emphasize less whole grains, but for the rest of us, it's an easy substitution.

I was very happy to find this book full of tasty, healthy recipes. It isn't often you find a cookbook with wholesome, real recipes that is dedicated to lowering inflammation.

As a side note, inflammation is a key contributor to many diseases, not just Crohn's and colitis. It's involved with MS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout,…

Weekly Grocery shopping - Under $50 - Saved 40%

This week we spent $46.24 on groceries. The price before coupons was $76.02, so a savings of 40%. Not my best week, but the sales were low. Why so many chips? With two adult males (GRrrrrr!) in the house, chips and crackers are popular.
Our local sales haven't been very exciting lately. I hope they pick up after the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!

Crust-Free Pumpkin Pie

I'm just going to put it out there...I hate crust! I can't stand the flakiness and texture. It also happens to be unhealthiest part of the pie (usually). I've seen plenty of recipes for no-crust pumpkin pie but they usually include bisquick or some other ingredient that basically bakes the crust into the filling.
I'm not a fan. I can still sense the crust and I don't like the extra ingredients. So what's a crust-hater to do! Guess what? You can make a pumpkin pie without any crust!
Here's how I do it. I make the recipe on the back of a can of Libby's pumpkin pie. I only use half the sugar (did you really think I'd use it all?) and I pour it in an ungreased pie pan. Then I bake it according to the can directions. And wallah...a crust-free pumpkin pie.
There is only one drawback here: The pie doesn't always leave the pan perfectly. Sometimes, when you are scooping it out, the tip will wrinkle. But it still tastes great. It's lower in calories thi…

Free Earrings from Urban Original - While supplies last - Hurry!

{ALREADY GONE -SORRY}Hurry over to Urban Original to snag a free pair of earrings. Use promo code "earrings". This was listed in Seventeen magazine...which yes, in my 30's, I do read. Hurry - offer is good while supplies last.

ReboundTAG Microchip - Review

Does the airport ever lose your luggage? LOL - what a stupid question, right? My husband travels a lot and I can not tell you how many times his luggage has went MIA. We even lost our luggage in Spain and had to spend a few days trying to track it down....in spanish.

FuelMyBlog offered me the chance to review the ReboundTAG as part of one of their product campaigns. I was so excited to give this a shot.

How it works:
1. Register your Microchip
2. Attach the Microchip to your luggage - it's just like an address tag
3. Receive an SMS message and email when your bag is lost
Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to formally try it. The ReboundTAG arrived just after my flight to the savings.com event, and while my husband was gone on a trip. We just missed it both times. And we won't be travelling by air again for a few weeks.

Next time we travel, I'll attach our microchip....and hope we never need to really use it.

*This was an uncompensated review. I did receive one ReboundTAG t…

Pet sitting

More than anything, my children would love to have a pet. They felt so lucky when a neighbor went out of town this week and asked if we could watch her fish. The first morning, my daughter woke up early and I could hear her singing to the fish. They have both excitedly fed it every morning and have been careful not to yell or fight - in case it hurts the fish's ears. Score one for mom!
It's been cute watching my kids with the fish, but the newness has worn off and except for feeding time, the fish has mostly been ignored. So sad.

IBW Books - Review & Giveaway

{This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to #56 kngmckellar} IBW-Books recently sent us two of it's webscene interactive books to review. I love reading to my kids and since we read a lot of the same books over and over again, I was happy to mix-it-up a little.We were sent 2 books. One was a KA Reader book - a web interactive story for beginning readers. Most of the words were one's that my son could read or sound out. The story rhymed and repeated words often, important for beginning readers.
The other book was from the Busy Preschoolers Celebration of Letters set. We had letters G & H. Inside there are short poems that emphasize a specific letter and corresponding web activities built around those letters.
Our thoughts on the KA Reader book:
-This was the most useful and captivating for my children. They enjoyed the story and looked forward to the weblink at the end of the page. When we opened the web page, they were excited that they already knew the characters name…

Black Friday - Our plan of attack!

Target and Twittermoms are hosting another great contest....share your Black Friday plan of attack and have a shot at a $75 Target Gift card. If it involves Target, I'm there.
Here is our Black Friday Story In the very distant past, my husband and I would get the paper on Thanksgiving and scour through the ads. We'd pick out the best deals, then wait outside the stores at horrible hours, maybe 4am.

Then we got internet savvy and started figuring out our must-have deals days in advance. And of course, we got crazier. Actually, my husband got crazier. Once I had kids, I valued sleep more than anything (still do) and bowed out of the Black Friday mayhem all together.

But my husband would hang out at 24 hour stores.....all night long! I think it was 4 years ago when Walmart had the super laptop computer deal. My husband was there all night. I think he went at 7pm, and he returned home, with 3 laptops at 7am. One for me, and two for his family members. As the years went by, we were le…

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways here! Then come back and check out some of these great giveaways! Lots of fun opportunities to win! Don't forget to enter my new giveaways:
$100 Blog DesignOne FREE Year of Menu Planning - worth over $58Tropical Coconut Oil Blush Topless Undershirt Disney Musical Hand Wash Timer Chuck E Cheese Pizza Maker and ICEE Maker

6 Moles Removed - 2 Weeks of Waiting

Earlier this week, I had 6 moles removed and sent off for biopsy. It was surprisingly pain-free, but still rather unpleasant. Who...what...biopsy? Yep, I had 2 suspicious moles and 4 that were removed for fun. Or at least that's how it seemed.

By the way, if you need to book a dermatology appointment...get to it! They book up quickly. I had waited months for this appointment. So when we decided to paint the house this week, and my husband was gone for a week long business trip, I kept the appointment!

I ran out as soon as the bus picked up my son and prayed the doctor's office would be running on time. I waited in the room for a long time before the nurse handed me a napkin and told me to undress.
No harrassment about sunscreen please...I've been addicted to it since I was 14, and all of moles were in places that see no sun....(NO, not there!) I still needed to remove all the clothing on my upper body and roll down my jeans. TMI!

The reason I tell you this is because after alm…

2 Episodes of The Biggest Loser this Week!

Don't forget - There are 2 episodes of The Biggest Loser this week! The regular show will air on Tuesday and a special reunion show will air Wednesday!
I am so excited! I can't wait to see how the contestants did after they left the ranch. I have watched a few of the Biggest Loser workout videos on my cable's on demand, and I have to tell you, I've seen a few of them. My biggest heartbreak... Eric. Do you remember him?
He was a deli chef. He was huge and diabetic. He needed to be on the show so bad, and he made it to the end. He won! He was so cut it was crazy! But in all of the videos....I'm so sad to report that he's overweight. Seriously overweight. I really wanted him to win and stay healthy, and.... Well, let's just say - I can hardly wait for Wednesday night. And I won't even eat candy during the show this week. Maybe. :)

Amazon Black Friday Deals start at 12AM

Amazon's Black Friday Deals start on November 23rd at 12AM. They're promising to have some really great deals, so keep checking this Link to pick up something great.

This may be a way to spend some of the Amazon GCs you've been winning through Swagbucks. Not using Swagbucks yet? Sign up here to get 3 free swagbucks (it takes 45 to get a $5 Amazon GC.) They add up quickly. I win between 2-3 swagbucks each day...sometimes more. How do you win? By searching the same way you would with google or yahoo. It's easy, free money.

Never Underestimate what your kids can do

Today I learned that I shouldn't underestimate what my children can do. My son received this anatomy kit for his birthday. When I saw it, I instantly worried about how much work (and mess) it was going to make. So I hid it in the closet for a long time.
My son kept asking about it and I had so many good reasons why we had to wait. But today, all of my conditions had been met (nice day, no bugs, old bucket available...)
My children put this skeleton together almost entirely on their own. They mixed and poured the plaster, popped out the pieces, assembled it correctly, and painted it with fluorescent paint.
Then we hung it in his room where it glows all night long!

The 30 Day Shred - My Before/After results

I've blogged a few times about how much I like The 30 Day Shred.I really do like it! In some ways it's too easy, and in other ways it's just right. The best part is that it's just 20 minutes a day.


To be honest with you, after I made it to level 3, I stopped running all together and just did the shed 2 or 3 days a week. That's all! I still felt healthy and I still maintained my weight. In fact, I felt stronger. Not the cheetah strength I feel from running, but a barbarian strength that I kinda like.
That being said, I wasn't really doing the shred the way it was intended. And I kinda wondered what would happen if I did. Because I'm not really obsessed with being thin or cut, I am cool with a maintenance schedule of twice a week. That way I can get some decent exercise and not have my whole lifebe exercise, know what I mean?
I also don't think shredding everyday is a good idea for most people. Why not? Your body needs to rest. Without it, you risk injury…

The Snowman's Song - Review

I love to read my children themed books, especially around season and holiday changes. I was recently offered the chance to review the book The Snowman's Song, and I have to tell you that I loved this book!
Let me tell you what I loved about it: Everything about this book was beautiful! The illustrations were beautiful, the snowman's gentle spirit and longing to share the Christmas story was beautiful, and the whole theme/attitude of the story was beautiful.
My kids enjoyed the story and I could see this being a book they look forward to bringing out with the holiday decorations. A story to welcome the first snow and anticipate the joy of Christmas.
I also love that for every book purchased on snowmanssong.com they will donate a book to an underprivileged family. It just fits the books message so well.
My concerns: My only concern was that I hate to see this book get loved and worn. It really is a lovely hardcover book and the pages are so nice. It pains me to think of it with nubb…

Weekly Grocery Shopping - under $30

This week, I made one quick trip to Sams club for a few essentials. :) I spent $26.98 and saved $0. Looking at what I bought, it seems like a I spent a lot for very little but I did get 6 pounds of raw almonds....and that means 6 pounds of tasty raw almond butter.
How can a family of 5 live on almond butter and clementines? Check out my weekly shopping trips to see what I have stored in my fridge/pantry/freezer. We're still eating squash and tomatoes from this summer's garden too. It's so nice that I don't have to run to the store when the sales are mediocre.

Fat -Free Saltines ~ A friendy Warning

I spend a lot of time reading food labels these days. I'm trying to limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fats, and overall chemicals my family consumes.

I was dying for some saltines. Why? Who knows, but I went to the store and read the label on every, yes every, variety of saltine crackers.

All of them stated 0 grams of trans fats, but their ingredients suggested otherwise. To learn more about trans fats, check here.

Only one package was free of partially hydrogenated oils, these were the Fat-free saltines. My first thought was, EW! Okay, but I'm committed to this, so I purchased the fat-free saltines. Now, sometimes fat-free items contain extra sugar or extra salt to make up for the lack of fat, but these didn't seem to have that issue.

But how did they taste? Salty and a little bit stale. They were fresh, but I think the lack of fat made them seem stale, dry, too crispy. Thank goodness they were intended for almond butter bliss. If you haven't tried almond butter, i…

Turkeys in Our Backyard! Happy Thanksgiving!

Can you see the turkeys running around in our backyard. I love the forest! What a fantastic surprise, and just in time for Thanksgiving.

Baseball Guys - Action figures - Review

My son has been involved in a bunch of extra curricular sports activities....and he's hated them all! Last summer while he and I were playing soccer in the backyard, he finally said to me, "mom, I really don't like sports...so can we stop trying to play them all the time?"
It's not that I was pushing him to be an extreme athlete, but I certainly wanted him to have the chance to learn about sports....since neither of his parents watch or play in team sports.
I gave it a rest, but when Kaskey Kids offered me a chance to review their Baseball Guys Action figures, I said YES.
I'm not forcing! But I thought this might be a great way for him to see sports in a different light. My son plays with little soldiers and makes monsters out of his Magnext, so I figured he'd have the imagination for a set like this.
I started saving cardboard sheets so he'd have a board to play on. Surprise! The Baseball Guys set comes with a sturdy felt baseball field. Yay!
I took the t…