Saturday, October 26, 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Jello Dessert

   Michelle made this delicious Raspberry dessert for Easter this year and I finally made it for my family.  YUM!!  It is just a small twist to Heather's Raspberry Jello Dessert, but nevertheless, it is delicious too and a great side for a meal.

For this, you will mix:
1 8 oz container of Cool Whip
1 large container of Raspberry Yogurt (if you can find it, if not substitute with Strawberry or Vanilla)
1 3 oz box of Cheesecake Pudding Mix (again, if you can't find cheesecake pudding mix, substitute with vanilla, white chocolate, or french vanilla)
1 bag (8 -12 oz) frozen Raspberries

This makes quite a bit so mix in a large bowl and refrigerate.  I would also suggest to add the raspberries about 15 minutes before serving.

~Stacy and Michelle~

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Decoration Ideas

  I have said before, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for.  I really don't like the creepy skeletons, bloody hands or things like that , but I love the cute pumpkins, witches, and ghosts.  I really do try to add to my collection every year.  I have gotten with my sisters to see what ideas they have for decorations this year and this is what we have come up with!

Let's Get Batty!!
My friend had done this on her front door a couple of years ago and I fell in love!  She gave me her template and I finally got the bats made this year.  I just used cardstock and taped them to my front door windows.

Pumpkin Patch

Arizona is really big on recycling, which is nice and it also helped to spark this idea.  As I was throwing away multiple glass bottles, such as spaghetti and pickle jars, I got an idea to save them and use them as pumpkin decorations.  I just painted the outsides of the jars orange.  I painted the lids and  the little pumpkin segment lines brown.  One of the pumpkins I painted over the orange with a beige color, leaving the pumpkin segment lines orange.  I used a sharpie marker to draw on each pumpkins face and finished it with some raffia or Hemp String around the lids.  My kiddos really like them too!


Here is a picture of my little Trick-or-Treater group!  I wish I could say I made all of them, but just the little girl with the ghost head is my contribution.  (You can buy one of them in our store if you like her too!)

Gliding Ghosts (and a bat)

Another one of the kids favorite is our flying glow-in-the-dark ghosts.  We have a bat amongst them (my oldest son made in 1st grade a couple of years ago).  The glow in the dark ghosts can also be found in our store or on the blog as a tutorial!  I attached these by using fishing string and hooks in the wall.  I put them up as high as I could reach and just tied slip knots on either end of the fishing string.  Then I attached fishing string to the heads and bottoms of the ghosts and bat (2 strings each) and did a slip knot for each string onto the string strung across the room.  I hope that makes sense!  I think it turned out pretty cool.  (I, Stacy, really shouldn't be taking credit for hanging them though because Michelle actually did it for me!  Thanks so much!!!)

Here is a close up of the bat.  It is just made from a black nylon hose with the end stuffed with cotton.  Tie it off at the length you want your bat.  On black cardstock, draw the bats wings, head and ears and then hot glue it onto the bats back.  You can also add additional googly eyes if you want!


Witches Hat Garland

This is a project Michelle is going to be doing this week.  It is this really cute Mini Witch Hat Garland.  Click on the link for the tutorial!  I believe Michelle is making the hats garland!


Halloween Garland

Here is Rachel's Garland she made from scraps of black, white and orange material.  It was a quick and easy project she did with her kids this weekend.  Rachel is also going to make some cute little witches hats for some center pieces at her Witches Night Out Party.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Homemade Home Decoration

   I have been receiving the "All You" magazine this year and it has some really good ideas for home decorations.  This one caught my eye because I am in need of some balls to go in a decorative metal bowl on my sofa table.  I have been looking for a while for something I like and finally found these!  The lady who made them had said she likes to recycle things into things for her home if she can.  This idea she formed from cereal boxes.  Super cute!  We go through cereal boxes a lot in our family so I decided to try it.

   For this project you will need an empty cereal, acrylic paint, and the normal size gold or silver paper brackets.

1.  Cut your cereal boxes into 8 strips 3/4" inches thick, by 10" long.  (Do this times how many balls you want to make.  My large cereal box made 3).  I also made one 8" long so I could have a variety of sized balls.

2.  Lay the strips out (preferably on something plastic) so you can paint them.  Use a sponge brush (or small paint brush) and put 2 coats on both sides.  (I used a cardboard box for round 1 and found the strips stick to the box and you'll have to repaint them several times).  You could also choose a spray paint color and spray the strips.

3.  After they are all dried, poke a hole in both ends of all 8 pieces so you can attach them with the silver brackets.  On 2 of them, also poke a hole in the middle too.

4.  Place one of the strips with 3 holes on the bottom, add 2 more of the 2 hole strips, another 3 hole strip, followed by 2 more strips.  Match up the holes of one end and put one of the brackets through the holes with the bracket points facing the inside.  Once you have the bracket in, separate the segments evenly.

5.  Take another bracket, also facing in, and gather the 6 strips in, lining the holes up onto the bracket forming a circle.

6.  Take the remaining 2 strips and another bracket, line the 2 ends and the middle hole of one of the strips and place the bracket through.

7.  Circle the 2 strips around to the other side and line up those holes with the remaining middle hole strip.  Place the final bracket through.

8.  Display proudly!

Hope you like these cute decorations!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Dip

  I went to a friends house the other night and she had this amazing pumpkin dip.  I watched her put it together so I gave it a try.  I am  not sure I had it exactly like hers but it was pretty good either way!

All you will need is:

1 large container of cool whip (12 to 16 oz)
1 15oz can Pumpkin Puree (or 2 cups of real pumpkin puree)
Vanilla Pudding (either 1 large box or 2 small boxes)
1 tsp of Pumpkin Spice Mix

Mix the ingredients all together in a medium bowl.  Refrigerate before serving.  Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafers or something similar to this.  I also had yogurt covered pretzels on had and they were pretty good too!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I always love this time of the year.  It reminds me of when we lived in Ohio during Medical School.  Every October we would take one of Austin's days off, or just the kids and I would go if he was too crazy busy, and we would make a day of going to the apple orchard and picking apples.  One time Stacy even got to come with me, remember that Stace?  There were SOOO many kinds of apples.  Apples for canning, for applesauce, for fresh eating, for pies....  I LOVED IT!!!  My girls also loved it.  As you were picking you could eat as many apples as you wanted.  They wanted you to try all the different types, and so we did.  It was the first time I ever tried a Honey Crisp and fell in love.  It has been in my top 3 since then.  We even planted a Honey Crisp last year just for me, and got 20 apples this year!!!  YUM!
During the fall I make tons of applesauce.  Usually I just do plain-jane regular.  Depending on the tartness of the apples I will add no sugar up to 1/2 C. per batch.  My husband and kids like it a little more tart, so more often than not I will not add any sugar.  Sometimes I will add a couple of dashes of cinnamon.  I have a friend that adds other fruits, like strawberry, raspberry or blueberry.  This year though I tried a new recipe and it is by far my favorite.  And all of my family's new favorite.  It is called Spiced Applesauce.  I found it in the little booklet that came with my sauce maker.  I wanted to share it with you because, yes, it is THAT good!

(These are a few of my favorite pictures of my girls 8 years ago at the apple orchard in Ohio. Now they are 11 and 9!!  I just thought these were just too cute not to share.) 

Spiced Applesauce

8 lbs apples, washed and quartered
12 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 C. honey
ground nutmeg

Place the quartered apples in a large pot with a small amount of water, cloves, and cinnamon stick.  Cover and steam until tender over medium heat, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and put the apples through the food strainer.**  Add remaining ingredients to taste.

** If you do not have a food strainer you will need to core and peel the apples, instead of just quartering, and then steam them the same.  When they are done you can use a potato masher or a blender and puree them.  Both ways works wonderful!  

Don't forget to eat a little of the applesauce while it is still warm!  It is the best!  

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Wreath

 The other day we were outside winterizing our house and I had a brilliant plan to make a door wreath for my front door...out of dead weeds.  I have always loved the weed that looks similar to wheat, I call it fake wheat, and we have tons of that along our ditch bank.  So I grabbed the clippers and started gathering the "pretty weeds" .  When I got done I had a box full and went about sorting them into groups.  Then I started arranging them.  It was very pretty, but needed a little something, so I added some Indian Corn and a simple burlap bow.  I really like the way it turned out!  Even my husband, whom I did not think would like it, thought it looked nice.
This is an easy enough project that I think I can handle every fall, because I will ALWAYS have enough weeds.  :)

Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fry's and Albertson's Deals 10-9-13 through 10-15-13

    Michelle has been very good about keeping me up to date on good grocery deals when she see them.  She did not let  me down this week either!  I am sharing this information now because I have finally been able to go shopping the day after the sale started!  Small note, I really didn't do a huge shopping trip so there may very well be MANY other great deals out there for you.
  This is for anyone with a Fry's or Albertson's near them!


Powerade-  39ȼ each when you buy 15!  This comes to $5.85 total.  Be sure to use the in store (in weekly ad) coupon to get this price!


General Mills Cereal- This includes (but is not limited to) Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

  •  These are priced at 3/$5.00 ($1.67 ea).  On and you can find 50ȼ off 1 coupons for Trix, Cherrios, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, making your final price just 67ȼ per box!!!
  • There are also $1.00 of 2 General Mills Cereal at and which would make them $1.17 a box and still a good deal.
  • Another option is the Fry's Digital Downloads.  There are also $1.00 off 2 General Mills Cerals or 50ȼ off for Trix, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Lucky Charms.  They DO NOT double these to a dollar though so you will know you will be paying $1.17 per box.  They also DO NOT stack these coupons with the printables!!!  So, if you just want to use the printables to get the better deal, DO NOT add them to your digital coupons on the Fry's Card.
  • Finally with this deal, when you buy 5, you will get an extra 10ȼ off per gallon of gas!!  And they will most likely print you a $2.00 off a purchase of 5 General Mills Cereal Catalina you can use to buy 5 more boxes (coupons permitting).

Yoplait Yogurt-

  •   These are priced 20 for $10 (50ȼ ea).  40ȼ off 6 yogurts can be printed at and  (These will really be $1.00 off 6 at Fry's because of their double coupon program).  Final price 33ȼ each!!  
  • Fry's Digital Downloads also has a 75ȼ off 6, but again, it will not add the extra 25ȼ to equal a $1.00.  (Final price 37ȼ still good).
  • Also, if you purchase 15-19 of them, you will recieve $1.25 coupon to use for a future purchase (maybe the extra 5 boxes of cereal :).
Progresso Soups-
  •   50ȼ off 2 soups can also be found at and   
  • There is a $2.00 off when you buy 8 soups on Fry's Digital Downloads that can be used along side the printables.  After both of these coupons, the soups would be 50ȼ per can!  Not bad for a 2 servings per can meal!
  • These are also included in the buy 5 items and get an extra 10ȼ off a gallon of gas promotion.  
Free Friday Downloads-  Don't forget to log into Digital Downloads each Friday to see what their FREE item is.  For the past 2 weeks, I had a container of Hillshire Deli meat and a kids juice drink in my digital coupons.  I also picked those up today for nothing extra! 

**Side note for any beginner couponers.  When printing from the coupon sites like or even store coupons like, you can print 2 of the same coupon from EACH computer, so if there is something you want to stock up on and you have multiple coupons, you can print 2 from EACH computer.  You CANNOT, however, just copy the coupon multiple times.  They each get their own bar codes and the stores can only accept and be paid back for 2 of the same bar code (unless a true manufacture coupon from the paper!).  
     So there are the deals I got!  Michelle can maybe add hers because I know she purchased a few more items than I did.  My total for 12 boxes of cereal, 8 cans of soup, 18 container of yogurt, 1 Hillshire Farm deli meat, and a Tum-E Yummies juice was $20.69!!!  I also received 435 fuel points which turns into 40ȼ off per gallon next month!  I was pretty pleased with this purchase!

      I will go back tomorrow with my $1.25 credit from the yogurts and $2.00 off 5 cereals, and purchase 5 more cereals.  This should only cost me $0.09 tomorrow with coupons and these credits!  YAY!!!
Gotta love coupons!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pizza Poppers

  I came across this great idea on facebook.  I tried it the other day and my family LOVED them.  My kids kept saying how great they were.  They are very simple and inexpensive.

The recipe only calls for 8 things and most you have at home already!

60 Pepperoni's
Mozzarella Cheese- 30 inch squares
3 cans- Pillsbury (or off brand) homestyle biscuits
Pizza Sauce (I just used plain spaghetti sauce)
1 Egg
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
Parmesan Cheese

1.  All you do for these are to spray a 9X13" glass dish.
2.  Flatten the biscuits out on a plate, one at a time.
3.  Put a little spoonful of the pizza (or spaghetti) sauce on the biscuit.
4.  Put one pepperoni on the biscuit, a mozzarella piece, followed by another pepperoni.
5.  Fold the sides up to each other until the bottom is closed up and put it in the pan.
6.  Once all of the biscuits are in the pan, take the egg and scramble it.  Spread it over the tops of the rolls.
7.  Sprinkle the tops with the garlic powder, parmesan, and the Italian seasonings.
8.  Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

The nice thing besides the taste with these poppers is that they are only 280 calories for 3 of the pizzas.  They are pretty filling and it still leaves some room to add something else to your dinner (or lunch)!  I will post a picture soon, I will be making these again very soon!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Nicholas Sparks- The Rescue

   I am so happy to have found a really good group of books to read!  I just get tired of trying books that end up having so many swear words or vivid bedroom scenes I feel like I am watching a rated R movie, which I don't do for those reasons!!!  Nicholas Sparks books have all just been really clean, easy reads!  Yes, they all have some lovey, dovey love saga, but who doesn't need one of those once in a while?  Obviously a lot do since a good majority of his books turn into movies!!

  The next great book I have read recently is 'The Rescue'.  It is another good love story about Taylor, Denise and her little boy Kyle.  They meet when Denise crashes her car, and Taylor, a volunteer fire fighter, is the one to find her and help her through the accident.  Denise's son Kyle has learning and cognitive impairments and Denise has been working since he was an infant to help him overcome these.  She is a great example of a mother and is just inspiring.  It does have a few places that will make you smile or cry (I do that a lot lately :) and more that just keep you hoping for them; Denise and Kyle, and Denise, Kyle and their relationship with Taylor.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did!  I would give it 5 Stars!!
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