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Impending Irma

Since Hurricane Irma is heading right towards my lovey sunshine state, I decided to postpone my usual Thursday and Friday posts and give you a few last minute ideas to get you ready for the impending storm. I know my sisters, parents, and I were coming up with stuff all last night. I love that we can be on a group text when someone thinks of something! It makes everything so much easier!  Thankfully the school district let everyone have today and tomorrow to plan and prepare. I think Mr. Teacher and I are as ready as we can be! Now the watching and waiting begins.

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Here are a few ideas that could make life a little easier and less stressful in the coming days that you might not have thought of:

  1. Wash and prep all you fruits and vegetables now. If we don’t have water this will make cooking and eating much easier. I am thinking of it as getting ready for a big stay at home camping trip.
  2. Make your hamburger patties now too. Marinate your chicken and pork.  Again, think of it like prepping for camping!
  3. Don’t forget to stock up on paper towel, paper plates, plastic silverware, and cups. I forgot all of that and had to go back to the store today. No water=no washing dishes. UGH! But we got this!!! Get aluminum foil too. It will make grilling easier. Heck make some grill packets while your at it and pop those in the fridge or freezer.
  4. Publix has bogo sparkling water this week with no limit! Get a bunch!
  5. I decided to make a huge thing of sun tea in my big glass drink dispenser I use for parties. This can sit on the counter and will last a few days. It might be nice to have some variety in drinks. 
  6. I am in the process of brewing several pot of coffee to keep in the refrigerator. I need coffee and I like it cold, so I am making sure I will not run out. Starbucks also has VIA, instant coffee packets that you can stock up on as well. They easily mix with bottled water. Remember all Starbucks are closed in SW FL as of last night. Thank god! Since my sister works there. You can still get VIA at Publix, Walmart, or Target.
  7. I drink tons of sparkling water in 2 liter bottles, but any bottles will work. I got the bottles out the recycling bin, washed them, filled them with fresh water, and popped them in the freezer. I am grateful that we bought a chest freezer this summer! If you don’t have a chest freezer, your regular freezer will work for this too. My sister is also filling up cleaned out milk cartons and putting them in the freezer. I also have begun filling up every container with a sealed lid with drinking water. I am storing some in the freezer and in the pantry. My mom has even filled every Tervis in her house with water, or coffee and popped them in the fridge. She will be riding out the storm with my sister in North Port, but when she returns home she will have liquids. 
  8. Remove your ice from the ice-maker holder dish, no I do not know what else to call it right now, and put it in Ziploc bags in the freezer. Keep making ice until the power runs out or you run out of room.
  9. Fill up your top loading washer with water to use in case you need it to flush toilets. Also, fill up coolers, buckets, your bathtubs, and any other large containers you have to use to clean yourself and to use to flush toilets.
  10. Get baby wipes or other no water cleansing cloths. Get hand sanitizer for the bathroom too. I hate being dirty! Don’t forget to put a scented candle in the bathroom for light and to control smells.
  11. Wash all of your clothes, bedding, and towels. If we don’t have water, at least you will have clean clothes.
  12. Clean the floors too. You will be spending lots of time in doors in the coming days without power. I have 4 cats and cat hair can build up quickly!
  13. Get a stack of books you would like to read, board games, decks of cards, some scented candles, and don’t forget to chill your beer or wine so you can try to take your mind off the impending storm.
  14. Don’t forget to take pictures of the outside of your home, your cars, and your belongings. You will need that in case you have to file an insurance claim. Double check your coverage too and make sure you have your information if needed.
  15. Get out your old towels and blankets to use to block water from oozing in under your doors and windows. Even if they are hurricane proof and you have on hurricane shutters this can still happen.
  16. Make sure you have all your documents together, passwords, and valuables in case you do ultimately have to leave.
  17. Stock up on pet food, liter, treats and other things that will make your fur babies comfortable. I am moving the litter boxes from the lanai into the guest bathroom. If you are doing something like that, make sure your babies know where to go and give them time to get used to the new location. Get pee pads for your dogs too.
  18. Clean out your dishwasher and put family pictures, and valuable things in it. It won’t blow away because it is secured to the counter and cupboards. It is also water proof. I would do this for sure if we were leaving. My mom also took everything she didn’t want wrecked, put it in big rubber maid containers, and placed them under beds for safe keeping. The mattresses should protect everything in the waterproof containers if god-forbid, her roof blows off.
  19. I found this link last night on how to charge your phone with out power using a battery. You can follow the link here. Mr. Teacher and I will be staying fully charged by using potable batteries and the car chargers since we have a car in the garage.
  20. STAY CALM! STAY RESPECTFUL! STAY KIND!!!!! Some people are really losing their minds and their manners. we are all in the same boat. It is scary. The anticipation is awful. No one knows what will happen, but that doesn’t give you the right to be cruel, selfish, and mean. Right now we have to stick together!!!!BE SAFE! Stay in contact with your friends and family.

See you after the storm!

 

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Fruit Tarts and Friendly Trades

 

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I LOVE fruit tarts! I could seriously eat them nearly everyday. They aren’t too terrible for you and they are filled with fresh fruit. They are super expensive to buy at the store and a much more cost effective option is to bake them yourself. Until I received these tart pans, I never could make them because I didn’t have the extra money to spend on the pans, but now that I have these pans, I am a tart making fool!

 

I am so glad that my very good friend Heather introduced me to her boyfriend’s mama.  When this lovely lady was cleaning out her house she stumbled across an assortment of kitchen supplies, including numerous tart pans, and thought of me. I decided to immediately put the tart pans to good use. I had an assortment of summer fruit and craving that would not quit. I will be paying her back for her generosity with some lovely tarts.

In my first attempt at making tarts, I created this recipe. If you would like the recipe for this delightful fresh fruit tart with almond cream, just follow the link here-Almond Fruit Tart.  The tart is packed with assorted summer fruit  and is as gorgeous as it is delicious. It is also gluten free. The tarts come together without much effort at all.

I am currently in the process of making a chocolate strawberry tart and some tarts with fall flavors. Sign up for the newsletter to get these recipes when they are published.

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Five on Friday Week 6

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Welcome to the 6th post of Five on Friday where I post a list of the top five things that made me happy during the week. It could be anything from a new kitchen tool, new product, new food, recipe success, or maybe just a life event. No matter what it is, I share it with you here every Friday.

  1. We get a 3-day weekend. Happy Labor Day! I am excited to have a little extra time to sleep and get caught up with things around the house. The first few weeks of school are exhausting! I know we had a 3-day weekend last weekend unexpectedly because of the rain, but I could use a little more time off. I hope this weekend is a sunny one too. Now if only I can get my lesson plans done before school starts tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!
  2. I ordered this new automatic laser light toy a few days ago. I got it in the mail yesterday and the kitties love it, especially my Turbo who is huge fan of chasing lasers. The toy runs on batteries. It’s really nice to get to play with my babies and not have to hold down a button. Plus this toy has an auto timer that shuts off after 15 minutes so I can set it before I leave for work too. 
     3. I am just so happy to be alive. I have a great boyfriend, wonderful friends and family, and  I’m healthy. I have a nice place to live. I have my sweet, snugly fur babies. I have a pantry and refrigerator full of food. Even though life can be stressful and busy, it could be so very much worse. I am so grateful to just be who I am and doing what I am doing. I am very lucky!

4. I just discovered that I could sign up for HBO through Amazon Prime. They offer a 14 day free trial. This makes me really happy and excited! Mr. Teacher and I waited to binge watch all of Game of Thrones Season 7. We don’t have cable, we just stream it. Since Sunday was the final episode of the season and we ended up having a day out of school on Monday because of major flooding in our area, we watched the whole season in 2 days. I don’t know how we are supposed to wait for season 8 to begin in 2019!  It’s a good thing Season 2 of Stranger Things and Season 3 of Outlander will be out very soon. If you would like to check it out too simply follow the link below.

Join HBO Free Trial

You can check out the recipe here-Peppery Greens with Mango, Black Beans, Avocado with a Honey Chili Vinaigrette.

5. Fresh picked avocados-A fellow teacher has a large avocado tree in her yard. She was very generous this week and shared her avocados with us. I used them to make this delicious and stunning salad for dinner. You can check out the recipe here-Peppery Greens with Mango, Black Beans, Avocado with a  Honey Chili Vinaigrette. 

I would love to hear your top five too.

Please leave me a comment with your top 5 below.

Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter! 

Let’s spread a little joy and be happy for the little things in life, especially this week! Please consider donating to a charity that helps the victims of the Hurricane Harvey- both animal and human.

I know Bobby Bones is Pimpin Joy.

All proceeds go to the victims.

I just ordered this shirt and they have several other items to choose from.

Check out the site here

#PIMPINJOY

Happy Friday! 

 

 

 

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Five on Friday Week 5

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Welcome to the 5th post of Five on Friday. Every Friday I post a list the top five things that made me happy during the week. It could be anything from a new kitchen tool, new product, new food, recipe success, or maybe just a life event. No matter what it is, I share it with you here every Friday.

  1. Surprise BFF Visit!-So Angelina and I have been the best of friends for about 20 years. It is very hard to believe we are that old! We meet while both working as servers at the Chula Vista Red Lobster and quickly became inseparable. She currently lives in VA and I live in FL so we don’t get to see each other very often. I knew she was traveling to FL to visit her husband’s family, but school has started and I didn’t think Mr. Teacher and I would be able to see them.

    Angelina and I in front of the Columbia Restaurant

Well I was wrong! It turns out she read my Five on Friday last week and discovered we would be in Tampa on Saturday. When I got off of work Friday afternoon and checked my phone I had a text from her saying they were only going to be an hour away from Tampa. So of course we quickly devised a plan to meet up for lunch in Yebor City. Even though we only had 2 hours we made the most of it! We hit up a farmer’s market and then had a quick, but super delicious lunch at the original Columbia Restaurant.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We shared one pitcher of yummy Red Sangria and one pitcher of their Sparkling Cava Sangria. The pitchers are not that big and neither of us were driving. Her hubby had a gigantic Cuban Sandwich, Mr. Teacher had some fabulous pork over yellow rice that I will figure out to make sometime in the very near future, Angelina and I both decided on a huge 1905 salad with shrimp on top. No we did not share! It was so yummy!

This is my version of the salad. It’s pretty darn tasty too!

I have figured out a way to almost duplicate this fantastic salad at home. I use bacon instead of ham because Mr. Teacher is not a ham fan. You can follow the link to the recipe here- Twisted 1905 Salad.

3. Mr. Teacher and I had a wonderful date day on Saturday. After our wonderful lunch with Angelina and her hubby, we parted ways and headed to the arena. I really did have fun watching the Monster Trucks. The event was held inside though so it got kind of fume filled and was a little loud. Next time ear plugs will be a necessity! After the show we went to Panera for iced-T and their Blood Orange Lemonade, YUMMY, while we called nearly every store in the Tampa area trying to find eclipse glasses. Then we headed back to Fort Myers laughing and playing the license plate game. We ended our night watching Antiques Road Show in our pjs with leftovers for dinner. It was a great day!

This is Grave Digger. I remember everyone loving him when I lived in VA. He did pretty awesome!

 

 

 

This is Zombie. I guess he is from FL. I liked the arms on his truck. They made me laugh. Anytime he drove they played Thriller and everyone made zombie arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. I just discovered that I could sign up for HBO through Amazon Prime. They offer a 14 day free trial. This makes me really happy and excited! Mr. Teacher and I have been waiting to binge watch all of Game of Thrones Season 7. Please no spoilers! We don’t have cable, we just stream it. Since Sunday is the final episode of the season, I think we can start and finish season 7 this weekend. Then the wait for season 8 will begin. It’s a good thing Season 2 of Stranger Things and Season 3 of Outlander will be out very soon. If you would like to check it out too simply follow the link below.

Join HBO Free Trial

5. Mr. Teacher helped me out tremendously this Monday by going to the grocery store to buy a few staples and then making dinner for us. I work from 7:15-5:30 on Mondays. It is a very long,full, non-stop day. Since I’m still beginning of the year teacher tired, I was exhausted! It’s so nice to have a man that cooks once in a while!

 

I would love to hear your top five too. Please leave me a comment with your top 5 below. Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter! 

Let’s spread a little joy and be happy for the little things in life, especially this week! We are all human and have to share this planet together. Violence and hatred solves nothing! Spread joy, love, and peace! Remember one friendly act, a smile, or kind word can change a life!!!

Happy Friday! 

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Busy Morning Breakfasts

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During the summer and on the weekends I am not a huge breakfast person. I like to get up, drink my coffee and maybe eat a handful of nuts before I workout. If I’m in the mood for breakfast, I will make it around 11 and serve it as brunch. But, as we are ending our second full week of school here in Florida, I am thinking about the most important meal of the day, breakfast. No, nothing fancy, but something healthy and filling since I get up at six and I get a 2o minute lunch break at precisely 11:46. It has to be easy to make and something I can prep the night before. It has to able to travel to work because I usually spend my morning eating my breakfast while standing at my podium computer or prepping stuff around my classroom before the kids arrive. I imagine I am not the only person in the world that eats breakfast while working either.

Since I can’t imagine trying to work and think while my tummy is rumbling, I have come up with a few different breakfasts that work really well for me and I thought I would share them with you. I wouldn’t want your tummy to be rumbly either!

  1. Toasted bread with cream cheese and marmalade. I’m crushing on  Dave’s Killer Bread.

    I not only really like this bread, but I love this company! They hire people who have troubled past and give them a chance. Check out their company.

    The Power Seed is really yummy and I really like the company. They are all about second chances and teaching people to be leaders.  I spread it with a few tablespoons of low-fat cream cheese and a few tablespoons of some kind of marmalade. Of course I any jelly would work, I’m just on a citrus kick lately. This week I have orange marmalade, but I really like honey tangelo marmalade and grapefruit marmalade too! Press it together, cut it in half, pop it in your lunchkins the night before work, and just like that you have a filling healthy breakfast.

2. Peanut Butter Apple Sandwiches with Granola-I simply slice a granny smith or honey crisp apple like you would slice bread. I spread the slices with peanut butter (yes, you can use any nut butter), press them together, and roll the edges in granola. It’s tasty, it’s easy, it’s filling. I love it!

3. Oatmeal with fruit and nuts-I eat this nearly every single day! I make 4 or 5 containers at a time and store them in the fridge. When I need breakfast, I grab one, pop it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, and I have breakfast! I mix and match fresh, frozen, and dried fruits to create my fancy oatmeal. My co-workers frequently come in my room and ask me what I’m eating because it smells so good. The quick and easy recipe is located here-Oatstanding Oatmeal.

 

 

oatmeal with dried cherries, dried apricots, pecans, and cinnamon

 

I hope you will enjoy these breakfasts and that they make your morning a little better too!

 

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Five on Friday Week 4

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Welcome to the 4th post of Five on Friday. Every Friday I post a list the top five things that made me happy during the week. It could be anything from a new kitchen tool, new product, new food, recipe success, or maybe just a life event. No matter what it is, I share it with you here every Friday.

1 Compost, Cans, Cartons, and Markers-Last year my class was in charge of the compost bin at school. It was a big hit! I had a group of kiddos that would collect the lunch scraps from the cafeteria on a daily basis to add to the bins. I also had kids from other classes bring in scraps from home that they dropped off every morning. We are using the compost for the school garden which is conveniently located in front of my room.

This week I got to start showing my class how we can help the world and each other by teaching them about the compost and I have also hired my compost stirrers for the quarter. Yes, they must apply for the position. We also have added collecting aluminum cans for the homeless, egg cartons and dried out markers to help out my neighbor’s church. She has found a place to recycle them for money and it donating it to charity. It makes me so happy that I can share this with my class!

In a few months we will do our annual food drive to help out the local food pantry and a then a pet supply drive to benefit local animal shelters. It feels good to give and to teach other’s to give too!

2 Free Coffee-I love my coffee! I feel like every week I deserve to go to Starbucks in the morning and get myself a treat. I have the app with my card that I simply reload when I need to do so. When you spend a certain amount you get a free coffee. This week I had a free one! Woohoo! My new favorite treat is a venti coffee frappucino made with almond milk, and one pump of cinnamon. It isn’t too sweet and tastes like a frozen cookie with caffeine. No this post isn’t sponsored by Starbucks. I just think it’s tasty and it makes me happy, especially when it’s free! You should really try this!!!

3 Weekend Date Day-I am excited because Mr. Teacher and I get to sleep in on Saturday and then we are spending the day in Tampa. We even have tickets to see some monster trucks. I haven’t ever seen monster trucks live, but my dad would take me to demolition derbies and I didn’t hate it. So, I am happy to be getting out of town for the day,trying something new, and getting to spend time with Mr. Teacher. Who knows, maybe I can convenience him to stop in Sarasota to get a peanut butter pie from the Yoder’s Amish Restaurant. Finger’s crossed!

4 Free Chicken-My kitty Turbo hasn’t been feeling to well lately. I have been making him chicken just boiled in a little broth and I give him a little a few times a day. This week a good friend/teammate at work gave me a big container of chicken that her family wasn’t going to eat. Turbo gobbled it up! I broke it up into pieces and froze it so I can easily give him some chicken everyday. Thank you for making my baby happy!

5 Free Natural Coconut-This week one of friends at work gave me a bag of natural coconut she wasn’t planning on using. I do love coconut! As a thank you I’m making my No Bake Chocolate Coconut Bites to share. Click here for the recipe. They are addicting and easy. Oh and did I mention healthy too!

I would love to hear your top five too. Please leave me a comment with your top 5 below. Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter! 

Let’s spread a little joy and be happy for the little things in life, especially this week! We are all human and have to share this planet together. Violence and hatred solves nothing! Spread joy, love, and peace! Remember one friendly act, a smile, or kind word can change a life!!!

Happy Friday! 

Click and use my code for special offers! Get $10 for signing up now!Want to earn money back on groceries you buy every week? Check out these sites out now!

 

 


Five on Friday Week 3

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Welcome to the third post of Five on Friday. Every Friday I post a list the top five things that made me happy during the week. It could be anything from a new kitchen tool, new product, new food, recipe success, or maybe just a life event. No matter what it is, I share it with you here every Friday.

1 and 2 this week are combined. -I am so happy that this year I have an amazingly sweet class. I got to spend yesterday getting to know them. I am super excited to help them learn and grow this year. I am also very grateful that school started on a Thursday this week, so I can spend two days focusing on setting up the room, getting to know everyone, and teaching procedures before we actually start new lessons next week.

3-This week I ran to Publix for a few little things. I knew it was going to rain, but I thought I could be in and out quickly, however I was wrong. Just as I was checking out the clouds burst with rain. I was very grateful for the  gentleman who works there. He watched my groceries, gave me an umbrella so I didn’t get soaked getting to my car, and loaded the groceries into my car for me. I know I have said it before, but this kind of customer service is wonderful and I love Publix!

Also, if you someone does go above and beyond to help you at Publix, please call and let the managers know. The reward the helpful person with food! Everyone loves to be appreciated and it only take a minute to call.

4-I am happy that I get both Saturday and Sunday off this week. Last week we had open house on Saturday and I am very tired!!! I can’t wait to sleep this weekend and go for a long run before breakfast.

5-School is back in session and I am so happy that I made some easy Curry Chicken Salad for lunch. It can be made in advance, it’s low-fat, is made with yogurt for extra protein and probiotics, it has a bit of sweetness from the grapes and a crunch from the almonds, and tastes amazing on crackers or a bed of lettuce. You can click on the link and it will take you right to the recipe so you can try it next week for yourself.

 

I would love to hear your top five too. Please leave me a comment with your top 5 below. Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter too. Let’s spread a little joy and be happy for the little things in life. Happy Friday! 😀

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Back to School Means Back to Crock-potting

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It’s the time of year again when schedules become hectic, when you’re running a million miles an hour, coming home exhausted and starving. Yup, school is officially back in season! Here in Southwest Florida, the kids actual start today, although teachers have been back since the end of July.

There is nothing worse than coming home so tired you can barely think and having to create a difficult meal. Yes, you want something tasty. You want something healthy. You don’t want to go out and waste money. So what do you do? I say bring on the crock-pot meals!

Words cannot describe the love I have for my crock-pot!  I love that I can throw an inexpensive pound or 2 of meat and some seasonings into the crock-pot in the morning, turn it on for the day, and come home to a house bursting with the delicious smells of dinner. It makes life so much easier.

So I thought today I would share with you one of my tried and true, absolutely delicious crock-pot recipes. And bonus, once the meat is cooked you can make at least 3 different meals with it.

Shredded Beef Barbacoa

Everything starts off with the basic and totally drool worthy Crock-pot Beef Barbacoa. You can throw everything into the crock-pot and just leave it alone. When you get home from your busy day simply scoop the meat out onto a plate and pour the juices into a pan over high heat to reduce. This only takes a few minutes and you can shred the meat and prep the rest of the meal while the juices reduce.

Salsa Verda

 

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

Now the toughest part about dinner is deciding what to do with all this savory meat. I highly recommend that your first meal with this be Beef Barbacoa Tacos. They are easy! They are satisfying! They are a finger-licking, salsa dripping, perfect weekday meal. The recipe will feed 4 with no problems and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

If your feeling energetic or you have made this tasty meat on the weekend, you might want to consider freezing it for future quick weekday meals too.  I have several cups of this yummy meat frozen in 2 cup container ready to go.

 

Baked Beef Taquitos

If you’re not feeding a crowd, you will have Crock-pot Beef Barbacoa left over for a few other meals. I like to make Baked Beef Taquitos and Beef Enchiladas with homemade Enchilada Sauce. The Enchiladas can also be made in advance and frozen. I actually made 2 pans of these while I was making them. One to eat right away and the other I froze for future use.

Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

If you still have just a little left over, because Mr. Teacher and I frequently do, I like to make super easy leftover quesadillas. Get a few tortillas and what every kind of cheese you have, we always try to have cheddar and peppercorn, but I have even used mozzarella or Swiss or blue cheese if I needed to. Trust me, almost anything goes!  Put the cheese on top of the tortillas, add the meat and any of the following items or a combination of items: onions-cooked or raw, leftover or frozen corn, tomatoes, salsa, avocados, olives, peppers-raw, roasted, pickled, mushrooms, zucchini, cooked fruit-peaches, apricots, mango, or pineapple or any other little bits of things that are in your refrigerator. I make quesadillas for lunch nearly every Sunday and I don’t think we have ever had the some one twice! They are a great way to stretch a tiny bit of anything.

Pico de Gallo

 

Don’t forget to top your mouth watering Mexican meals with homemade Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, and Salsa Verde !

I hope these recipes will help you keep calm and your belly full during these first few weeks back.



 

 

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Five on Friday Week 2

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Welcome to the second post of Five on Friday. Every Friday I will list the top five things that made me happy this week. It could be anything from a new kitchen tool, new product, new food, recipe success, or maybe just a life event. No matter what it is, I will share it with you here every Friday.

Image result for free image of a butterfly

  1. I got to go back to work this week. Yes, restful summer is over, but I work really amazing people and we have a lot of fun even if our jobs are very stressful at times. I truly love being a teacher and after sitting through some trainings this week I am pumped to meet my new set of 4th graders Saturday morning at open house. Now I just need to put the finishing touches on my room so we can “Flutter Through Fourth Grade!”
  2. I am in love with these date caramel things I found at BJs. My mom says she used to get them for me when I was a very little girl, but I don’t remember them. I tried them because they are only 3 ingredients: natural coconut, dates, and almonds and they were on sale. Who would’ve known I would LOVE them! They are super yummy and healthy! They taste like sweet, chewy candy with a little almond crunch. I truly think these will come in handy this year because I can reach for them and not the chocolate all the time. Also, while writing this I found out that Amazon sells these. So now even if you don’t live by a BJs, you can order them online to try./li>
  3. I am very grateful that Mr. Teachers is home from his long journey. Absence does make the heart grow fonder and he brought me home some very nice treats.
  4. I am so happy that I finally getting more views to this blog. I am really looking forward to it growing! If you haven’t signed up for the newsletters yet, please do so today. I also just got my business cards and I can’t wait to pass them all out to the people I work with. It is making my hard work on the website this summer wasn’t for nothing!
  5. I finally, after a little trial and error, perfected my super easy and delicious No Bake Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bars. If you like chocolate covered berries these are the bars for you! I used Very Berry Cherrios and freeze dried strawberries to get a really nice berry flavored bar and then I topped them off with a drizzle of dark chocolate. I ate nearly an entire pan in one day. I figure it was mostly cereal, dark chocolate, and fruit so it was okay.  Please check out the recipe here so you can see for yourself!

    No Bake Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bars

    I would love to hear your top five too. Please leave me a comment with your top 5 below. Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter too. Let’s spread a little joy and be happy for the little things in life. Happy Friday! 😀

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Money Saving Tips, Sites and Apps

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I love to eat good quality, fresh food, and to go shopping, but I also like to save money. So, I have become addicted to some sites and  apps that help me earn money back on everything I purchase. I have made shopping for everyday things almost like a game where I try to get things as inexpensively as possible and I would like to share with you how I do it every week.

Every Sunday I get a big cup of coffee, my phone and my laptop. I go and sit on the lanai (porch if you’re not from Florida). I relax, listen to the birds, and begin my money saving journey. I re-exam the Publix site though my app to see what is on sale and BOGO for the week. I say re-examine because I love to see what is on sale when the sales change every Thursday.  I specifically look for things that might have coupons to save even more money. If you don’t have Publix then see if your local store has an app that will show you the weekly sales. I also clip my digital coupons through the Publix app. That way when I go to check out at the store I simply just enter my phone number and the coupons come off the total.

On Sundays, I also coupon hunt at Coupons.com. You can get a free log-in and sign up for updates every week for the latest coupons. You simply scroll through the site, digitally clip the coupons you want, and simply print them. I print any coupon that I might possibly need in the next few weeks. I keep them in my purse ready to go. I do not know how much money I have saved by couponing, but the cashiers ask me all the time what I do to save money.

Do not forget to try go to a products specific website if you do not see their coupons on Coupons.com. Many products like Lifeway Kefir and Cabot cheese have coupons just on their sites.

After I am done checking out the sales and printing coupons. I look at the following apps and plan out what else I will be purchasing.

Checkout51- I like this app.  You simply scroll through and see what products they are offering money back on for the week. Products are offered at specific stores and with limited quantities, so you need to be careful that you are submitting a receipt for a product purchased at the correct store and the correct amount.  When you get home from shopping, you take a picture of your receipt and scan in the products you purchased that match the ones on the app.

They change out the 

Sign up now and earn money back at Publix, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, BJs, Sam’s Club, and many more!products every Thursday morning at 12 AM. This app is good. I have been using it for about 6 months and I have earned $47 back. They will mail you a check when you have reached $20 or more.

IBOTTA

Sign up now with my link and earn $10. Earn cash back on purchases at Publix,, Target, Costco, Groupon,Amazon and more!

This is my very most favorite shopping app. I have earned $244 back since I really started using this religiously. I like to try to get the bonuses . You can even work with your team and save even more. I am not going to get into all of that right now though. You will see it when you get the app.

This app is easier than Checkout51  , allows you to shop at more stores, and you can even save money while shopping online at stores like Amazon and Groupon. They even have rebates for purchasing anything or any brand. It’s nice because you get money back regardless of what you bought at the store. You simply scroll though and find the rebates for the week. Then select the rebates you might use.  When you get home from shopping you take a picture of your receipt and scan in the products that you purchased that match the ones on the app. If you find a rebate at one store it will automatically show up for all of the stores it is available at for the week. So let’s say I selected a rebate for $1.00 off apples at Publix, but I ended up buying them at BJs. No big deal! I still get the money back after I submit my receipt. Rebates change out every Thursday 12AM, but I keep my receipts from the previous week just in case something I bought shows up on the list. You can’t do that with Checkout51. Sometimes I don’t realize I am going to buy something or I didn’t realize it was on sale and I don’t select the rebate until I get home from the store. This is no big deal. You still get your money back. When you reach $20 you can get a check mailed to you or just have the money deposited into your account via Paypal. I just had another $37 deposited last week. It adds up really fast!

Shop Kick: This app gives you points just for walking into the store and pays you with gift cards. You also get points for just scanning items while you are shopping. This is the app that feels like you’re playing a game. I like to earn as many points as I can by scanning all of the items available while I am doing my regular shopping. Sometimes you have to answer a couple of questions about the products you have scanned, but it goes really quick. They will also give you additional points if you have purchased the items you scanned and you submit your receipt. I have earned $90 back in Target gift cards using this app. Who doesn’t like a free Target gift card just for walking into a couple of stores? There are many other gift cards available, I just like Target.

Ebates: This is an app and a website. If you like to shop online for clothes, electronics, pet supplies, etc. this is the app/site for you. Simply make an account and go to the Ebates site to get to your online shopping destination. I just earned 8% back on everything I ordered for my kitties. I have a $58 coming back to me this month. This site/app pays you quarterly. They will mail you a check or deposit money in your PayPal.

Get cash back for shopping on Ebates! Sign up with my invite link for a $10 bonus when you shop at over 2,000 stores like eBay, Macy’s & Walmart.

When you’re ready to hit the stores turn on your Shop Kick app and have your coupons ready to save big. Then shop for the things you need while scanning for points. When you get home, take a picture of the receipts for the Checkout51 app and scan in the products as you put them away. Do the same thing with the Ibotta app. A few minutes later magical notifications will pop up saying that you have earned money back. It’s a great feeling! It’s even better when you get stuff for nearly free because you had a coupon, it was BOGO, and it was on Ibotta or Checkout51. I just love it!!!

You’ll really like this app You walk into stores like Target to earn free gift cards. Try it:

All of the apps can use the very same receipt and they work with the coupons you have printed. That is how I save money! You do not need a special receipt or to do anything extra except a little planning and scanning. It really is easy! Please don’t be overwhelmed! This sounds like a lot, but by spending a little while to plan before you shop and 5 minutes after you shop you can earn money back on tons of products you use everyday! After you get a routine down it takes minutes to save big. I have put the links into the pictures in this post to get to the sites to sign up. If you have any questions, I will help you anyway I can. I strongly urge you to get the apps and start earning money back on the things you already buy!


 

 

 

 


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