Think Happy Thoughts!

I love StumbleUpon! Check out this website they led me to this morning... very inspirational site! Go HERE!


Got the itch!

The crafting itch, that is! Must be the weather... this time of year always seems to inspire my creative side. Etsy is really making me want to pull out the Mod Podge and get busy... hmmm, what to do first? (And if you've never used Mod Podge, I suggest you watch this video HERE!)


It's HOT out there!

Oh my poor chickens! I do believe they are molting due to the heat (we are in southeast Texas, and it's been over 100 for almost 2 weeks now!). Our oldest hen, Mama, has lost more than half her feathers (including most of her wing feathers). It's so sad... she looks so pitiful! I'm gonna try to get a picture of her and add it here later. We've had chickens for almost 3 years now, and I've never seen them do anything like this. The chicken coop looks like someone plucked a bird because there are so many feathers on the ground! All of them have dropped a considerable amount. I sure hope it's just the heat and that nothing else is wrong!


Cute craft projects

I am LOVING this site... OnePrettyThing is a website chock-full of craft projects (it links you to other websites). They have everything categorized by theme, so it's easy to find what you're looking for (just be sure you click on "categories" at the top of the page to get a full list of everything the site has to offer). My husband just surprised me with a Dremel tool the other day (I've always wanted one!) so this site will hopefully inspire me with lots of fun things to create. Hope you like it! Visit them HERE!


Slow to go...

I have REALLY been falling behind on my blog! I guess the end of summer is busier when you have kiddos going back to school. This year I'll have one in pre-k and another starting first grade. It will be SO nice with just me and the little one at home (at least for half a day!). Maybe I can make it through this pile of magazines I've been putting off... they're starting to overwhelm me! I certainly plan on directing a little more attention towards my blog. I also desperately need to get back in the habit of meal planning and freezer cooking... it certainly makes my evenings less stressful! I really need to make and freeze cookie batter in sliceable rolls. I plan on trying several recipes out of a vegetarian cookbook I have (just to add more veges to our repertoire) as well as some different cookie recipes, instead of the same old 3 recipes I seem to adhere to. So looking forward to fall... my favorite time of year! I do believe I'll sit down tonight and make a list of goals for the coming months (something I never do!). Gee... does that count as "me" time? Guess it does when you're a mom!


Free Swiffer Duster!

I hate dusting as much as the next person, but it's certainly a lot easier with Swiffer! I'll never use a feather duster again! You can receive a FREE Swiffer duster from Vocalpoint HERE! Be sure to let them know what you think!




Don't get me wrong, I love having chickens... But I could most certainly live without the chicken snake! I just caught #5 dining on my day's bounty. My husband wasn't home, so I retrieved my AWESOME neighbor to deal with the foul thing. Unfortunately, he was having trouble finding his ammunition, so this one managed to slither away. I'm sure we'll catch him in the act again soon, so no worries. In the meantime, we're working on plans for a new, more snake-proof coop!


Attention Music Lovers!

I read an article a few months ago about a music site called "Spotify" and that it was coming to the U.S. (it had already been available in Europe for a few years). Sounded interesting until I read that you had to be invited to even join. So much for that... and then about a week ago, I see a post from a company I follow offering an invite to join (first 40,000 only).  I was so excited! And surprisingly, I got in. It's nothing more than a music player that you download (you can also access it on your Iphone or Android, but I think you have to pay for that), but it's AWESOME! You can create playlists, listen from any computer... you can even add entire albums with a simple click. Millions of songs, and it's all free. If you haven't yet received an invite, you can register at their site and get on a waiting list (I've heard some people have only had to wait a few days). Check it out and let me know what you think! You can find Spotify HERE!


Start a Green Mommy Group!

If you already belong to a mommy group, or would like to start one, I highly recommend becoming a Mom Ambassador through GreenMomsMeet. They offer sampling opportunities for your whole group (they are always organic, all-natural or green products). They also give you advice for starting a group, as well as topic ideas and more. Join today HERE!


Give a Gift of Chicks!

If you love raising chickens like we do, you should really consider giving to Heifer International. They are by far my favorite charity. You simply pick which animals you would like to "gift" to a family in need, and they are given the animals plus all the training they need to raise them (there are many different animals to choose from, and they go to poor areas all over the world). Once the animals have produced offspring, the family gifts them to another needy family in their village and the cycle continues until everyone in the village has been helped. I love the idea of gifting chickens, simply because they offer so much: eggs to sell, meat to eat, and manure to fertilize their farms. It only costs $20 to give a flock of chicks. Please consider making this a part of your annual donations. Thanks so much! Click HERE to give a gift of chicks or HERE to see what other animal gifts are available.



If you love getting high-value coupons, you should join Recyclebank! You earn points by learning how to help save the planet, and in some areas, you even get rewarded for curbside recycling. It's easy and free. You can also redeem your points for prizes. Sign up HERE!



For those of you that are using homemade laundry detergent (or if you're like me and you buy the really cheap stuff!), I recommend using the new Downy UNSTOPABLES scent beads. I recently received a free sample from Vocalpoint, and let me tell you, I cannot believe how long the scent lasts! I washed my comforter 2 weeks ago but it smells like it came out of the dryer yesterday. I'm impressed! I don't use fabric softener because of the waxy build-up that it can leave on clothes, so this is a great way to still get the scent into my laundry. Vocalpoint is supposed to be doing another UNSTOPABLES giveaway, so if you aren't already a member, sign up today and then watch your inbox for the announcement. These are FULL SIZE samples, people! Don't miss out! Click HERE to sign up!

Free salad sample

Bag your FREE* sample of Fresh Express salad from Vocalpoint today! Click HERE!

*Must be a Vocalpoint member; limited quantities available. Only one package will be mailed per member. Please allow 5-7 weeks for delivery. Offer only available in certain areas.


DIY Truffles!

I recently tried cake balls, but I was seriously unimpressed. Maybe it's because I tried "cookie balls" first! These are so ridiculously simple, you won't believe how decadent they taste. My husband has made them for years, and everyone loves them (he's actually been paid to make them!). I recommend using a high-quality semi-sweet baking chocolate (like the recipe calls for), and not the cheaper chocolate bark (gross!). Enjoy! Click HERE for the recipe (thanks to Kraft Foods!).


$10 credit at NoMoreRack!

NoMoreRack is the place to find your favorite brands & hot items for up to 90% off. One hand-picked product in each of their eight categories is added everyday. It's a daily deal site that offers 8 different deals each day. When you sign up, you get a FREE $10 credit. Plus, you can earn $5 for every friend you refer! Join HERE!


Craftsman Contest!

Craftsman® C3® wants to donate $10,000 to make over a public space. If there's a neighborhood park that could use a little TLC, enter it into The Great Public Park Rehab Project! Not only will your community win, but you could win a set of 12 Craftsman C3 power tools for yourself! Go HERE to enter.


Cleaning house

Just wanted to share this template with everyone. I STINK at scheduling, and this really helps me with house cleaning. I usually have it on the front of the fridge. I adapted it to my home, but I don't know how to upload it on here (if you want a copy of mine, just e-mail me and I'll send it to you!).  Click HERE to see the template. (NOTE: If you get a message saying the template couldn't be found, try scrolling to the bottom of the page, look on the left and change "content" to "all" instead of "popular"... hope this works for you!)


Get 'em moving!

This is a great idea for kids that have to be prodded to get up and move! What a great idea... a pedometer for kids! Gets them moving with a reward program that they access online (they can earn prizes or even gift cards!). I'm ordering 2!

FREEBIE from SaveMore!

SaveMore has 2 great deals today (especially if you're a new customer!). The first one is a tooth whitening pen worth $29.99 for only $8.50 (free shipping!) and the second is $20 worth of educational toys for only $8! If you are a new customer, you'll automatically get a $10 credit when you sign up, so either deal will be free (you do have to pay shipping on the toy deal). It does ask for your credit card information when you purchase your voucher, but you aren't charged anything. These are both great deals, so hurry and snag them while they last! Click HERE!


I'm not eating THAT!

Tired of fighting with your kids to eat their vegetables? Visit the Sneaky Chef to find out her tricks for sneaking fruits and vegetables into your kids' foods without them ever knowing the difference. I tried it, and it was awesome! Now I try to remember to sneak in a little in everything I can. She has several books out about how to do it. Who would of thought to put blueberries and spinach into brownies?! Trust me, you have to try it to believe it. Yum!


Getting healthy

I started juicing about 8 years ago but quickly fell out of habit. Now that I've been reading about the raw food diet, I'm anxious to start again. I'll never go completely raw, but juicing is at least ONE raw thing I can commit to. I always liked mixing apples and carrots... you really don't taste the carrots! You can even sneak in a little parsley and never notice it. Unfortunately, my juicer seems to have been missplaced after all these years, so I may have to spring for a new one. Oh well... I never buy anything for myself anyway! I recently found lots of great smoothie recipes in an issue of Whole Living magazine (http://www.wholeliving.com/) and I'd love to try a few. I wonder if I could just use a blender for juicing recipes and get the fiber benefit from all the fruits and vegetables going in... don't really understand the reason for discarding all the pulp. You blend everything whole in a smoothie, after all. So at least I know where my blender is! Which reminds me... I gotta go throw some bananas in the freezer before I forget! Enjoy!



The giveaway has ended... congratulations to Myranda C.!

Test Your Eco-IQ

Think your eco-knowledge is pretty good? Take this test from BeliefNet and find out! Go HERE!


Motts for Tots Offer!

If you aren't already a member of Vocalpoint, sign up today and receive a freebie from Motts for Tots. (If you are a member, just click on the link and sign in). Vocalpoint will send you freebies and coupons in your inbox, so sign up today! Click HERE!


101 Uses For Vinegar!

I can't say enough how much I LOVE vinegar! Sure it might smell a bit funny, but it is so versatile. The smell disappears in minutes, anyway. Check out the following pages to learn new and interesting ways to use my favorite all-natural cleaner:

Great deal at SaveMore today only!

If you are new to SaveMore, you can get a $10 credit just for signing up. And today's deal is only $8! FREEBIE! You can use your voucher towards products, but not on shipping on this one. Sign up today!

Click HERE to get this deal!


Free samples from eBay?!

Don't know how I missed this one, but even eBay is getting in on the coupon & free sample craze. Just visit http://extras.ebay.com/ and scroll down to click on "free samples" (left side of the page). It's almost like a master list of all the free samples currently being offered! You can also print coupons here, but they look like they're the same ones available at coupons.com (and it may even print through them...). Also, if you are crazy about free samples, BE SURE you check out http://www.mysavings.com/ and sign up for their newsletter. There are more free samples listed here than ANYWHERE I've found. Just don't complain when they're overrunning your mailbox! Ha!



If you are looking for something free to do outside, look no further than http://www.geocaching.com/. It is the most fun your kids will ever have with a cell phone! All you need is a smart phone or a handheld GPS device (the kind used for hiking) and you're on your way. All over the world, geocachers hide boxes and then upload the coordinates to geocaching.com. All you have to do is access their app on your smart phone (or download the coordinates into your handheld GPS). It's free (minus the cost of the app) and it gets you outside on a treasure hunt with your whole family. My kids absolutely love it! The best part is, most of the larger caches contain small trinkets or prizes for kids to find. You simply leave a new prize and choose one to take with you. There are even travel bugs that get moved from cache to cache, and you can look up and see where all they've been. I HIGHLY encourage you to get your kids involved today.

Free pens and more!

Head over to the Union Pen Company and you can request 5 free samples. Just make sure that each item you select is less than $5 each, click on "get sample" and you'll get all 5 free. You can get pens, key tags, bags, coffee mugs... there's lots to choose from. Happy sampling!


Another free Father's Day card!

Another free Father's Day card from Tiny Prints! Just visit http://tinyprints.tellapal.com/a/clk/KsQFq and enter promo code FREEFD at checkout. Your card will be completely free... including shipping! Nice!


Summer on a budget!

Our summer is in full swing here in Southeast Texas. It's been close to 100 degrees the last several days! We are already settling into our new routine. We visited the local library today for storytime (our first time, too!). The kids seemed to enjoy it, as well as the unexpected craft project that followed. I was very proud of how quietly they sat through it all. I also signed the kids up for the summer reading program (where they'll be able to score some freebies for every 20 books they read). After checking out several books, I managed to FINALLY remember to check the back of the library for the coupon section, and sure enough... IT DOES EXIST! Now I know where to drop off all the ones I won't be using (as well as peruse through the stacks!). I was really surprised how many there were. Needless to say, we will return again tomorrow for another craft day they've scheduled. And I will certainly come prepared with coupons in hand! (Find a list of local libraries in YOUR area at http://www.publiclibraries.com/).


When you need a minute...

I have used http://www.myinnerworld.com/ for years. It is the best way I know of to relax when you are stuck at your computer (either at work OR home!). It reminds you to always take a minute for yourself. It's so easy to forget! I love how it takes you on a mini-journey. Check it out! You'll be glad you did.... (I highly recommend creating an account... you can plant seeds, keep a wish journal and lots more when you do).


Free father's day card!

Today only! Visit Tiny Prints, create a Father's Day card, choose to have it sent to you (or pay 44 cents to have it mailed directly) and then enter coupon code 4FDAY at checkout. I just received my first order from Tiny Prints today and I was VERY impressed with them. I highly recommend this company!


If you are new to SaveMore, you can score a free $8 credit just for signing up, and use it towards today's online deal to get $20 worth of Esse reusable totes (just pay shipping). You can also hang on to the credit for a future purchase. Just link through here --->  http://svmr.co/pqm


"Everyone needs an Alice!"

Now THIS is an interesting retail site... http://www.alice.com/ . I just read about it in my Family Circle magazine, and thought I'd check it out. It says you purchase home essentials DIRECT from the manufacturer, shipping is always free, and coupons are automatically applied! Sounds too good to be true! Has anyone else used this site? I do believe I'll try it once and see if it's worth it. It would definitely be a bonus for working moms (or even those of us stay-at-home moms that don't feel like lugging multiple kiddos to the store!). Look it over and let me know what you think!


Loads of free samples

I do NOT intend for this to be another one of those free sample alert blogs, so I'll just share a little secret with ya... http://www.startsampling.com/samples.iphtml . They offer almost ALL of the current freebies (instead of just getting one a day from those other guys!). I've received most of mine already... really love this site!


We're live!

We met our first goal for 25 likes on Facebook today, so we will be giving away a tube of Chicken Poop Lip Junk tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM CST, so be sure to "like" us! We will be having another drawing when we hit 100, and it will be a goodie bag of natural products. Help support our page by sharing it with others so we can hurry up and hit 100!

First recipe share

If you've never tried sausage creole (or even if you have!), you've gotta try this one. It is our family recipe (from my aunt) and after a few tweaks, I think we got it perfect. Let me know what you think!

Sweet & Spicy Sausage Creole

1 pkg sausage links (I prefer Ekrich), cut into bite size pieces
1 can Rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cans water
1 small onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 cup worcestshire sauce (mom swears by French's!)
3 cups cooked white rice

Brown sausage in large pot. Add onions & bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, brown sugar and worcestshire. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes (note: the longer it simmers, the spicier it will be!). When finished, add the rice and stir. Enjoy!

In my mailbox today...

I LOVE checking the mail when it looks like this (and they were ALL free!).

New deal site and freebie!

If you hurry and join SaveMore today, you will receive a $10 sign up credit which you can use to get today's deal for FREE (or save it for a future deal). Join here --> http://svmr.co/pqm


Here, chick chick chick...

If you've ever thought about raising chickens, head on over to http://www.backyardchickens.com/ . They are very helpful for beginners. You can order chicks by mail at http://www.idealpoultry.com/ or http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/ . They really do make great pets (the kids love them) and there's always the plus of getting free eggs. The picture above is of our chicken, Mama. We've had her nearly 3 years now. She's survived a racoon AND dog attack, poor thing, but she is the sweetest chicken I have yet to meet.


Free educational greeting cards for kids!

Go to http://www.8moms.com/referral/EhGi8o , then purchase today's deal. You will then be asked to register for a new account... BE SURE you add promotion code PARENTING8 at the bottom of your registration page! It will give you an $8 credit, making this deal ENTIRELY FREE! Plus, you'll earn $5 credits every time you refer a friend. Pretty cool!


Free dog treats!

Check out this free sample of dog treats! http://www.treatpeople.com/free-sample.php

Juggling time

I am so torn between trying to get this blog off the ground and spending time with my kids... at least the house is getting cleaned! It's just me and the little one this morning, so I think I'll get off of here and go take her for a walk (before it gets too hot out there!). Later!


Great website for kids... completely free!

I have been using DLTK's website for YEARS with my little ones. It is chock-full of printables, worksheets, crafts and project ideas. You just can't beat them... and it's ALL FREE! Check them out at http://www.dltk-kids.com/ . It would be a great website for homeschoolers, as well.

Free tea!

Found this by accident: Visit http://www.teasta.com/ and add 2 flavors of their sample size tea to your cart. Use coupon code TRYME and you'll get both samples shipped free! Sounds yummy!


Got my Purex & Eucerin samples in the mail this week, as well as coupons for free full-size bags of Purina dog treats & Ore-Ida sweet potato fries... Not bad!


Free magazines

I have ALWAYS enjoyed reading magazines (even as a kid!). The only problem I have with them is the price. But thanks to My Coke Rewards, Recyclebank and other programs, I'm able to receive all my favorite mags at no cost! And I make sure to pass them on to others after I've finished reading them, too... Share the wealth!


Free sample frenzy!

Facebook seems to be hosting a freebie free for all today! I've signed up for free Tide Stain Release, a Gillette razor, African spices, gummy vitamins, Philosophy eye cream, Degree deoderant... I think that was everything! I LOOOOVE getting free samples!


Free paint!

I LOVE free samples, and this one's a doozey! Just head over to http://www.glidden.com/ to nab a FREE quart of paint! You choose the color, and they ship it to your door free of charge. Can't beat that! But hurry... it's for the first 200,000 customers and it ends at midnight, Monday night. Good luck!


I love this idea!

I absolutely LOVE this idea! You can view and read children's books online (for free!) and for every book you or your child reads, another book is donated to the cause of your choice. The website is FULL of children's books, and it's just like reading a real book.... you see the pages turn and everything. My kids love it, and it helps build the philanthropist spirit in them as well!


Xtra laundry detergent is on sale for $1.49 each at CVS this week. If you have a coupon, they're 99 cents each!


www.freesamplefrenzy.com Check out the Walmart section... Tells you which coupons to use to get free stuff!


Weekly shopping trip

I saved $18 at Walgreens & over $30 at HEB today! Got a couple of freebies at Walgreens. I think I need to cut back on printing coupons. Do believe I'll start looking for coupons only for stuff that's on sale! I probably have over 500 coupons already, and I only started clipping them 2 weeks ago! Crazy!


Free kid's clothes!

If you have young children, you know how expensive clothes can be. Well, right now, ThredUp.com (thanks to recyclebank.com!) is offering a FREE box of used clothes for new members! ThredUp.com is a site that allows you to post and receive used chidlren's clothes, books and toys. Each box is around $15, and you can earn credits by posting clothes as well. To get your first box free, simply link to it here:  http://www.thredup.com/recyclebank


The wonders of vinegar and baking soda

I was raised to clean with Comet, Scrubbing Bubbles, Windex and so on and so forth. Even as a little kid, I was convinced that cleaning with chemicals was a bad idea. So for the last few years, I have slowly but surely replaced almost ALL of my cleaners with all natural ones. At first, I tried switching to the new "green" cleaners, and they surprisingly out-performed their chemical counterparts. But I had always heard that vinegar & baking soda were just as good as any commercial cleaners. I am happy to say that I now use vinegar to mop the floor, clean the counters, and clean the microwave. I also use it along with baking soda to remove crusty stains on my stovetop and inside my oven (I have NO idea why anyone would subject themselves to those horrible fumes of an oven cleaner!). I also don't believe in using the self-clean feature on my oven. It only takes me about 20 minutes to fully clean the inside of my oven using my method, and if you keep spills cleaned up, you only have to do it twice a year! I am saddened that so many people are brainwashed into believing you have to use a chemical to really get something clean. Just imagine how much money you could save if you replaced ALL of your cleaners with vinegar & baking soda!


Great trip to Walgreens!

I just got back from Walgreens, and after spending my first Register Rewards and using several coupons, I got:

2 Arm & Hammer detergents for $2.49 each (normally $6.99 each)
Huggies diapers for $6.99 (normally $8.99 on sale)
1 gallon water $0.69 (normally $1.19)
Aquafresh training toothpaste $1.49 (normally $3.49)

After using my Register Rewards ($3) I only paid $12.39 for everything! The toothpaste would have been free if they'd had the cheaper one in stock! So I saved a total of $18.00! Not bad for my second time couponing!


Productive day!

Hoppy Easter! After only 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night, I managed to get up and hide eggs at 6 this morning! We visited Walgreens & CVS (got some freebies as well as my first Register Rewards), and I even finished printing & putting together my recipe, daily and coupon binders! I originally tried to keep it all in one binder, but it was getting a bit packed! I would encourage everyone to check out www.moneysavingmom.com for tips & free customizable forms for your own binders. Good night!


I love coupons!

So I recently saw the show "Extreme Couponing" and I've always been interested in using coupons... I just couldn't figure out the "secrets".  After a little research (online, of course!), I discovered just HOW they are able to do it... stacking! Stacking coupons is when a store accepts one of its own coupons ON TOP of a manufacturer's coupon... and it can add up to BIG savings, especially when you combine it with a sale! After my first "trial run" at Walgreens, I came home with 3 rolls of Scotch tape (free!) and a package of Huggies diapers for only $4.99! Not bad! Since then, I've "liked" every brand name I can think of on Facebook, as well as signed up for mobile coupons from Target (they scan your phone), and joined http://www.couponmom.com/ and http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ (my favorite so far!).  I also think I've found 20 free samples online in the last few days, and they are sure to arrive with a coupon. I just hope I can teach as many people as possible how to do this... and I'm starting with my sisters!


Frugal living at it's finest

I wish I could buy everyone a copy of "America's Cheapest Family" and "Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half" (both by Steve & Annette Economides).  They should be on the shelf of every American family! You won't BELIEVE the wide variety of information these people offer! Visit them at http://www.americascheapestfamily.com/ .  And don't blame me when they change your life!


I have wanted to start a blog for FOREVER now, but it would seem that mommyhood has gotten in my way! Well, my youngest is 1 now, so I have no more excuses... hopefully this won't be in vain! Surely I have lots of advice to offer people (ha!). I believe everyone should work toward the greater good of all mankind, and I would like to reach as many people as possible on here. Here we go!