Thursday, June 27, 2013

How To Shop Goodwill and Get a Bargain {Housewares Edition}

This week's Goodwill post is all about saving on housewares. I have mentioned before how much I love saving money and Goodwill is an awesome way to save on items that you use to run your house smoothly everyday. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before buying housewares at Goodwill

1- Does it smell funky?
I always smell things at Goodwill, especially dishes and cooking utensils. I find this to be extremely helpful when you are buying things like Tupperware containers, if it smells super funky chances are no amount of bleach will remove it. It really isn't a bargain if the quality is low. 

2- Does it work? 
If an item doesn't even work properly there isn't a point in buying it, unless you are super handy and it would be an easy fix. My Goodwill stores have outlets in the electronics area, so plug it in and check it out before you buy it. 

3- Is anything missing or broken?
If you find a Tupperware with no lid, why buy it? If you find a hand mixer with no beaters don't buy it.Make sure there are no cracks or chips in items. It's not a bargain if all the necessary pieces to make an item work are not with it or it is broken. 

4- Is it really a bargain?
Make sure you are getting a deal. I often search Amazon on my phone to make sure the item isn't lower or similar priced there. If I can get it brand new for a few dollars more that's the better choice. The stuff I bought would have cost over $38 and I got it for just under $13 and it is all brand new in the package, bonus!

5- Do I need it? 
This last question is often the hardest for me...sometimes I need something only because I have wanted it for so long...if you are spending money on things you don't really need it's NOT a bargain.

Question of the Day: Do you ever shop Goodwill for housewares?

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's That Time Again


Grab A Button!

Happy Kids, Inc

This hop is a GREAT opportunity for you to grow your Bloglovin' following, network with other bloggers, and let's face it, just have fun!  Co-host spots are $4 and last the entire month! You also get perks like designed profiles pics like the ones above and heavy shouts via social media.  Sponsor spots are also available for $5 for the month. Please email Meg if you are interested!

**Note: when adding your link to the linky list, if you would like your profile pic to appear (and not the default blue and white heart from Bloglovin), be sure to select the tab to "upload from computer".

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The 5 People You'll Meet at the Grocery Store

Today I went grocery shopping, shocking I know. We were out of town for 10 days so our fridge was barren. I went out of town for a girls weekend and all the hubs bought while I was gone was Oreos, milk, and root beer float supplies basically the necessities.

Over the past couple weeks I have noticed 5 different types of people at the grocery store and today I am going to introduce you to them, no lie these really happened.

1-The Sampler
This lady needs to sample produce before purchasing it, just to ensure the quality.  I have been known to sample a grape or two in my day, because really who wants to pay $2.99/lb for grapes that make you pucker up? Not I. But this lady takes it a few steps further, she samples strawberries, tomatoes and even takes bites out of peaches to make sure they are delicious. This sampler then leaves her bitten peaches on the fruit display, no lie she bit about 4 peaches before walking away.

2-The Snacker
This person has a full on snack while grocery shopping, they open bags of chips and eat them, grab a fried chicken wing and munch down while crusin' the cereal aisle. I often open packs of animal crackers to soothe anxious tots in the store, but I take the bag (empty or not) up to the register and pay for it. Last week I saw 3 people in the nutrition aisle filling their hands and pockets with nuts and such from the bulk bins. First of all you aren't supposed to even sample these items, and second of all they each probably ate a pound of nuts before leaving the aisle.
Words of wisdom to the snacker- this is not Costco, if you snack on chips please bring the empty bag up front and buy them, also the bulk bins are not a sample station.

3-The Nose Picker
They proceed to dig for gold in their nasal cavity then go ahead and touch all the apples with the same hand.
Words of wisdom to the nose picker- I see you and it's gross. Keep your boogers to yourself, grab a tissue and for Pete's sake don't touch the fruit!
4-The Screamer
This person usually stands in one aisle and screams to their shopping buddy who is at least 4 aisles away, they also yell for employees to help them. True story I witnessed a woman standing in one aisle yelling for "some help", was there an emergency? No she just didn't want to walk to another aisle and find an employee to help her with the cookies.
Words of wisdom to the screamer- Just go find them, really it's better for everyone.

5-The Stank Face Giver (SFG)
This person will stand and stare at you with the stank face because you don't magically move your cart when they come down the aisle. They don't say anything they just expect their magical stank face to send a message to your brain with their request for you to move.
Words of wisdom to the SFG- Say EXCUSE ME! I apologize but I can't exactly balance 3 girls, a coupon binder, a grocery list and a meal plan while interpreting your stank face signals, so words really help.
Question of the Day: Have you met any of these people at the grocery store?

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Make Dinner A Success! {Recipe}

I received free product coupons in exchange for my review, I received no further compensation for this post.All opinions and words are my own unless otherwise stated.

It is officially summer time!!! That means it's time to bust out the grill, or if you don't have one like me some people bust out your grill pan. I recently tried out Success Boil in a Bag Jasmine Rice, at first I thought of Minute Rice. If you've never had Minute Rice consider yourself lucky, if you have then you know what I'm talking about, yuck! It was mushy, yet slightly crunchy at the same time, basically not good. Success Jasmine Rice is so yummy! I LOVE Jasmine rice and I don't make it that often because it takes some time (I also have no rice maker). Success Jasmine Rice cooks up in 10 minutes, I can put it in a pot and forget about it while I am finishing up dinner and have hot rice with our meal in 10 minutes. 

Here is a little info about the rice from the company: Serving up exotic foods at your dinner table is a fun way to experience another culture and replace weekly staples that have become a little boring. Success® Rice now makes it easy to bring the tastes of Thailand into your home! Transport your family to another country and treat them to the flavors of Asia. Success Rice recently introduced Thai Jasmine Rice, the only boil-in-bag rice currently available in this variety. In just 10 minutes, you can enjoy an aromatic culinary experience for less than $3. Success Rice is also available in Basmati Rice, Whole Grain Brown Rice and White Rice varieties.

Success Jasmine Rice

To make the rice you simply place it in a pot with some water (1 quart per bag), let it come to a boil, and boil it for 10 minutes. When it's done you simply drain the bag, cut it open and serve the rice, this rice is really good and I will be buying it for my family often.
Success rice close up

I decided to pair my Success Jasmine Rice with this delicious Asian marinated chicken recipe, and it is oh so yummy and oh so easy!!
Asian marinated grilled chicken thighs

Asian Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

What you need
*Success Jasmine Rice (2 bags for my family of 5)
*2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (thawed completely)
*3 cloves of garlic (use a garlic press)
*1 tsp Ancho-Chile Pepper
*1/2 tsp red pepper flake (more or less depending on your taste)
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1.5 tsp kosher salt
*1/2 tsp ground black pepper
*3 TBSP fresh cilantro (I love this stuff so I used a lot)
*1 cup chicken broth
*3 TBSP sesame oil
*Juice of a small lime

What you do
1- Mix all the ingredients, except the chicken and rice, in a bowl until they are mixed well.
2-Place the chicken in a resealable gallon size bag.
3- Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure all the pieces are coated and seal the bag.
4-Place the bag into a bowl and into the fridge. The bowl helps keep your fridge clean in case of any leaks.
5-Leave chicken to marinate anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. We did ours overnight and the flavor was phenomenal.
6-To cook place the chicken thighs on a grill that is heated to medium-high and cook for 6 minutes per side.
7-Prepare rice according to package directions while the chicken is grilling.
8-Plate, serve and enjoy!

Asian grilled chicken close up
Recipe was adapted from this one and made my own. 

Question of the Day: Would you ever try Success Rice?

Make sure you check out my Goodwill Tips Post!
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

How To Shop Goodwill And Actually Get A Bargain {Kids Edition}

I have mentioned numerous times how much I LOVE getting deals and how much I LOVE Target. I have also mentioned how cheap I am because of being a couponer for over 3 years, as you can imagine those things don't always mesh well. Recently I found a solution, it's Goodwill

So today's post is about

**Keep in mind I am no expert, I am only relying on my own experience**

At Goodwill you can find smokin' deals and you can also find literal garbage, so you need to know what to watch for. Today I am sharing some tips on how to get the most out of your money

1- Target New Items
When you are shopping Goodwill you may see this small sticker on the back of a package or an item, these are items that Target deemed "salvage" for some reason. Sometimes it's because a package got open, like with these socks. Other times it's simply because it sat on clearance and they had to eventually clear it out. Snatch these up! 

These 10 pairs of socks were just $2.99, if you look on the back of the package, you can see the circle that says "DEF SALV" this let's you know it is salvage and you can see the price it was, so these were $7.99. I got $5 off just for shopping Goodwill! LOVE IT! 

I was able to get all of these items for just $19.94 at Goodwill, these items would cost me over 60 doll-hairs normally and they all are brand new with tags!!

2- High Quality VS. Low Quality
Know what brands are worth paying for and which are not. When using this list always remember to use your judgment. For example, I got a Hanna Andersson Sun-hat brand new with the tags for $1.99 at Goodwill I purchased it because this same hat retails for $26. On the other hand I saw a George dress selling at Goodwill for $8.99, this is NOT a good purchase. George is a Walmart brand and I could get the same dress brand new with tags for a little more then $10, so buying one used for $8.99 is NOT a bargain. Bottom line- if it isn't in excellent condition, it isn't worth it no matter what brand it is. 

3-Bargains and Discounts
Goodwill will usually have a senior discount day, so take yourself or a friend who has hit this lovely age and get anywhere from 10-20% off your purchase. Goodwill also marks down a color each week at 50% and they change the color every Saturday. Below is how you easily identify the tag colors
As with anything good shopping Goodwill takes time. I could easily spend 2 hours there searching through racks and scouring the shelves. I suggest going when you have at least an hour to spend browsing to get the best deals. 

I hope you learned something today and I hope you will shop Goodwill and come tell me what you found! I can't wait to see your deals! Come back next week to see how you can save on housewares at Goodwill!

Question of the Day: How do you bargain shop? Have you ever shopped at Goodwill?

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In The Pretty Kitchen- Brussel Sprouts with Bacon {recipe}

Recently we have been trying to eat healthier, this means no processed foods, no cream soups, more fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, etc. you get the picture. I am pretty sure bacon is not a part of "clean eating" but I don't know if I will ever completely stop partaking of this meat candy. That being said these Brussels sprouts are delicious without the bacon but let's be real bacon really does make it better!


-4 Slices of quality bacon
-2 TBSP olive oil
-1 pound of Brussels sprouts
-Salt and Pepper

1- Preheat oven to 375 F
2- Cook bacon in a skillet until it begin to brown, but it's not crispy. Let drain and cool on paper towels
3-Remove the outer leaves and cut the Brussels sprouts in half. Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Make sure they are evenly coated.
4- Pour 2 TBSP of bacon grease over the Brussels sprouts and stir to coat
5- Chop cooled bacon and stir into the Brussels sprouts mixture.
6-Pour Brussels onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to ensure even browning, we don't want any burnt Brussels! 

Don't these look delicious?

Question of the Day: Does your family eat Brussels Sprouts? 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hopeful and a Graduation

Today I am trying very hard to be hopeful.

Hopeful that I will feel better

Hopeful that I will be able to finally pay off some debt

Hopeful that my girls will grow up and be good people

Hopeful that my house will stay clean for more then 2.5 minutes (wishful thinking)

Today I am grateful for my family and the pure joy they bring me.

My little sister graduated from the 8th grade, I am so proud of her and she is so gorgeous! When I told my daughter we were going to her graduation she said, "Wait, she's in college?" When you are 5 only high school graduations exist apparently.

Question of the Day: How do you get yourself out of a rut? 

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spread The Love

In order to help bloggers transition away from GFC as the main way to follow blogs, Northern Belle Diaries and Postcards from Rachel have teamed up to host I Love Bloglovin'
Now, let's get this party started!

Have an image of yourself ready so we have your pretty face to look at!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Takin' Care of Biz-nass!

So.....You may have noticed (and maybe you didn't) that I have been absent lately. I just spent the last 10 days in...
ST CROIX and Puerto Rico

It was a blast! We went to visit my husband's grandparents who are getting older and along with that getting a little sicker, so we wanted them to meet all the grand kids. It was amazing! I have never been to the Caribbean in my life so to visit was super fun, especially since we had experienced tour guides. My in-laws grew up there so they knew all the places to visit, it really was a crazy fun adventure. There will be more on that next week.

For now I have a few orders of business to attend to. The winners of the Forever 21 giveaway and the Target gift card giveaway have been announced, did you win?!!

I have decided to put Three Things Thursday on a hiatus, it was getting to be not so fun for me anymore and I have decided to focus on other things.  

In other news I will be having a monthly link-up regarding kids and cute clothing on the cheap keep a lookout because it will be super fun!

I promise to come back full-force soon, I am just still tired from the 14+ hour travel time we had to get there and to get back, with 3 little ones...need I say more?
I am coming back soon :)

Question{s}of the Day: Have you ever been to the Caribbean? Where did you go? How was it? 

Also because I am SOOOOO happy today is the last day of school and it is Friday enjoy this song!

As usual I am linking up with the wonderful Whitney!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Google Friend Connect is Still Here {Link-up}

It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the Friend Connect Blog Hop!
It's the time to meet new friends and find new blogs. You can choose to follow the cohosts in whatever way is best for YOU! Here are some of my favorite ways: GFC, BlogLovin', HelloCotton, RSS, Twitter, Facebook.
Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?
RULES are simple:
1. Follow your host 
The First link below
2. Follow your co-hosts 
The Next 6 links below
3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.
5. Tweet about this blog hop
6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!
I have cohost spots available! Email me if you're interested at

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