Sunday's Shopping List (4/27/2014)

So, I had this pretty ready last night, but I wanted to add all my freezer meal shopping list stuff. Therefore, if you think this looks like a huge list, it kind of is. Instead of shopping separately for my freezer meal specific foods (like I'd intended), I'm just throwing them in with my regular shopping stuff. So, yes, this list is weird and huge but you can ignore most of the non sale stuff if you're just looking for the regular ol' shopping list.

Sunday's Shopping List


No need to buy the Sunday paper! Save your money and view ads online! These are links to the ads I use to price match. More or less, they are in order of significance/likeliness to be used. The first two are typically the best deals.

Kroger | Meijer | Aldi | Millers | New Market
CVS | Walgreens | Family Dollar | Dollar General


If you need to know where to find coupons, look here. Remember, only print coupons for things you're buying anyway!

Produce & Frozen

  • 8 ears Corn on the CobON SALE! .25 Meijer
  • 2 heads lettuceON SALE! .88 Meijer
  • 32oz Store Brand Tater TotsON SALE! 2.00 (up to 32oz) Meijer
  • 1lb pkg Baby CarrotsON SALE! .79 Aldi
  • 36oz Frozen Green Beans
  • 2 whole garlics
  • 12 peppers
  • 2 5lb bags Red Potatoes
  • 32oz Frozen Broccoli
  • 24oz Sliced Mushrooms

Condiments & Bread

  • Ketchup
  • French Fried Onions
  • 32oz Beef Broth
  • 32oz Chicken Broth
  • 5 bottles BBQ sauce
  • 1 bottle buffalo/hot sauce
  • 2 packages of buns

Canned & Boxed

  • Store Brand 12-16oz Noodles (2 each: spaghetti & egg noodles) ON SALE! .79 Meijer
  • 6 cans Ragu Pasta Sauce 16-24ozON SALE! .79 Meijer
  • 1 box Old El Paso Crunchy Taco ShellsON SALE! 1.00 Meijer
  • 4 cans green beans
  • 6 cans cream of mushroom
  • 3 cans corn
  • 2 cans cream corn
  • 1 can peas
  • 6oz box stuffing mix
  • Instant brown (minute) rice
  • 3 cans broccoli cheese soup
  • 4 cans great northern beans
  • 4 cans spaghetti sauce
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 jars mushrooms
  • 2 8oz cans tomato sauce

Cereals & Snacks

  • 3 boxes General Mills or Kellog's Cereal up to 15.20oz ON SALE!1.88 Meijer

Baking & Spices

  • 2 boxes corn muffin mix

Dairy & Meats

  • 10 bags Kraft shredded cheese ON SALE! 1.99/8oz Kroger
  • Kraft Swiss Cheese ON SALE! 1.99/8oz Kroger
  • Kraft String Cheese 9-12oz ON SALE! 3.49 Kroger
  • Sour cream
  • 5lb ham
  • 2lb bacon
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 10lbs ground beef or chuck
  • 2lb boneless pork
  • 1lb roast beef, cubed
  • 2lbs sirloin, cubed


  • 3 6pk Mt Dew BottlesON SALE! 3/10.00 Dollar General

Freezer Meal Shopping List

So, this is a little different than my normal shopping list because it's going to be dedicated, more or less, to my in-the-works meal plan for May. I'm due with baby girl on May 5, and I really want to have one less thing to worry about. I'm hoping to prepare freezer/slow cooker meals at least 3x a week for the first 4 to 6 weeks after baby is born. That is, minimum, 12 freezer meals. Really, that's not that many. I'm shooting for more like 20. I still have a few back up from when I wrote about crock pot meals you can make ahead and freeze. This time I'll be focusing a lot on the crock pot, but also incorporating some other meals that can be made ahead and froze (like lasagna).

I'm pretty sure I've included everything I need to make all of the following meals (unless I goofed and forgot something, which can happen, y'know).

Meals I'm Buying For

  1. Stroganoff
  2. Chicken & Stuffing
  3. Tater Tot Casserole
  4. Bacon & Corn Casserole
  5. Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
  6. Spaghetti
  7. Lasagna
  8. BBQ Pulled Pork
  9. Buffalo Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
  10. Stuffed Peppers
  11. Easy Beef Stew
  12. Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice
  13. Pork & Beans
  14. Manly Meatloaf
  15. Sloppy Joes
  16. Taco Meat (Beef)
  17. Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

Produce & Frozen

  • 36oz Frozen Green Beans
  • 32oz+ Frozen Tater Tots
  • 2 whole garlics
  • 12 peppers
  • 5lb Red Potatoes
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 32oz Frozen Broccoli
  • 24oz Sliced Mushrooms

Condiments & Bread

  • French Fried Onions
  • 32oz Beef Broth
  • 32oz Chicken Broth
  • 5 bottles BBQ sauce
  • 1 bottle buffalo/hot sauce
  • 2 packages of buns

Canned & Boxed

  • 6 cans cream of mushroom
  • 3 cans corn
  • 2 cans cream corn
  • 1 can peas
  • 6oz box stuffing mix
  • Instant brown (minute) rice
  • 3 cans broccoli cheese soup
  • Egg noodles
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • 4 cans great northern beans
  • 4 cans spaghetti sauce
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 jars mushrooms
  • 2 8oz cans tomatoe sauce

    Baking & Spices

    • 2 boxes corn muffin mix

    Dairy & Meats

    • Sour cream
    • Sliced swiss cheese
    • 5lb shredded cheese
    • 5lb ham
    • 2lb bacon
    • 10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 10lbs ground beef or chuck
    • 2lb boneless pork
    • 1lb roast beef, cubed
    • 2lbs sirloin, cubed


    • Freezer bags (gallon & quart size)
    • Throwaway foil tin things (yes, I'm very technical)
    And while this may be kind of cheaty, I'm totally counting this for my "S" in the A to Z challenge.

    Open Ended Questions to Ask Your Gradeschooler

    An open ended question cannot be answered simply with a yes or no. These are the best kinds of questions, especially to ask your kids. They get their brain juices flowing and give them a chance to use their thinking and language skills and formulate unique, thoughtful responses. Here are some suggests for open ended questions to ask primary aged kids.

    Open Ended Questions for Primary Kids

    With Books & Reading

    1. What do you think this book is about?
    2. Why do you think that happened?
    3. Why do you think _______ did that/this?
    4. What would you do if that/this happened to you?
    5. What would you do differently if you were this character?
    6. What's a different way this story could have ended?
    7. How would you change this story if you were writing it?

    Related to School & Schoolwork

    1. What was your favorite part of school today? Why?
    2. What do you wish your would have done today at school? Why?
    3. What was the hardest part of your day today?
    4. What were the names of the kids you sat with at lunch?
    5. What was something new that you did today at school?
    6. What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?
    7. What does your teacher like to do?
    8. What's your favorite part of your schedule at school? Why?
    9. Who do you share a locker/cubby with?
    10. Who is close to your locker/cubby?
    11. What do you hope to do tomorrow?
    12. Do you think your teacher sleeps at school?
    13. What do you think your teacher dreams about?

    General or Bedtime Questions

    1. What was your favorite part of today?
    2. Who did you play with today?
    3. What did you play today?
    4. Did you know that some animals sleep all day and are awake only at night? What do you think about that?
    5. Why do you think sleep is good for our bodies?
    6. How does sleep make you feel?
    7. What would you like to do tomorrow?
    8. Why do you think we dream?
    9. What do you like to dream about?
    10. What do you want to dream about tonight?
    11. Did anything make you angry today?
    12. What makes you feel safe?
    13. Is there anything you wish you'd have done differently today? What and what?
    14. What do you think mom/dad dream about?

    Printable Thank You Card

    Here is a 3x8.5" printable thank you card or insert for your pleasure and use.

    Printable Thank Yous

    There's actually two. One is baby shower specific and the other is not.

    Baby Shower Specific

    General Thank You

    April's Resource List for Bloggers

    Here's another "round up" of resources for my fellow bloggers. Please share any useful resources you may stumble across, because we all love, love, love some good resources and tutorials!
    April Blogger Resources

    Template & Coding Related

    How to Show and Hide Text in Blogger from The Bloggerpreneur.


    Setting Up Custom Adsense Channels from Pink Heels Pink Truck.
    Can I Really Make a Living Blogging from LifeHacker.
    What to Charge for Sponsored Posts from Real Mom Media.


    Best Places to Find Free Images from Dustn.
    Google+ Posts/Updates from Pauline Cabrera of

    If you want to find all my useful links in one place, visit my Blogging Resources List page.

    Sunday's Shopping List (4/20/14)

    Okay so I actually did take a Sunday off for once and this turned out to be Sunday-but-really-Monday's shopping list. I'm a little behind on the A to Z challenge, too, but really, who's keeping track? I'm super pleased with the things I have made progress on, and I'll be sharing those things with you in May sometime. For now, let's look at what I'm buying this week.

    Sunday's Shopping List

    Produce & Frozen

    • Large Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, or Gala Apples ON SALE! .99/lb Meijer
    • Sweet Corn on the Cob ON SALE! .30 Meijer
    • Pineapple ON SALE! .99 Kroger
    • Baby Carrots ON SALE! .79/lb Aldi
    • Celery ON SALE! .79 Aldi

    Condiments & Bread

    • Dole Fruit Bowl 4pck ON SALE! 2.00 Meijer
    • A1 Steak Sauce
    • Worcestshire Sauce
    • Ranch

    Canned & Boxed

    • Spaghetti Noodles
    • Other Noodles

    Cereals & Snacks

    • Oreos

    Baking & Spices

    • None

    Dairy & Meats

    • Store Brand Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs ON SALE! .98/lb Meijer
    • 2 packages Ekrich Smoked Sausage ON SALE! 2.50 Meijer
    • 2 16oz Packages Kraft Singles ON SALE! 2.99 Meijer
    • 3 packages Store Brand Shredded Cheese ON SALE! 1.99 Kroger


    • 24pk Nestle Pure Life ON SALE! 2.99 Meijer
    • Throwaway Baking Pans
    • Solo Cups

    Free Disney's Frozen Olaf Clipart

    So, I think this gets me all caught up on the A to Z challenge. I'm super tired and tomorrow is Good Friday so I don't have to get up at 4AM for work. Yay! Here is my first attempt at some clipart. Of course, it's Olaf from Disney's Frozen. If you haven't seen it, I wrote a review not too long ago that might help you decide whether or not to give it a wing.

    Just right click and save to use. No restrictions, but I do love hearing about your work or getting a link back. ;)

    Nine WTF Celeb Baby Names

    Okay, okay, so there's all kinds of weird name trends going on. Celebrities are the worse. I don't know why people follow their terrible trends either! Maybe some of these people hate their children. That's the only explanation for some of these names it seems, but who knows what really makes someone think a name like Apple is a good choice for their child! Here's my pick for Nine WTF Celeb Baby Names.
    1. Pilot Inspektor | Son of Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf
    2. Moxie CrimeFighter | Daughter of Penn Jillette and Emily Zolten
    3. Fifi Trixiebell | Daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates
    4. Sage Moonblood | Son of Sylvester Stallone
    5. Speck Wildhorse | Son of John Cougar Mellencamp and Elaine Irwin
    6. Audio Science | Son of Shannyn Sossaman & Dallas Clayton
    7. North West | Daughter of Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
    8. Tu Morrow | Daughter of Rob Morrow and Debbon Ayer
    9. Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily | Daughter of Paula Yates & Michael Hutchence
    Okay, we know those aren't all of them, but those are just some that I find particularly...odd. What are your favorite celeb baby names? Least favorite? Do you like any of these names?

    Meep Kids Tablet Review

    Gabriel received a Meep for Christmas this year from my husband and I. He will be four on May 2nd, so he was about 3 and half years old when he first received it. I used to have an iPad (before I left it in a Wal Mart shopping cart and didn't realize it for 6 hours), and Gabriel loved the thing! Actually, I think he played with it more than I did! A Meep seemed to be a more age (and wallet) appropriate compromise. So, after months of owning the Meep, I'm here to give my personal opinions on it.

    Original Image Credit


    I know that kid tablets are the new "thing" and I can honestly say I don't know much about any of the others. I had/have not heard good things about the Nabi, but I can't say for sure how much of this secondhand information is true; especially considering reviews like this one that hold the Nabi in high regard. However, I'm still more than happy with my decision to go with the Meep; which I based largely on reviews from Amazon consumers (where I do most of my product research before buying).

    MEEP! is an innovative, interactive, rugged Wi-Fi enabled tablet featuring amazing zForce® touch screen technology designed for kids age 6 and above. Access a vast library of pre-loaded games, apps, e-books and more all at the touch of your finger. Plus download hundreds of action packed games, challenging learning activities and more. All that’s needed is your imagination and the desire to have a blast! -Official Meep Descripton


    You can see Meep's official specs here.

    Original Image Credit

    Parental Controls:

    The parental controls are my absolute favorite thing about this tablet! They are much more extensive and customizable than anything else I've ever used.

    Time Control

    For example, you can limit the amount of time your child spends on various activities. My son is only allowed 2 hours of YouTube time per day, because otherwise he would spend entire days on YouTube. However, this bring me to my next point, which is one of my favorite things about the Meep...

    Content Control

    Even better, though, is he can only watch Meep approved or me (parent) approved YouTube videos. No more clicking from a perfectly kid friendly video through who-knows-how-many-videos until he eventually ends up on something not so appropriate.

    App Control

    My kid cannot even download a free app without my permission, which I find pretty nifty. Apps are available from the Meep Store or from Google Play. Google Play, however, can only be accessed via a parental account or with its permission first. I advise cross checking prices before purchasing any apps, if you're a penny-pincher like me. I've heard that sometimes there's a slight price difference for the same app between the "kid's" (or Meep) store and the Google Play store. I haven't actually observed this myself, though. We rarely buy apps.

    Parent Account

    A parental account, setup during configuration of the tablet, controls the activities of the child or children using it. Your parental controls are cloud based, meaning you don't have to physically be holding and using the tablet to monitor your child's activities or approve something for download. From your parental account you can adjust parental controls or settings, whitelist or blacklist websites and words, afford coin allowances for your child to buy apps in the Meep store, and more. It's pretty impressive!

    Set-Up & Design

    Before giving the Meep to my child, I opened it and configured it so he could get right to playing with it on Christmas morning. It took me somewhere between 30-60 minutes to do so, but I don't really remember because I was multitasking wrapping other presents. Anyway, it was really easy and gave me a chance to mess around with the tablet some.

    Battery Life

    The battery life, in my experience is at least 4 hours, though I've been really, really bad at keeping track so I could share with you. Amazon reviews say it's somewhere in the 6 to 8 hour region, which sound right to me.

    My only complaint here is the Meep never seems to go to sleep on it's own. You can flick the power switch and it will go to sleep, but my sons has been on hours after it's been left sitting. I can only assume that this uses a ton more battery life than necessary.

    Power Button

    It's actually more of a power switch and I hate it. It's very difficult for small children to use and I don't know if that intentional or not, but I don't like it. Of course, my kid never wants to turn the thing off. He'd much rather just leave it lying around. However, if it is off for some reason, he might want to turn it on and become frustrated. It's not that he can't do it, it's just not as easy as it could be.

    General Ease of Use & Durability

    My son is pretty easy on his Meep, actually. However, it has survived these past 4 months without incurring any damage and he is not-quite-four, y'know. I think that means the Meep is durable enough.

    I saw on Amazon reviews before buying the Meep that a few parents said it was a waste if your child had already been exposed to much more "advanced" tablets like the iPod because this kid tablet would bore them. This hasn't been true for us, at all. However, reviews were correct when they said it can be slow or laggy at times. It's never full on frozen but you will sometimes get a message asking you if you want to close a program that you're loading because it's taking too long to respond. Other than the power button, that's my biggest peeve.

    Organizing Your Tupperware Lids with a CD Rack

    If you own tupperware at all, you've probably experienced the great mess that all that tupperware and lids can become; if you're not currently experiencing this problem, that is. Well, I'd seen this suggestion a time or two (probably on the infamous Pinterest). However, after repainting our living room, we had an extra CD rack just lying around.

    Organizing Tupperware Lids with CD Rack

    Since it was more of a toy for my son to play with than a CD rack, and I had a mess in my tupperware cabinet... Well, one thing led to another. I say it's serving a great purpose now!

    Organizing Tupperware Lids with CD Rack

    What do you think? Do you have a mess of lids in with your tupperware? Or how do you keep your tupperware organized? Please share any great organization tips you might have!

    Organizing Tupperware Lids with CD Rack

    5 Tips to Have a Better Love Life After Kids

    So I've heard numerous jokes about the two things that ruin your sex life: marriage and kids. Or maybe it's just the combination of the two. I'm not sure. This post isn't just about your love life in the bedroom, though. Today, I want to talk about some tips and ideas I have for remembering not to neglect your love life. It needs constant upkeep, too. And this isn't just for your spouse's benefit! You're a couple and this is a team effort.
    Today is letter L for the A to Z blogging challenge, so I'm presenting some tips for maintaining your love life after having kids.

    Prioritize Your Relationship. Prioritize you.

    We tend to not only put our relationship with our significant other on the back burner, but we also tend to push our own needs away, as well. Obviously, our children are important, and they are especially dependent on us as newborns. Therefore, first time moms and new moms might suffer hardest from this de-prioritization.

    Well, I'm here to tell you it's okay to take time away from your kid(s). Seriously, you need it. Remember that it's important not only to prioritize time with your significant other, whether it's sneaking in a movie while baby sleeps or going out on your first post-partum dinner date, but to prioritize some time for yourself, too. Whether you're mom and need to go to your girlfriend's house sans baby/kids or you're dad and you need to go to the gym for some time with your favorite tunes and gym equipment, it's important to remember that a happier you equals a happier relationship.

    Finally, it's important to prioritize your sex life. It's so easy to be too tired or too busy. Seriously, though, stop. Sex is part of a healthy relationship both before and after children. Make an effort. Make it important. Send the kids to bed early. Sneak in an afternoon quickie or good morning wake up. Find a way to let your partner know that they're still important and you still enjoy being intimate with them.

    Try Something New.

    Maybe your relationship is feeling a little stale. Maybe you're feeling all "been there, done that". Well, find something new for you and your honey to do together. Never had Thai food? Try it! Never been disco roller skating? Go! Just discovered the kama sutra? Time to start trying out some new moves! Seriously, though, sometimes your relationship just needs a little spice to kick start things. There's always something out there for you to try that's new or a new way of doing something old.

    Be Bold.

    Is there something you've always been a little scared to do, but kind of wanted to? Is there something your significant other has expressed interest in that you've been too chicken or self-conscious to try? Similar to trying something new, this one's a little harder for us to do. Maybe it's time to close your eyes and dive feet first into something crazy or go all out and surprised your love by doing something a little out of ordinary for you.

    Take Interest in Him/Her.

    Maybe you could care less about old western movies. Maybe your significant other doesn't understand your fascination with a good mystery novel. It's important to take an interest in your honey and take the time to explore things they enjoy with them. You don't have to feel the same way they do about it, just let them know that you understand and that their interests are important to you.

    Have Fun. Be silly.

    Calm down. Take a chill pill. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at each other. Laugh at your struggles. Got puke in your hair? Okay, so it is kind of funny. Do something outrageous. Act like a goof ball. Better yet, make complete fools out of yourselves! Whether you're being a kid or just being downright ridiculous, laughter is healing. So, laugh more. Together.

    Sunday's Shopping List (4/13/14)

    So, I'm very behind this week and this was another over scheduled Sunday "off". Yes, I know I skipped posting my weekly meal plan and my spring cleaning series and I even got behind on my A to Z blog challenge. Tonight I even put the wrong shade of paint on half my nursery walls for a final coat before realizing it. Basically, it's been a very busy, crazy week. However, I did have a wonderful baby shower Saturday and I'm here to post my shopping list today. So, it's not all bad.

    Sunday's Shopping List

    Produce & Frozen

    • Large Gala ApplesON SALE! .99/lb Kroger
    • 8oz Cool WhipON SALE! .99 Meijer
    • Washington Red, Gold Delicious, Granny Smith ApplesON SALE! 1.29/lb New Market
    • Seedless Watermelon CutsON SALE! .99/lb New Market
    • Sweet PotatoesON SALE! .58/lb Meijer
    • 24ct Eggo WafflesON SALE! 2.00/lb Meijer

    Condiments & Bread

    • Hot fudge ice cream topping

    Canned & Boxed

    • 5 boxes Rice/Pasta RoniON SALE! .89 New Market
    • Store Brand Soup BeansON SALE! .79 Meijer

    Cereals & Snacks

    • 1 package OreosON SALE! 2.99 Kroger
    • 4 boxes General Mills cereal (up to 13oz)ON SALE! 1.99 CVS

    Baking & Spices

    • 5 boxes Jello PuddingON SALE! .79 Meijer
    • 20-21oz Cornstock Cherry Pie FillingON SALE! 2.79 Meijer

    Dairy & Meats

    • 2 dozen eggs ON SALE! .99 Walgreens
    • 2 Ekrich BolognaON SALE! 1.25 Kroger
    • 5 Ekrich FranksON SALE! 1.00 New Market
    • 2 packages shredded cheeseON SALE! 1.99 Kroger
    • 24oz Store Brand Cottage CheeseON SALE! 1.99 Kroger
    • 1 gallon chocolate milk


    • 2 boxes of 100% Juice boxes
    • Toilet paper
    • Cat food
    • Magic erasers

    Kid Approved Jokes

    A child's, especially your own child's, laughter is the best! It's also so infectious! Kids are so silly and I love it! I learned a long time ago that, with younger kids, if you tell them something is a joke...they're going to laugh because that's what you do at jokes, right? Have you ever heard some of the "jokes" kids tell. They'll be laughing for an hour while one kid says pickle and the other says banana, or something.

    Kid Approved JokesOriginal Image Source

    Anyway, when I was a preschool teacher I had created a list of jokes to share with the kids of my classroom. I don't remember why, but it was really fun! Here's a round up of some fun jokes to tell your kids.
    • What's a nosy pepper do? Get jalapeno business.
    • What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta.
    • What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator.
    • What makes frogs so happy? They eat whatever bugs them.
    • What do you get when you cross a cow and a duck? Milk and quackers!
    • Why do fish live in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze.
    • What bow can't be tied? A rainbow.
    • What do you call a pig that knows karate? A pork chop.
    • Why is six afraid of seven? Because 7 8 9.
    • What's black and white, black and white, and black and white? A penguin rolling down a hill.
    • Knock, knock. | Who's there? | Boo. | Boo who? | Please don't cry. It's only a joke.
    • Knock, knock. | Who's there? | Cows say. | Cows say who? |No silly, cows say moo!
    • Knock, knock. | Who's there? | Tank. | Tank who? | You're welcome!
    • How do you make a tissue dance? Put a little boogie in it.
    • What do you call cheese that's not yours? Nacho cheese!
    • Knock, knock. | Who's there? | Lettuce | Lettuce who? | Lettuce in, it's freezing out here.
    • There are two muffins in an oven. | One muffin turns to the other muffin and says, “Boy, it’s hot in here.” | The other muffin says, “OH MY GOD A TALKING MUFFIN.”
    Sources: Jokes 4 Us | Childhood Beckons | Baby Center

    Phew. This is my catch up post because I missed letter J for the A to Z blogging challenge.

    Kid Kabobs: Easy Lunch or Snack

    Today's letter for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is the letter K, and I'll be featuring a favorite snack from our house: Kid Kabobs. I'm sure you could find all kinds of ways to vary this snack to suit the tastes of your children or family!

    My husband especially likes these with cheese and pepperoni, and that's the way we make them 99% of the time. To do this, you simply slice a block of cheese into long rectangles. Then you slice the long rectangles into thin squares, like you what you see on my kabobs.

    Then you use a pretzel stick and shove the cheese and pepperoni on to it, alternating between the two. So simple and so delicious! Use the pretzel stick as a sort of handle and hurry and eat these before they're devoured by everyone else.

    As I mentioned before, I'm sure you could alternate the cheese and pepperoni with other ingredients. You could use fresh fruits such as melons and grapes for a sweet and salty snack, which are always a delicious combination! You could cut up hot dogs instead of using pepperoni, to give your kids some variety. The possibilities are endless!

    Free Printable 4x6 Invitations for Any Occasion

    Today is letter I for the A to Z blogging challenge and, following yesterday's instructions on how to print invitations cheaply from home, I'm here to present two free printable invitations! These invitations could be used for almost any occasion. Simply print and fill in the blanks!

    We have a very classy and elegant Umbrella Invitation and then a more fun, clean Whale Invitation. Again, both of these are 4x6. Enjoy!

    Whale Invitation | Umbrella Invitation

    How to Print Invitations & Cards Ridiculously Cheap

    Well, these days are just trudging right along aren't they? Today is letter H in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and I'm going to tell you how to print invitations (or cards or whatever) for ridiculously cheap! I made my own baby shower invitations, which I'm sharing below, for dirt cheap!

    Cheap Invitations & Cards

    First, you go into your local Wal Mart. Then, you go to the office supplies section. Locate the index cards. Look carefully because you want unruled or blank (same thing, I think, just differently titled) index cards. Online, Wal Mart says they have colored options for about $2.25 per 100, but I didn't see these at my local Wal Mart. I purchased unruled, white 4x6 index cards. An 100 pack was less than $1.

    So, for less than $1 I had 100 potential cards. Unfortunately, I don't have quite that many friends. Therefore, these are going to last me a bit. Anyway, I made my own 4x6 invitations in Microsoft Office 2007. Then, I adjusted my printer to my index cards and printed away. I only printed on one side, so I'm not sure how they would hold up to double sided printing. However, I think they turned out fabulous! I'll be sharing them printable later on in the A to Z series.

    Guess My Name: Printable Baby Book Page/Baby Shower Game

    Guess who forgot to post this Guess My Name printable yesterday for letter G in the A to Z blogging challenge? Yep. It was me. I guess I just got all caught up in all the other stuff I was doing. Anyway, we're keeping Baby Girl's name a secret until birth, which is totally killing some of my closest family members (*cough* Mom *cough*). I thought it would be fun at the baby shower for everyone to write down their three guesses for Baby Girl's name. Also, it'll be a neat little addition to her homemade baby book.

    There are two sizes, in .PDF format. One is 8x8 because I picked out a weird binder thingy for my Baby Girl's baby book. However, the other one is your standard 8.5x11. Click, save, print, enjoy!

    8x8 Page

    8.5x11 Page

    Frozen: A Movie Review #redboxrental

    So my family loves Redbox! As much as we enjoy seeing a good movie on the big screen, the movie theater is typically out of our price range. When we went to see the Lego Movie, it still cost us over $30 to see a matinee; and we all shared a large soda and popcorn! Call me stingy, but that seems like an awful lot of money. I don't mind every now and then as a special treat, but I'd much rather rent from Redbox.
    So recently, my family and I sat down together and watched Frozen after I was finally lucky enough to locate it in one of the many Redboxes in the city where I attend college. We've been trying to have family movie nights roughly once a month. We've already watched the Lego Movie and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Frozen was, big surprise, my pick.

    Quick Ratings

    • Story: 4/5
    • Graphics: 5/5
    • Entertainment: 4.75/5
    • Overall: 5/5
    Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. Quoted from IMDb
    This may have been a total mom pick, but all three of the boys loved it. Yes, even my husband. Actually, my husband announced that we will definitely be buying Frozen sometime in the future. Gabriel was especially fond of Olaf, a quirky, dim witted snowman, you can't help but love!
    Image retrieved from Frozen's official site & property of Disney.
    The story is nothing spectacular, though it's certainly no snooze fest. I'm not sure how many innovative, wow-worthy stories Disney has left, considering the multitude of movies they have already produced. I would probably call this a typical Disney story, but a good story, nonetheless.
    The entertainment part only falls short in a few places where it's just so ridiculous, it feels a little forced. I think this appeals more to children than it does to adults like me, but my husband also enjoys this kind of humor/entertainment, at times. For the most part, Frozen was filled with silliness and ridiculousness that we just loved. Adults and children alike can find this movie enjoyable and funny.
    This movie was another great pick and a great Redbox rental choice! Have you ever used Redbox? What is your favorite way to watch movies?
    Today is letter 'F' for the A to Z Challenge. I chose to review Frozen, a Disney movie we recently watched as a family, in honor of the letter 'F'.

    Sunday's Shopping List (4/6/2014)

    I almost didn't post today. I love Sundays. They are my only day off work. I get to sleep in and I actually get to get stuff done around the house without being too exhausted. Today, I even didn't have either of the boys (or the husband, for most of the day). The boys are gone 'til mid-week with various people who wanted to snatch up some time with them during Spring break. While I'll miss them, I wasn't afraid to indulge in some me and hubby alone time prior to baby's arrival.
    Sunday's Shopping List
    Well, I hope I have included everything I need for the week. It's late and I have to get up way too early for work. So, I need to drag myself to bed and do this shopping trip in the AM.

    Produce & Frozen

    • 1 6oz Container Blueberries ON SALE! 2/$4
    • 8 ears of Sweet Corn ON SALE! 4/$1
    • 1 16oz bag baby carrots ON SALE! $1.29
    • Bananas ON SALE! $0.44/lb
    • Strawberries ON SALE! $1.49/lb

    Condiments & Bread

    • 2 Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce 14oz Bottles ON SALE! 1.09
    • 2 loaves of bread
    • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dips Mix

    Canned & Boxed

    • None

    Cereals & Snacks

    • 1 box Kellogs Cocoa Krispies ON SALE! 1.89

    Baking & Spices

    • Paprika
    • Salt
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • 7 oz jar marshmallow fluff

    Dairy & Meats

    • 1 gallon Chocolate Milk
    • 2 6-8oz Bags Generic Shredded Cheese ON SALE! 1.99
    • 16ct Kraft Singles ON SALE! 1.99
    • 4 Generic Cream Cheese ON SALE! $1.00
    • Large container sour cream


    • 2 6-packs Mt Dew 24oz ON SALE! 2/$4
    • 24pk Nestle Life Water ON SALE! $3.19
    • 2 4-6ct Pillsbury Crescent Rolls ON SALE! $1.00
    • 1 4-6ct Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls ON SALE! $1.00
    • 50lb bag dog food
    • 10 28-32oz Gatorade ON SALE! $0.67

    Easter Egg Ideas

    So, it's getting late and I really didn't want to do E today for the A to Z blogging challenge. I wasn't feeling very motivated and I'm looking forward to my Sunday "off", actually. Unfortunately, I still have tons of other priorities to get to (like finish my speech for Tuesday...and practicing it).

    Anyway, I figured (duh!) for E, I could just do Easter Eggs. I'm not sure why this didn't come to me sooner. I decided early on that we have too much going on this month and the next month, so we're not doing anything special for Easter. I'm not even sure we will decorate eggs. However, if you're decorating eggs this year for Easter or just because you feel like's so crazy fun ideas for a twist on however you traditionally do it.

    S A S Interiors Melted Crayon Easter Eggs
    Creating Colorful Easter Eggs with Melted Crayons by SAS Interiors
    Koolaid Dyed Easter Eggs by Totally the Bomb
    Koolaid Dyed Easter Eggs by Totally the Bomb
    Rice Krispies Easter Eggs by The Pioneer Woman
    Homeade Rice Krispies Easter Eggs by The Pioneer Woman
    Decorating Easter Eggs with Shaving Cream
    Decorating Easter Eggs with Shaving Cream by A Thrifty Mom
    DIY Yarn Easter Eggs
    DIY Yarn Easter Eggs from Premeditated Leftovers

    What's your favorite thing to do for Easter? What sort of fun crafts do you have planned/.

    Dates to Remember Free Printable

    Today is letter D in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For letter D, I created a Dates to Remember free printable, which you could include in a planner or simply put on the fridge or bulletin board. You might even use it for birthdays! Simply click here or click the image below to go download your free dates to remember page.

    Now I'm going to try and relieve this pounding head ache that's been torturing me all day. If you like the planner, please share!

    B Strep: What It Is & Why It Matters

    Today for the A to Z blogging challenge, we're on letter B, and I'm discussing B Strep. If you don't know what B Strep, sometimes referred to as vaginal strep, is then don't be surprised: you're not alone. Actually, I'm pretty sure B Strep is the reason my last labor was prolonged for an extra few hours while I took an antibiotic to protect my baby. However, I didn't ask enough questions last pregnancy, so I'm trying to change that this time.

    Group B Strep

    Anyway, here are some quick facts about B Strep.

    What is B Strep?

    Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterium that can be found in the digestive tract, urinary tract, and genital area of adults. - University of Rochester Medical Center.
    • A normal bacteria, naturally found in the digestive tract and birth canal in up to 1 in 4 pregnant women.Group B Strep International
    • Not sexually transmitted North Carolina Women's Hospital
    • For every 1000 GBS positive mothers, one or two babies will become infected and need treatment. Group B Strep International
    • Typically causes no symptoms for adults, but may cause urinary tract infections.
    • No vaccine, treatment options (outside of antibiotics during labor), or way to avoid contracting this widespread bacteria. University of Maryland Medical Center
    • Once you test positive, you will be considered positive for life, even though it can come and go.

    B Strep & Pregnancy

    Although 99% of infants who come in contact with GBS during the birth process do not become ill, those who do can develop severe, life-threatening complications. Fortunately, treatment is available.University of Maryland Medical Center.
    B Strep can be life threatening to infant during prenatal development up to about 6 months of age, though most (if infected by GBS) develop symptoms by three weeks of age. Some of the more serious effects of an infant contracting GBS are meningitis or pneumonia. Infants who become infected with meningitis can have other long-term health effects, so it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms for GBS infection in infants and to take all precautions (such as receiving your GBS test around 35 weeks pregnant and getting Penicillin during labor, prior to delivery).

    Symptoms of GBS in Infants

    • High-pitched cry, shrill moaning, whimpering
    • Marked irritability, inconsolable crying
    • Constant grunting as if constipated
    • Projectile vomiting
    • High or low or unstable temperature; hands and feet may still feel cold even with a fever
    • Blotchy, red, or tender skin
    • Blue, gray, or pale skin due to lack of oxygen
    • Lower picture is of the same baby with cardiovascular shock-induced pallor due to late-onset GBS disease
    • Fast, slow, or difficult breathing
    • Body stiffening, uncontrollable jerking
    • Listless, floppy, or not moving an arm or leg
    • Tense or bulgy spot on top of head
    • Blank stare
    • Infection at base of umbilical cord or in puncture on head from internal fetal monitor
    • Excessive sleepiness
    • Trouble breathing
    • Refuses two feedings in a row
    Symptom information taken from Group B Strep International and the North Carolina Women's Hospital, because I lack knowledge or experience to inform your properly.

    I hope that, after reading this, you feel more informed about GBS and can be aware of the importance of prenatal testing and treatment during labor. I have no intention of causing panic or of claiming expertise in the matter, but I think it's always better to be informed!

    You can click the orange links to read more about GBS or to see where I got my information from. Once again, I'm not an expert on the subject. If you know someone this might affect, please share!

    Wednesday's Weekly Meal Plan 4/02-4/08

    Maybe you saw Sunday's shopping list, also posted late-ish this week. If not, that's okay. Maybe you're just here from some meal ideas or inspiration for your own meal planning. Anyway, I'm lagging behind today so most of you (I'm sure) already ate dinner. That's okay, I'll put it on here anyhow. Enjoy this week's meal plan!

    Wednesday's Weekly Meal Plan

    Right now, I'm just planning my dinners. Lunch is usually leftovers or something like grilled cheese sandwiches.


    Ham & Roasted Veggies


    Tuna Alfredo with Steamed Broccoli


    Eat Out


    Fried Chicken Legs, Roasted Asparagus, and Mac & Cheese




    Chili Dogs


    Pork Chops, Rice, Corn

    All About Amanda, Her Anniversary, and the A to Z Blogging Challenge

    Anniversary - 4 Years

    So March 31st marked four years of marriage for my husband and I. I can't explain how proud I am to have been married four years! Some people might not understand, but that's okay. For me, it's about the fact that there are people who don't make it a year (or even six months). It's about all the negativity associated with marriage in the modern day. I never placed much value on the institution of marriage. My husband and I are not religious in any worth-mentioning way. We're more philosophical than anything. Before getting married, I even told my husband that it was just a bunch of legalities and paperwork.
    I'm not disagreeing with my former self. I'm simply reevaluating the way I feel about marriage now. The successes and failures we've experienced have built the relationship we now have. We've been in a relationship for six years; again, four of those were married years. We are expecting our third child (our first little girl). We've had good and bad times, as all do, and even an entire year that felt like mostly downs. Our relationship has cracked and been broken. Somehow, we've always managed to piece things back together for one reason or another.

    We lack perfection in ourselves, our lives, or our relationship. However, there is a true love between us that I believe is the core to it all. It has kept us moving forward, even when it seemed impossible. Knowing this man is my husband and I am his wife brings a simple joy to me that I cannot explain. It truly is a blessing, even on the worse days.
    Have you heard of the A to Z April Challenge for bloggers? If not, you can click the link button above to find out more; basically, though, I'm going to be blogging every day except Sundays in April. This equals out to 26 letters, or A to Z. I'd love to say I already have everything all planned out and I have this awesome theme... I don't. However, I'm super excited to do this challenge. So, if you're noticing mass updates from Moming About...well, this is my inspiration for April.

    Random Facts About Amanda

    • I used to not have a favorite color. Now, I think my favorite color is green.
    • I dropped out of school 2 weeks into my Sophomore year of high school.
    • I still got a high school diploma.
    • I attended online high schooling.
    • I have worked full time (give or take) since I was 16 years-old.
    • I have been with my husband since I was 16 years-old.
    • I live within 15 minutes of 3 of my in-laws and their families.