Monday, April 5, 2010

The Thinker

UPDATE: For those of you who thought Mr. Steady you are right! I just couldn't believe these two pictures when I saw them side by side!
The picture on the left is The Thinker...but who is in the picture on the right? (I am loving Picassa, by the way. I downloaded it probably a year ago and am just now starting to play around with it. What can I say, I dislike change.)

Swagbucks

Are you using SwagBucks yet? I had heard Crystal talk about it but when Kristen said she had enough to pay for Christmas 2010 I just had to check it out.


Search & Win



Swagbucks is a search engine. Every once in a while you are rewarded with Swagbucks that you can then trade in for gift cards such as Amazon.com, Target, Barnes & Noble and many more. I signed up about a week ago and I already have 248 points. Mr. Steady signed up the day after I did and he has 175 points

The easiest way to use Swagbucks is to download the toolbar. You get 2 points every day just for signing in! And if you use Facebook I'm told there are all kinds of free codes all over the place.

So if you are like me and Google is go-to search engine, try Swagbucks! Oh yes, and tell them that I sent you (CPTowngirl) so I can get my referral points! I wouldn't be a very good friend if I didn't tell you that referring others is the best way to earn points. Because every time your friends win Swagbucks through searches, you win the same number of points. So if you have a blog make sure your readers use your referral code, post your referral code on Facebook and tell your grandma to stop Googling and start using Swagbucks!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Super Savings Saturday

I forgot to link to Crystal's blog last week with the board game deal, you can find a bunch more deals (and inspiration if you don't catch them in time to take advantage of them yourself). I am very new to this deal "thang". I have clipped coupons forever but the idea of stacking store and manufacturer coupons and holding on to coupons until that item is severly discounted is a thrill for me.

This is what I bought at Wal-Greens this week. Crystal and her pals pretty much lay it all out for me what is a good deal. At some point I will venture out on my own but Chinet plates were on sale 2/$3, I was able to print off 2 $1.00 off coupons making the plates $0.50 for each pack. Campbell's cooking soups were on sale for $0.79 with the in-ad coupon (store coupon) and I was able to print $1 off 2 so my soups were $0.29 each. Betty Crocker frosting and cake mixes were $1, and with the $0.75 off coupon in the paper recently I got both for $1.25.
I had $5.00 in register rewards (similar to CVS' Extra Care bucks) from the Benadryl special a couple of weeks ago so I threw in a couple of packs of seasoned almonds (great for on the go snacks or lunchboxes) and a pack of gum. I got all of the above for $1.06 out of pocket! I still have a way to go trying to figure it all out and not look like a ninny doing it but it's great fun to find such bargains!

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Dying" Eggs the Natural Way

Today we tried to dye eggs using natural sources, such as berries, tea, spices, herbs, and vegetables, using these directions.

First I boiled the eggs and then boiled them with the dyes. This did not work so well, except the orange (boiled with carrots, chili powder and paprika). The grayish blue (blueberries) eggs above were not boiled

Mr. Steady read the directions differently than I and thought you should not boil the eggs seperately so we tried the same approach using fresh eggs. This time I boiled all the dyes and again only the orange and blue(ish) turned out.

We tried several by boiling (we used the same batch of dye for both boils and after the second time I let the dye cool and sit at room temperature for a while.)
Pink or Red: raspberries mixed with several tablespoons of concentrated tart cherry juice - no tint at all
Yellow: carrot tops mixed with a lot of cumin - very tiny amount of tint
Green: spinach - no tint at all

We also tried without boiling
Golden Brown: dill weed (the directions say dill seed and I'm not sure what the difference is) - no tint
Brown: black tea - a fair tint (it's the one on the far right in the bowl) but it sat there for over 6 hours

Even after the eggs were dyed a gentle rubbing would take the stain right off. So the conclusion is if you want to experiment with your children this is a great project to undertake. Especially if you have everything already in your pantry like we did. However, if you're looking for a vibrant, spring-y, colored egg you're better off sticking to the chemical dyes you find at your local supermarket.

Mr. Steady prefers the softer, more natural look of these eggs and the boys seemed pleased with them. They are growing on me, the whole process certainly didn't have the "wow" factor I was hoping for.

I wonder how many times I've missed the "wow" factor God was trying to attempt in my life?

Jesus Loves Me

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

When You Can't Be Bothered By Taking the Stairs One at a Time

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This was our entertainment for about 10 minutes one Saturday night not too long ago. What made it even funnier was that my nephew, who is six weeks younger than The Entertainer, was going down the stairs as well but he was going face first and using his hands to crawl down. The two boys played on the stairs for the better part of an hour that night.

April Fool's Dinner

I have never done anything special for April Fool's Day but I've always wanted to. I saw this idea in a Family Fun magazine some years back. I baked meatloaf in cupcake papers and topped with mashed potatoes. A sprinkle of poppy seeds completed the look. When the boys came to the table I told them we were having cupcakes for supper! They knew it was a joke but immediately went to the kitchen to see what else there was waiting for them. When they found nothing they were quite confused. It wasn't until they cut into it that they realized what it was.

Did you know April Fool's day is called such because in the 1500's the first day of the new year was changed from April 1 to January 1? Because news traveled so slowly in those days many people still celebrated April 1 as the new year. People began to make fun of them and call them "fools" for being behind the times. And thus the name stuck.

Psalm 14:1 says that "the fool says in his heart 'There is no God.'" Don't be a fool, if you have never asked Jesus to come into your heart, to save you from your sins, do it today.