Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ August 31st

This weeks menu plan is written on a whim. This means I'm sitting here typing this blog post and I'm deciding what to cook right now! I did not get a chance yesterday to do my usual little sit down to figure it out. We were out of town the weekend and we did not get home till late. And of course we had other things to hurry and get taken care of for the week ahead.
So this menu plan is probably not very exciting since I did not have a chance to really think.

Monday- Whole Wheat Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, and Eggs

Tuesday- Meatloaf Muffins(new recipe, post to follow), brown rice, veggies

Wednesday- Cheer Night- Crock pot Chicken and Potatoes(New Recipe, post to follow), Broccoli

Thursday- Leftovers

Friday- Its my 5 year wedding Anniversary, so I am hoping to round me up some babysitters so hubby and I can go out.

Saturday- A friend of ours is having a BBQ and swim party for Labor Day, so we are headed over there!

Sunday- We have tickets to the Astros game. I hope we are home in time for dinner that I can cook. If we are, I plan to do Croissant Paninnis. If we are late, we will just grab something.

As always, head over to The Organizing Junkie to see other great menu plans this week!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gift card for Groceries

Groceries have become crazy expensive these days! Its amazing to see how much more things are this year then they were just a few years ago.

Brandy @ Not So Average Mama is gonna help us out with that!

She has a giveaway up right now for a $30 Gift Card to Kroger!

That's like what a gallon a milk and some eggs? I kid I kid...but seriously, you could get some awesome groceries with that baby!

So head on over and check out how you can win!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Graphics Deal at Stitchblade Designs

Do you guys like my blog? I think it looks awesome myself.

The brains behind my blog design belong to Brandy. She runs Not So Average Mama and Stitchblade Designs.

I love her!

Well she is running a special on her graphics designing right now!

Head on over to her Graphics website Stitchblade Designs to see what she can do for you! This graphics special will not last long so hurry!

Also check out her blog Not So Average Mama while you are at it!

Wordless Wednesday

I love baseball....specifically the Houston Astros. So this is me and my sweet Jake watching the game last night!

MMMM...PF Changs

I love PF Chang's. I don't get to eat their often, but I love their lettuce wraps!

5 Minutes for Giveaways has a giveaway right now for a $100 PF Chang's Gift card! That's a lot of Lettuce Wraps!

Head on over there and check out how to win!

Free 8x10 Photo Collage from Walgreens~ Wednesday

Walgreens is calling Wednesday FUNDAY!

Sign up for a Walgreens Photo account, upload your photos and then go to the 'Photo gifts' segment and click collages. Choose the 8x10 size, pick the photos from your album, fill in your details and key in the coupon code FUNDAY during check out. Opt for an in-store pick up (this way you don't have to pay shipping charges) and VOILA....your free 8 x 10 photo collage will be ready!

What a fun gift for somebody special!

Offer Valid Wednesday August 26th only!

Thanks to the Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports for the heads up on this great offer!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pets Review and Giveaway

"Zhu Zhu Pets are innovative, realistic, interactive, plush, and artificially intelligent hamsters that talk and move around in their own play sets. Zhu Zhu Pets include two play modes: nurturing mode where the hamsters coo and purr and adventure mode where the hamsters explore their habitat with intelligent audio and mechanical responses to various habitat stimuli. Over a dozen add-ons can be purchased to build an ever-evolving hamster world for your hamster to play in and explore."

MomSelect and ZhuZhu pets sent me a set for my kids to test out. These are by far, the most played with toys in our house! The kids really enjoy watching the hamsters go all over the place with just a press of the button. And it is really neat to see them change directions and get out of their hamster wheel all on their own! As a mom, I love that there is no mess! No wood chippings, no hamster dropping, no smell! Just hours and hours of fun for my kids. As you can see from my picture, my son could not wait for my husband to get it put together.

I had some issues trying to get it put together, but my wonderful Aggie Engineer husband was able to get it done in 10 minutes!

Zhu Zhu Pets can be bought at Wal-Mart, Amazon and Toys R Us.
Want One of your very own?

MomSelect and Zhu Zhu pets will give one of my readers 1 Hamster with Slide and Ramp to get your kids started!

Here is how to enter:
Vizit the Zhu Zhu pets page and let me know your favorite add on accessory! That's it!

Want Bonus Entries?
1. Blog about this giveaway and comment with the link. This will earn you 2 bonus entries.

2. Grab my button- Comment back and let me know where to find it on your page. This will earn you 2 bonus entries.

3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Comment back to let me know you did with the link. This will earn you 1 bonus entry.

4. Follow my blog and comment back letting me know you do. This will earn you 1 bonus entry.

Giveaway Will End Friday September 4, 2009.

Monday, August 24, 2009

After School Snack- Banana Muffins

Today was the First Day of School and I thought it would be nice to have a fresh snack for Madison and her neighbor friend who we pick up in the afternoons( his mom walks with the kiddos in the mornings, so I have the afternoon shift). I had some bananas that were about to go bad and I thought I would try some banana muffins. Madison has recently rediscovered her love for bananas and I thought this was a great way to get another fruit into her!

I actually followed a recipe posted by my friend Cyndy over at Daily Cynema. She is awesome! She is Greek, a great mom, super healthily, smart, and knows a ton about fitness! I always go to her for advice. I happen to be surfing her blog today when I found the post for Banana Bread. I took her recipe and made muffins instead. I was able to get 18 muffins out of the mix. I gave 6 to my neighbor and the kids ate about 4 today when they got home!

They are delicious and a great healthy after school snack!

Menu Plan Monday~ August 24th

I am super late posting my menu plan for today, but I had lots of good reasons.

First reason, today was my daughters first day of first grade. So I had to make sure everything was perfect for her before walking her to school. Second, I had to run a errand after getting her to school. Third, I began a Biggest Loser Contest with some online friends and so I had to try to plan somewhat healthy dinner menu options. Plus I just finished my first workout. I bought a 8lb med ball this weekend and plan to do the Med Ball 200 workout. I thought 8lbs would be easy since my baby is 17lbs and I pick him up all the time. Well, lets just say I am sore already. Who knew 8lbs would feel heavier than a 17lb baby trying to jump out of your arms because he wants to chase his big brother?!

So, this menu plan is somewhat healthy. If you think something doesn't look healthy, no worries, I plan to eat a big salad before I even fix my first plate of whatever I am serving and I plan on serving actual true portion sizes...bringing out the measuring cups and everything!

Monday- Marinated flank steak, brown rice, and steamed broccoli

Tuesday- Tequila Lime grilled Chicken, rice, and sauteed spinach.

Wednesday-(We have Cheer practice this night) Chicken and Veggie Quesadillas.

Thursday- Whole Wheat Spaghetti(just sauce- no meat) and salad

Friday- Bean and Cheese tacos(on corn tortillas) and yellow rice.

Saturday- We have cheer practice in the AM and then we are headed to East Texas to visit my parents. I am pretty sure we will eat pizza at my favorite place back home!

Sunday- Croissant Paninni's once we get back into town.

As always, head over to the Organizing Junkie to check out other great menu plans this week!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wendy's Freebie!

Thanks to my friend Candice for passing this on!

Grab the coupon and get to Wendys!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Spider Man makes naptime easier!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heaven on Earth~ In the Form of Potato Bundles

My friend Darcy posted a recipe on her facebook page from the amazing Pioneer Woman's website yesterday.

The minute I saw it, I knew I had to try it! It had practically all my favorite things: potatoes, cream, and butter.

Potato Bundles

Russet potatoes, cut into chunks
Yellow or white onion, cut into chunks
Butter (regular, salted)
Heavy cream
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Pile potatoes and onions on a square of foil. Add 2 tablespoons butter, splash on some cream, then sprinkle on salt, paprika, and black pepper. Wrap bundles tightly and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until extremely tender.

Serve foil bundles right on the plate!

My picture has nothing on hers, I have a cheap little point and shoot and the lighting in my kitchen is horrible!

You absolutely have to go make these! I had to stop myself from licking the foil they are so amazing! Sure the cream and the butter is heavy on the calories, but these potatoes are so totally worth it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I did not get a picture this time since we were running out the door for cheer practice. Next time!

Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup
ajays- from

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ozs. grated sharp cheddar

Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.
Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux).
Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree.
Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until
well blended.
Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

* My notes: I used milk since I did not have half and half. I probably would not blend it all up next time, I did not like the texture. Maybe just half.

~Menu Plan Monday~ August 17th~

We were suppose to go to my parents this past weekend but we decide to postpone our trip. The kids are burnt out on all our traveling around and I wanted to go ahead and do our back to school shopping. Next weekend is Tax Free Weekend in Texas, but I do not like crowds and I do not like shopping so I never take advantage of this.

Unfortunately since we had not been to the store in a while, we ended up eating out all weekend. Not good for the pocketbook that's for sure! So, we are back on track this week with menu planning. Too bad that we will be eating out a night or two this week but we have some plans where cooking dinner is just not a option.

This week is the last week before school starts as well, so I have quite a bit of organizing to get done. I am also hoping to make some snacks for the kids to get their snack bin full and some muffins frozen as well.

Anyways, here is this weeks plan!

Monday- Crossiant Paninnis(ham, turkey, salami, provolone, and pepperjack cheese) and broccoli cheese soup

Tuesday- Meatloaf Muffins, potato bundles, and green beans.

Wednesday- I will be headed to Chilis for a MNO(Mothers Night Out). I plan to do mac and cheese and chicken nuggets for the kiddos and DH. They will be happy with a simple fun meal!

Thursday- Chicken Tostadas

Friday- I am headed to a Passion Party with a friend, I think hubby might go grab the kiddos something or make them some grilled cheeses.

Saturday- My hubby is going to be gone all day at a fantasy football party and then his mom is coming into town to watch the the kiddos for a couple hours so we can go to the baseball game with some friends. Let's go Astros!

As always, head over to I'm a Organizing Junkie to check out tons of other great menu plans this week!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Brotherly Love.

Highly Inappropriate!

* This post is my opinion. If you do not like my opinion that's fine, but I will not argue with you on this subject matter.

Monday night was the Teen Choice Awards 2009 on Fox. My daughter heard the Jonas Brothers was hosting and asked if she could watch. I told her we would watch it together. ( I wanted to check out the Twilight cast and RPattz

Everything was going great, she was enjoying the show and I was enjoying spending time with her.

Finally it was time for Miley Cyrus to perform. My daughter likes her music as well so she was very excited to see her. As soon as it started my mouth hit the floor! I could not believe what she was wearing! I could not believe that her parents allowed her to wear that outfit! She is 16 years old for crying out loud! And even more so, is that she knows her audience. There are little girls out there as young as 4 years old that love Miley Cyrus and her character on the Disney Channel Hanna Montana. She was clearly targeting her older audience with her clothing choices at this point. And to make matters worse, all of a sudden a "ice cream cart" with a huge "stripper" pole comes out. As this cart is being wheeled out I'm thinking " there is no way that is about to happen". Boy was I wrong. Miley proceeded to jump on that ice cream cart and do a little pole dance! A 16 year old, doing a pole dance with hardly any clothes how is that appropriate?! I guess since she was on the "teen" awards show and not the "little girl" awards show. How can Disney allow this?! How can her parents?! I have never been so appalled!

Look for yourself!
Now, do you see that one face in the audience?! That has to be a mother standing there! It has to be because that was my face as this performance is going on!

You can not see very well in that particular picture, but her shorts(well if you can even call them shorts) are extremely short. I consider those to be underwear if you ask me. Even Britney Spears wore a dress that was longer than Miley Cyrus! And her shirt, yea it's see thru! its like a mesh netting with no back and of course you can see her bra. I guess I should be lucky that she at least wore a bra.

Lucky for me, my daughter does not "love" Miley Cyrus or Hanna Montana as much as some children do. But I do know that she will never ever watch that show ever again. I will not allow it and I will not help Disney or Hanna Montana out with ratings or sales of products that have anything to do with Miley Cyrus. I understand she is growing up and changing her music, but I think she(and her parents for crying out loud) should use common sense when it comes to shows where children are watching and "looking up" to these so called "artists.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Crockpot Sour Cream Salsa Chicken

This is one of my favorite crock pot meals ever! And that is because almost all of my family will eat this. C man, being a self made vegetarian, will not give this meal the time of day. Its so quick and easy! Add this meal to your rotation and let me know what you think! I really do not think you will be disappointed! Even the leftovers are fabulous!

Crock pot Sour Cream Salsa Chicken


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 pkg. Reduced sodium taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup light sour cream

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Add chicken breast and sprinkle with Taco seasoning. Add salsa and cook on low for 6 hrs. when ready to serve remove chicken and mix cornstarch with a bit of cold water. Stir into the salsa sauce. Stir in sour cream and mix well. return chicken to crock pot and coat with sauce.
*I shred the chicken before I return it to the sauce. Makes it easier to make little tacos or quesadillas!

Schwan's $10.00 Offer

Schwan's is a food delivery service. You sign up for their services and they come to your home, usually every 2 weeks, and you can purchase great food items for your family!

You can also order online at their website and save 5% on all online orders until August 29th.

Right now, they have a special going on for New Customers Only! $10.00 in free food! Just click this link to sign up today!

The ice cream and novelty treats are the best! I grew up on this food!

My favorites are:

Root Beer Float Bars

Gold N Nugit Bars

Mozzerella Sticks

Chicken Nuggets

~ Menu Plan Monday~ August 10th

Well, camping this past weekend was a lot of fun...and a lot of adventures! Some good ones, and some not so good ones. The C man hit his head and then proceeded to act "out of it" so we had him checked out by a EMT but he reassured us there was no concussion, just one exhausted little boy. Then little Jake decided it would be fun to throw up twice and then give us a nice diaper surprise at 4am. Really though, everyone had a great time and I really hope we can make this a yearly back to school get together with our friends!

This weeks menu plan will once again be bare since we will be headed to my parents house which is in East Texas this weekend. We also have some back to school shopping to do as well.

Monday- Crockpot Sour Cream Salsa Chicken, tortillas, and rice.

Tuesday- Pancakes, Bacon, and eggs

Wednesday- grilled cheese

Thursday- Pizza for the kiddos and our baby sitter, hubby and I have a nice work dinner to attend.

Friday- Grab something while on the road

Saturday- Out of town

Sunday- Tacos, rice, and beans

Don't forget to head on over to the Organizing Junkie to check out other great menu plans!

Miracle Treat Day

Buy a Blizzard from Dairy Queen on Miracle Treat Day, August 13,2009 at a participating location and it will benefit your local Childrens Miracle Network Hospital.
Since 1984, DQ has raised $77 Million to help save and improve lives of children in your community.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free Barnes and Noble Giftcard Offer

When it comes to good habits, Earth’s Best and parents are on the same page.

Just like eating healthy, reading is a good habit, and a great way to spend time with your kids.

So when you purchase $15 or more of participating Hain Celestial Group products, you will receive a Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

In addition to the Barnes & Noble gift cards, you will receive a complimentary Healthy Eating Tips bookmark and coupons for all participating Hain Celestial Group brands. It’s a great way to build your back-to-school book collection!

Check out Earth's Best website for some money saving coupons too!

Back to School- Good Homework Habits

I was amazed that my daughter had homework last year as a Kindergartner. It was not hard, but really shocked that they started home that young.

I know from talking to other moms that first grade gets tougher! Which again, shocks me...I do not think I had homework till 2nd grade(other than some spelling words once a week).

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a few tips for Developing Good Homework and Study Habits and I wanted to pass them onto you since it is that time of year again!

1. Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent workspace in their bedroom or another part of the home that offers privacy.

2. Set aside ample time for homework.

3. Establish a household rule that the TV set stays off during homework time.

4. Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child's homework for him/her.

5. Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue, and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a study break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.

6. If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you are not able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a good solution. Talk it over with your child's teacher first.

So you do anything different to help your child get his/her homework done in a timely manner? Do they go up to their room or do they have separate area to do homework?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

End Morning Madness

I don't know how it is as your house, but at mine, mornings are the worst! 2 of my kids are NOT Morning people! It does not matter how many hours of sleep they get at night, they are not the funnest people around when it comes to waking up. So Mornings are our problem when its back to school time.

I found these helpful tips at Going Bonkers Magazine that will hopefully help end our morning madness and I wanted to pass them onto you!

1. Revamp your Routines. Take a good look at your morning patterns and identify those things that cause stress. Pinpointing the exact problems is the first step in making productive changes.

2. Start your morning-AT NIGHT! A great way to smooth out your morning is to prepare as much as you can the night before. This means choosing the days clothing, packing lunches, gathering homework, signing permission slips, filling backpacks, and even setting the table for breakfast.

3. Post a calendar. Buy the biggest wall calendar you can find and hang it in a central location. Write down events and appointments for everyone on the calendar.

4. Create a drop box for each person. Have a labeled box near the door for each family member. Use this to store shoes, keys, backpacks, coats and anything else that goes out the door with you in the morning.

5. Use a morning list. Create a poster-sized list of standard morning activities listed in order to be done. Add a few specific time goes, such as "breakfast done by 7:30."Tape this poster on the wall near your monthly calendar, or on the front of your refrigerator.

6. Check out sleep time. Without adequate sleep a child won't be well rested. A sleep-deprived child will move more slowly and won't be able to follow a morning routine successfully. Make sure your child has an early, set bedtime.

7. Don't sleep in on the weekends. Letting your child sleep late on weekends is like giving him jet lag every week. Your child's bedtime should stay consistent 7 days a week.

8.Get up earlier. It may help to get everyone up 15 minutes earlier. A sneaky way to do this is to set all your clocks ahead by 15 minutes.

9. Avoid Anger. Yelling at a dawdling child to hurry up usually brings on the opposite result- the child becomes even more stressed, fumbles, makes mistakes and loses focus. Your job is to offer gently reminders for the child to stay on schedule, according to the morning chart.

10. Turn off the TV. Turn on the music. Turning the television off, and play upbeat music instead. A good beat can wake up sleepy kids and keep things moving along productively.

11.Fix problems with a family meeting. If problems persist take the time to sit down with your children and talk about it. Let everyone have a turn talking, and then work to arrive at solutions that will work to benefit everyone.

12. Praise Successes. Remember, your words of praise will encourage your children to cooperate with you and will keep everyone feeling good about their progress. A pleasant attitude funnels down from the top, and if you can keep a smile on your face; its likely that everyone will be happier and mornings will become a great start to a wonderful day!

What do you do to make your mornings go smoothly during back to school time?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pocketville Virtual Pets for Kids!

Pocketville is a creative virtual world where kids can play games, decorate their own environment, and adopt "In My Pocket" virtual pets. Kids will discover a world of fun that offers a safe social place to meet friends, engage in innovative games, create their own avatar, and dress their pets to look the coolest in the town! And luckily for Mom and Dad, all of these fun activities are free.

Parents can feel safe letting their children play in Pocketville because the site is 100% secure and no open chatting is permitted. All users are anonymous and can't share personal details with other players. And in addition to the fun they'll have taking part in the games and activities, kids will learn responsibility by taking care of their virtual pets and virtual piggy bank account. Pocketville is designed for kids ages 4-12 years old.

Pocketville was developed by the makers of Puppy In My Pocket, a trusted and popular company who specializes in children's character lines and toys that is sold in over 50 countries worldwide.

Here is your very own voucher code to redeem 250 tokens to try out Pocketville! My daughter has tried it out and absolutely loves it! I am sure your kids will too!

Voucher Code: B9GX8NUDYS

Valid for 250 Pocketville Tokens

The voucher expires September 30th so act today!

IKEA giftcard giveaway

What would you do with a $400 giftcard to IKEA?

I for one, love IKEA! My kids playroom furniture is from IKEA, my pull out couch is from IKEA and I have their kids plates, cups, bowls and utensils for the kids! Its a great store! I just love it!

Well, Parenting Magazine is giving away a $400.00 giftcard!

All you have to do is enter! Click HERE to enter today!

Tacos Anyone?!

You can get 2 free Tacos today from Jack in the Box!

Just print this coupon!

MMMMM Free tacos!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Little Seat Giveaway

This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" products!

Luckily for us, Forever and Always is giving one away!! If you are the mom of a infant/toddler, you need to enter this giveaway for a Little Seat!

Click here to find out how you can win! Ends August 7th so hurry!! Do it today!

Safe Sippy Cup Giveaway

It is another great giveaway over at Forever and Always!

This time it is for a great new Safe Sippy Cup from Kid Basix !

This looks to be like a great sippy cup! It is a sippy to straw cup! Great idea for a growing toddler!

Head on over there and see how you can win your own! Just click the link here.

This giveaway ends August 9th so hurry!

Crayola Product Giveaway

There is a fabulous crayola giveaway going on right now at Forever and Always!

You have to check this one out! Its a huge box full of crayola goodies that any kid would love!

So here is the link, head on over and check it out!

This giveaway ends August 13th and is open to US residents only.

Space Center Houston Review

For part of our mini vacation last week, we made a stop at Space Center Houston.

This is a pretty neat and educational place for the kiddos.

During the summer they have all these great extra exhibits. This year they had a lot of items from the George Lucas films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Willow. My son loved the Star Wars area. He got to see Storm Troopers, R2-D2, and C3-PO. The Storm Troopers were not out on stage long, which I did not like. I wish they would of spent more time out or at least walked around the exhibits to allow kids to have their pictures taken with them. The R2-D2 and C3-PO were not live characters, just the replicas. They were still neat to see even if they were protected behind glass.

They had a Indian Jones rope course. My kids could not do this because they were not tall enough. You have to be 44 inches to play. It looked like a lot of fun though.

As far as the space exhibits....just let me say this...WOW! It was so amazing to see a real space shuttle, well at least what one looks like up close and personal. At times my daughter was afraid, we are not sure why. When they studied space in school she came home talking about it so excited, so we thought for sure she would be running around enjoying everything. I think most of it was that its a little overwhelming to think that there is something else out there, something else beyond this world and it frightened her a little. My son thought everything was really neat, even though he really had no idea what he was looking at!

My favorite exhibit was walking into this big room and you are looking at a mock up of the first landing on the moon! When you walk into the room you see all the Apollo mission's patches and pictures and information about each mission. The room is dark with tiny white lights all along the ceiling, making it look like you were looking up at thousands of stars. Then, there is a moon. You see the astronauts and in the distance you see the Earth...exactly as it would be if you were standing on the moon. It was amazing and gave me goosebumps to think of how far we have come in space exploration.

Obviously this picture does not do this exhibit justice but its the best I have!

If you are ever traveling near Houston, you have to check out Space Center Houston!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ August 3rd

It is that time again. Another menu plan up and running!

We are having another low key week because we are heading out camping with friends for the weekend. We will be gone Friday- Sunday so no cooking here for us those days and I so not want a lot of leftovers to sit in my fridge over the weekend!

So here is how it is going down this week at our house!

Monday- Hamburger patties, rice and veggies.

Tuesday- Pancakes, bacon, and eggs.

Wednesday- Spaghetti and garlic bread.

Thursday- Grilled turkey and cheese sammys.


Saturday- CAMPING

Sunday- Come home from camping, might be able to muster enough energy to make a pizza

This weeks Menu Plan Monday is being hosted by The Happy Housewife, so head on over and check out other great menu plans this week!

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mixes

Betty Crocker is offering a FREE coupon for their new Gluten-Free dessert mixes. You need to call 1-800-446-1898 and select option 4 and talk with a live operator. They will ask you a few questions along with your mailing address and you should have the coupon in a few weeks.

Thanks to JANE4Girls for the info on this deal!

Sales Tax Holiday- Texas

Sales Tax Holiday

Clothing Sales Tax Holiday, August 21-23, 2009

August 21 - 23, 2009

Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes on August 21, 22 and 23 - the state's annual tax holiday. Lay-away plans can be used again this year to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

As in previous years, the law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. Backpacks under $100 and used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt. A backpack is a pack with straps one wears on the back. The exemption during the sales tax holiday includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack, and messenger bags. The exemption does not include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic/duffle/gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks. Ten or fewer backpacks can be purchased tax-free at one time without providing an exemption certificate to the seller.

School Supplies - New in 2009!

The 81st Texas Legislature recently passed HB 1801 (2009) expanding the list of items qualifying for exemption from Texas state and local sales and use taxes during the annual sales tax holiday in August. Effective this year, in addition to clothes, footwear and some backpacks, Texas families also get a sales tax break on most school supplies priced at less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.

The following is an all-inclusive list of qualifying school supplies (if priced less than $100):

  1. Binders
  2. Book bags
  3. Calculators
  4. Cellophane tape
  5. Blackboard chalk
  6. Compasses
  7. Composition books
  8. Crayons
  9. Erasers
  10. Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  11. Glue, paste and paste sticks
  12. Highlighters
  13. Index cards
  14. Index card boxes
  15. Legal pads
  1. Lunch boxes
  2. Markers
  3. Notebooks
  4. Paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper
  5. Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  6. Pencil sharpeners
  7. Pencils
  8. Pens
  9. Protractors
  10. Rulers
  11. Scissors
  12. Writing tablets

No exemption certificate is required - with one exception. If the purchaser is buying the supplies under a business account, the retailer must obtain an exemption certificate from the purchaser certifying that the items are purchased for use by an elementary or secondary school student. “Under a business account” means the purchaser is using a business credit card or business check rather than a personal credit card or personal check; being billed under a business account maintained at the retailer; or is using a business membership at a retailer that is membership based.

List of Clothing, Footwear and Backpacks, and Their Exempton Status


  • Baby clothes
  • Backpacks for use by elementary and secondary students
  • Belts with attached buckles
  • Boots - cowboy, hiking
  • Caps/hats - baseball, fishing, golf, knitted
  • Coats and wraps
  • Diapers - adult and baby
  • Dresses
  • Gloves (generally)
  • Gym suits and uniforms
  • Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts
  • Hosiery
  • Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Jerseys - baseball and football
  • Jogging apparel
  • Neckwear and ties
  • Pajamas
  • Pants and trousers
  • Raincoats and ponchos
  • Robes
  • Shirts
  • Shoes - sandals, slippers, sneakers, tennis, walking
  • Socks (including athletic)
  • Shorts
  • Suits, slacks, and jackets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Sweat suits
  • Sweaters
  • Swimsuits
  • Underclothes
  • Work clothes and uniforms

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