Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When all else fails, give a gift card!

I am not a shopper. I go to a store with a list in hand and usually get what is on the list. So Christmas and birthday shopping throws me for a loop.

In the past few years gift cards have made an explosion. I can't go through a line in the grocery store without seeing a dozen different gift cards in a dozen different denominations for purchase hanging on the rack beside me.  Gone are the days of buying a "gift certificate" anymore, unless it is at a local mom & pop type story that doesn't use a gift card.

I have to say that gift cards have made my shopping just a bit easier.  Natalia needs a birthday gift for a friend?  We get a Jamba Juice gift card, stick it in an insulated Jamba Juice reusable cup, fill it with M&M's, and we have a cute little (consumable!) gift. 

Brian wants music for his birthday?  itunes or Best Buy, Amazon, or even a Wal-Mart gift card.  These are cute packaged with a set of speakers for the MP3 player or ipod.

Give the gift of a Sonic gift card in a decorated 4-pack drink holder with other little gifts or snacks included.  Perfect for happy hour!  Chocolate Cherry Diet Coke, anyone?

Restaurant gift cards are a great gift, especially when sending a gift long distance.  Gift cards cost very little to send.  Pop the gift card into a greeting card and mail!

When we lived in Missouri I bought most of my gas at the local Wal-Mart store.  If I used a gift card to pay for it there was a 3-cent discount.  Every penny counts, and I would almost always get the gift card to get the discount.

Since being involved in SocialMoms I have earned enough Amazon gift cards to buy myself a birthday present:  a Blendtec Wheat Grinder that I've had on my wish list for some time.  I love it!  And I love that I could buy it with my gift cards, and no money out of pocket.

Gift cards have definitely put a different spin on shopping for me, and I have to say it has been a positive spin!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We need a little Christmas...

As usual, Christmas has crept up on me.  And even though I feel fairly organized, we don't have a tree up because we've been dealing with other things.  Christmas music has been playing in our home, I've been performing Christmas songs with a women's seeing group, and the ward Christmas party is tonight.  So I'm not going to sweat the small stuff.  So what if our house doesn't look like the Griswald's.  As long as we've are remembering the reason for the season, I think we are doing just fine.

Even though Santa is visiting the party tonight, one of the things that will be in the treat bag is this picture and scripture.  The kids will be singing The Nativity Song and Away In a Manger, and we wanted to keep the Savior uppermost in their thoughts.

And for some sweet Christmas music, Design Mom posted this on her blog today.

{Can't help but think of the scene in Miss Congeniality. Hilarious.}

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's for Dinner, December Week 2

So, I called this "week 2", but technically I didn't post a "week 1".  This week is full of comfort foods, just perfect for the cooler weather we are now getting.  I'm trying to double cook a couple of the meals like the lasagna and polenta with stew so I have some meals on hand for next week.  I've already frozen some leftover spaghetti with sauce from lunch yesterday.

Monday:  BBQ chicken in the crockpot, Broccoli salad, roasted veggies.

Tuesday:  Almost Payday Lasagna, green salad, leftover broccoli salad

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry, brown rice

Thursday:  Church Christmas Party...Yay, no cooking!  Just making toffee for dessert table.

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Saturday:  Polenta with chicken stew, mozzarella cheese, green salad, french bread

Linking up here:  Menu Plan Monday  Check out the link, she has FREE Holiday Menu Planning and Baking printables.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Coat: A Family Home Evening Lesson

Opening Song:  Have I Done Any Good?  Hymn 223

Scripture:   Matthew 25:40

Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren 
ye have done it unto me.

Story:  The Coat

Read the story (print here), show a picture of President Heber J. Grant (Gospel Art Kit picture 512) and then watch the sweet animated video.

Activity: Make a service goal. Whom can we serve? What can we do for them? When will we do it?

Closing Song: Because I Have Been Given Much Hymn 219

This song is not included on the website because of copyright, but the words are:

Because I have been given much, I too must give.
Because of thy great bounty, Lord each day I live.
I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see,
who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care…
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share-
my glowing fire, my loaf of bread-my roof’s safe shelter over head,
that he too may be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love dear Lord,
I’ll share thy love again according to thy word.
I shall give love to those in need. I’ll show that love by word and deed,
thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

Treat:   Rice Crispie Treats

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cherry Cream Pie

One more pie recipe.  This is easy, and rich, and scrumptious.  It's been a staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for years. It is lighter than cheesecake, which, though I enjoy, I can only eat a bite of.  Cherry Cream Pie, on the other hand, I can devour piece by piece.  I know this piece of pie looks a little bit, well, droopy, but that's because we couldn't wait for it to finish setting up before cutting into it!

Cherry Cream Pie
Stir Together until thick:
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
Fold into milk and juice mixture.  Pile into baked pie shell.  
Top with:
1 can cherry pie filling mixed with
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Chill until set and serve with extra whipped cream if wanted.


*Note:  I've added a "Print" button at the bottom of each post.  If you want to print a recipe, or any part of a post, just click the button and you will have the option of printing from there or generating a PDF file.  You can check a box on the top right to remove the pictures.  If you only want part of a post, just float over what you want removed, it will turn yellow and say "click to delete".  Then you can print when you've got what you like.  It only takes a few seconds.  Love it!

Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Cherokee USA, Le Creuset, Wilton, Bags by BloomHarvard Common Press and Pillsbury

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