Waterproof Solar Led String Lights (warm white) – Only $6.99

Hurry over to get this deal on Amazon for 50% off the sale price, plus get free shipping with Amazon Prime!

The description says, “Waterproof Solar Led String Lights – 72ft 200 led (including 6.5ft lead circuit) can withstand all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and snow, perfect for indoor and outside decorations.  Let the solar panel face direct sunlight during the day + the lights will shine for 8 hours at night.”

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eFax.com is an Extreme Bummer! #MoneyScheme

I cannot say how disappointed I am in this online faxing service.  I originally signed up for eFax.com as an eFax Free member.  That included receiving up to 10 faxes in each 30 day period.  I have never received an email from them once since I began using them.

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My Billing:
Very unexpectedly, I found that I was being charged for 3 months – when I was a “eFax Free member”. Forty plus dollars missing from my account was alarming to me today!

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Lee Mai: Louisville Kentucky Juggler

I mentioned before that I would be posting more information about our wedding. Today, I just so happened to come across a video of one of the performers that we had for entertainment after the ceremony. Lee Mai, a juggler from Louisville, Kentucky, was absolutely amazing and I’m forever grateful for his presence on our special day! Him + other performers took their time while “warming up” to allow the kidlets play with their flow toys and show them some little tricks. I’ll share more entertainers that were in attendance in the very near future. For now, check out his first video that he did in one take:

This video was filmed at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. It was done in one take, with minimal edits. Video credit goes to my good friend Ben James. Background music is “Ritual Howl” by Shigeto. Props used are Henry Pirouette Grips, and “wiffle ball russians” crafted by Eric Sipos.

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Custom Orgonite

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My darlin’ friend Dannii Love made a custom piece of orgonite for me. My hubs gave her some rough gemstones + a fossil to use for it and I absolutely LOVE it!

The layers are from top to bottom:
– Ammonite fossil and emerald (green)
– Brass
– Ruby (untreated, pink) in the four corners, Amethyst (purple) in between them
– Sterling Silver
– Amethyst (purple) and tourmaline (black) on opposite sides
– Apache tears (black), Sandstone (orange sparkles on four corners)
– Tiger’s Eye (brown/gold) and Amethyst (purple) on the bottom

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If you want one for yourself, message Dannii here on FB!

Rating: ★★★★★
Disclaimer: This product review was based on my personal purchase/barter and is my 100% honest opinion.

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Reading to Shelter Dogs

One of the most recent highlights of our homeschooling adventures has been volunteering at a local animal shelter. While I go in to photograph the animals looking for adopters or rescue, the kidlets have been reading to the dogs + cats. This helps to keep the furbabies socialized and in better spirits, rather than being cooped up in the kennels on their lonesome for too long. I enjoy seeing them read and cuddle with the animals; and the kids know that they are showing the furbabies that there are humans that do still care.

UPDATE: I shared this info with some friends on facebook. A few days later, I was thrilled to even see that another homeschool family in another state has began going in to their local shelter to do the same!
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Skylander Superchargers Birthday Cake

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I made this Skylander Superchargers birthday cake for my little mans “first decade birthday”. I used three Pillsbury box cake mixes and two frostings, that I added gel food coloring. The sides are Kit Kat bars and a Hershey’s bar bridge. I really should have taken photos of the process, but it was actually much more simpler to do than it looked. It was definitely a hit with him and his friends!

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Freezer Meal Prepping 101

Guess what my favorite time of the month is?  Meal prepping!  Due to this routine I have found myself in, we have begun saving a significant amount of money (and time) on groceries.  If we were to cut out all the soda, we’d be down to about $200 a month on food for our family of three!  That’s without couponing and all from planning, prepping and choosing items wisely.  Today, I’m going to share with you a quick version of my meal prep days.

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PLANNING

  1. Create your menu.  Make a list of all the meals that you wish to have in your time frame, whether it’s a week, two weeks or a full month.   I have a set list for breakfast + lunches that I use repeatedly with the basics.  Oatmeal, cereal, pancake mix, syrup, bacon, eggs, etc for breakfast.  Mac-n-cheese, sandwiches, soups, etc for lunch.)  Dinners I whip up depending on the season, our schedule and what we are in the mood for.  Remember to add snacks or desserts as well, if you choose.
  2. Make your grocery list. Add all the ingredients you will need for your menu.  I’m quite OCD about my lists, so I go as far as sorting the ingredients by the sections of the store.  Make your list to suite you.
  3. Go shopping.  If you coupon on a regular basis, then you can save a lot more than I do.  I choose to clip coupons only when I have the time, when I know it’s something I use or if I want to try a new product out.  Make sure to get everything on your list first, as this is to be used for your menu.  I compare prices of different brands + sizes, then choose what’s best for me.  Just in doing this and preparing ahead of time, I have cut our grocery bill from $450 a month down to $250 currently.

PREPPING

  1. Gather supplies + ingredients.  Pull out everything that you need (except for the meats).  This includes freezer bags, saran wrap, utensils, bowls, something to label your bags with, etc.
  2. Label packaging.  I take a moment to label freezer bags with the name of the recipe and quick cooking instructions (such as Chicken + Dumplings – Crockpot on High for 8 hours.  Shred + add biscuits pieces.  Cook additional 1 hour.).  If I have a monthly list and have two of the same recipe, I go ahead and label two separate bags.
  3. Cut, chop + dice.  All your veggies, fruits, cheeses, etc that need to be cut, chopped or diced, should be completed first.  I add these to the bags that I labeled as I go.
  4. Add the meats.  I clean up my area after finishing up with all the veggies, fruits and cheeses.  I get all my meats out and work with them one at a time, cleaning up after each type of meat.  Some recipes call for ground hamburger, so I go ahead and cook large amounts at a time for multiple recipes.  This takes some time out from cooking before each meal.  Once cooled, I can separate it and place into the bags needed.  Some meats you only have to trim the fat and some need to be cut into slices or bite sized pieces, depending on recipes.
  5. Add condiments + seasonings.  Now, according to your recipes, place the last condiments + seasonings into the bags.  This can include anything from honey mustard, ketchup, bbq sauces, garlic + herb marinades, seasoning packets, salt + pepper, garlic powder, etc.  If the recipe calls for small amounts of liquids, I add them at this time as well.  If the recipe calls for a larger amount of liquid (about 2 cups or more) remember to add that to the label on the bag so you can add it when you cook that meal.
  6. Store your prepped meals.  Most of my meals are freezer to crockpot or one-pan oven dishes.  So I lay the freezer bags flat and stack them in a nice fashion to take up less space.  I also have a “no touch” drawer for the fridge. I put everything needed for meals that are prepped in here that needs to be cold.  I have a shelf specifically for canned/boxed items like this as well. Everything else in the house is free to be used as snacks.

ENJOY

After planning + prepping (usually takes me one day of planning + two days of prep work), I can sit back and relax.  Every night, I pull out the next nights dinner to defrost.  Most are able to be tossed into the crockpot frozen if I happen to forget.  The one-pan oven meals I tend to pull to defrost two nights before.

I prepped 20 dinner meals (list below), on my last prepping session.   Since the first of the year, I haven’t spent more than 15 minutes “cooking” in the kitchen at all, excluding 2-3 prep days a month.  I absolutely love saving time!

Freezer to Crockpot Meals prepped:

  • 2 x Chicken Fajitas
  • 2 x Chicken + Dumplins
  • 2 x Garlic + Herb Pork Chops
  • 4 x BBQ Ribs
  • 1 BBQ Dr. Pepper Chicken

One-Pan Oven Meals Prepped:

  • 2 x Hamburger for Spagetti
  • 4 x Hamburgers
  • 3 x One Pan Chicken Bake

NEXT TIME

My next post for meal prepping will include what I do for breakfasts and lunches.  Soon enough, I’ll add the recipes and sample menu plan that I use for dinners as well.

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The Great Printable Shopping List

The Coupon Project has my favorite FREE printable shopping lists — one for Grocery Stores + one for Drug Stores! Each list includes product name, product price, store/manufacturers coupon, Qty, final price, rebates/RR/Up+, etc.  Also has a space for notes, estimated trip cost and actual trip cost.  Remember to print + if possible, make black & white copies to save on ink!


Visit the Coupon Project to print your copy of the shopping list today!

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