Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blog move!

Hello readers!

I'm so sorry for neglecting this blog for so long.

I've really missed blogging; however, I strongly dislike blogger's new format.

If you would like to continue reading, please go to my new blog:

http://anaspiringhomemaker.wordpress.com/

Thanks for reading!






Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Year Anniversary (& photographer review)

I realized recently that I never shared about our one-year anniversary! We celebrated our one-year anniversary together in the same place we spent our mini-honeymoon (before we left on our cruise) – our family cabin that’s tucked away in the Sierra Nevadas. It's a quiet, relaxing place with not a lot to do.

We shopped for the food essentials at the local grocery store - DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies, Sun Chips, IBC rootbeer, Dr. Pepper, Caesar salad, biscuits, nutella, jelly, eggs, strawberries, portobello mushrooms, and Eggo waffles. =)

We lounged around and played lots of games.

We took a walk in the woods.

We went back to Sarafina's Italian Kitchen, an adorable and popular restaurant tucked away in Arnold, CA.

I had the Involtini del Pollo, which was prosciutto & asparagus stuffed chicken, panko crusted, pan fried & topped with a four cheese sauce, served with garlic mashed red potatoes & grilled veggies (red onions, zucchini, yellow squash & carrots). It was magnificent!

After dinner that night, we were in the middle of a game of Scrabble when all of a sudden, a BAT started swooping around the room! We then spent the next hour or so trying to get it out of the house. We weren't 100% sure if we were successful, so just in case we kept the bedroom door closed that night.

After we came back, we shared the top tier of our wedding cake with our friends & family. It was white cake with strawberry buttercream filling and a vanilla buttercream on top. It was still delicious one year later!

My husband's gift to me was a silk flower rendering of my wedding bouquet. He didn't know this at the time, but the woman who made it was actually the same woman who did the bridesmaid bouquets and pew decorations!


One of the things I really wanted to do for our anniversary was get some professional photos taken for us to be able to frame around the house. We hadn’t had any good pictures taken of us since the wedding. So I called up our new friend Scot and asked him if he could do some anniversary pictures for us.

Here are the beautiful images that we got!



Scot is seriously such an amazingly talented photographer, and he's such a genuine guy. I really appreciated the time he took to capture such beautiful images for us. I would highly recommend him for ANY event, especially weddings. To see more of his work, go to Scot's website, check out his blog, or like Scot Woodman Photography on Facebook!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Not I," said the Little Red Jenn.

Did you ever read the story of The Little Red Hen when you were growing up? I don't remember much of it, except the line, "'Not I,' said the little red hen." That line has run through my mind at the most random times, most often when someone asked a question like, "Who put this here?" But I always like to change it to be about myself (hence the title of this post). Now, I usually wouldn't say it out loud because though I thought of myself as "the little red Jenn", my hair was, in fact, brown. I always got funny looks when I called myself "red". This is not a pointless story or a way of telling you that I will need counseling in my thirties* for this (maybe for other stuff).

I'm telling you this funny little story because everything has changed.

Okay, not everything. Just my hair color.

Before (taken last week):


After:




Here it is in the sun:


I'm in LOOOOVE! Seriously, I've wanted to be a redhead my whole life. I absolutely LOVE it! What do you think?

*This is a phrase my mom uses all the time. She says it's because you can't afford counseling before then. =)

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Featured on Delightful Order

My Pinterest-inspired jewelry organizer was featured this week!





Click the button to see the feature! While you're there, become a follower of Delightful Order & leave a comment to say hello.

Thank you so much to DaNita from Delightful Order for featuring me on your blog!

Thanks for reading!

Scrumptious Saturday {No. 5} - Banana Muffins with Nutella Swirls

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe. I can't wait to share this one!

I found this inspiration picture on Pinterest:


photo credit

Self-frosting Nutella cupcakes. Um, yes please! Since I was planning on making some banana muffins anyway, I thought it would be a great recipe to try it out!

Here's how mine turned out:


I used my recipe for Banana Bread (without the chocolate chips). After pouring the batter into the pan, I put a small dollop of Nutella on top of each muffin & used a bamboo skewer to swirl it in. Then I baked them for 25 minutes and they were perfect. It was so simple! And they were DELICIOUS! I wish I had more.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Fabulous Freebies!

In the last month, I started signing up for free samples of various products I thought we could use in our home. I usually hear about them though the Money Saving Mom Facebook posts. This past week, I've received these fabulous free items in the mail!



No Longer a Slumdog book from Gospel for Asia
5-ct sample of Tampax Pearl from Costco (no longer available)
Sample of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal (Kashi website)
$1.50/1 coupon Kashi product
Sample of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal (Facebook offer)
$1/1 coupon Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal (back of box)

I've signed up for several more freebies, and I'm hoping they come soon! What free samples have you gotten lately? Do you even bother?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Couponing trip: biggest success so far!

I just came back from my most successful couponing trip so far! I went to Target again this time. My goal was to find some free Ball Fruit Pectin, but neither my Walmart nor Target had the 99 cent size stocked. So I decided to scan the prices on a few items and maybe snag a couple of clearance items if I had a good coupon for them. We don't have very much extra money at the moment, so I didn't buy a lot since this was a spontaneous trip without any planning in advance.

Here's what I ended up coming home with:

1 small bag Whiskas cat food, $3.99 on sale
$1/1 coupon from Sunday paper insert
Total after coupon: $2.99

1.5 liter bottle Dr. Pepper, $0.99+CRV on sale

GE 75 watt lightbulbs, 4-pk, $2.44 on sale (originally $2.79)
$1.50/1 printable coupon
Total after coupon: $0.94

2 Five Star notebooks, $1 each on sale (originally $3.69 each)
$1/2 coupon from Sunday paper insert
Total after coupon: $0.50 each

2 8-ct packs Bic mechanical pencils, $0.90 each on sale (originally $1.99 each)
$1/2 coupon from Sunday paper insert
Total after coupon: $0.40 each

And the two best deals:


L'oreal Paris lip gloss, $1.48 on clearance (originally $5.99)
$1/1 coupon from Sunday paper insert
Total after coupon: $0.48


Maybelline eye liner, $1.38 on clearance (originally $5.54)
$1/1 coupon from Sunday paper insert
Total after coupon: $0.38

So, if you add up everything before sales and coupons, my total was $29.67. After sale pricing, coupons, using my own reusable grocery bags (redeemable for $0.05 per bag used), and my Target Red Card (which gets me 5% off every purchase), my grand total was..........
$8.04!!!!!

That's a total savings of 73%! Definitely my most successful trip so far.

I think the key to big savings might be to shop in smaller amounts, rather than entirely restocking the pantry once or twice a month. Just thinking out loud here, though. I need to do more couponing to see if that's really true. Do you have any experience with couponing? I'd love to hear any advice!

Thanks for reading!