Archive for November, 2010

hot tub turkey machine

I am writing this through the fog and stupor that comes from eating a breakfast of pecan pie, pumpkin pie (both with homemade whipped cream that Torrie made with our neighbor, Ann) and leftover cranberry pomegranate sauce which, in my opinion, should be made daily and eaten with whatever you can find.

Yesterday went well, I think. I had things under control and ready to go in a timeline. Not an actually actual written down timeline. Just the one in my head.

Yes, I know how real cooks do it.

Thank you for your concern.

By 10:15 a.m. I was sitting in the hot tub with my family. I have no reason to lie to you.  My neighbor Ann called to confirm our dinner time.

Ann: So, how’s it going? What are you up to?

Me: Well . (pause pause pause) Actually, I’m sitting in the hot tub.

Ann: You’re what?

Me: I’m sitting in the hot tub. I have most of the food ready. Oh, and by the way, we’re eating here instead of at Edna’s. (Not sure when I was going to get around to letting her in on that little detail.) What are you up to?

Ann: I’m finishing up the pecan pie and next I’m putting in the pumpkin pie. (pause) Are you really in the hot tub?

Me: Yep.

Ann: I so have to go call my  sister and tell her that. She’s slaving away over a hot stove.  See you soon.

Me: Yep, soon.

11:00 a.m. Dressed and ready to go.   How long can it really take to put on fat pants?

Time to finish up making stuff. Can’t find my big big bowl. Where in the world is my big big bowl?

Oh yeah. Torrie gave Tucker and Max manicures and pedicures yesterday.

Yes, I’m very aware of what I just said. She likes to soak the hands and the feet in the big big bowl.

It’s upstairs.

Okay, so now where is a brillo pad and anything I can find to clean this thing that will stop just short of melting away the big big bowl?

I will not now nor ever tell what was prepared in that big big bowl.

1:00 Finishing up mashed potatoes. Brad decides to clean the completely unnecessary and stupidly unreachable ledge in our house. With a huge ladder. And a vacuum cleaner. And his mother.

2:30 Dinner is served.

2:49 Dinner is eaten.

3:00 Boys are wrestling, Torrie is laying down reading, pie is being served, I am bragging about how somehow after all these years, my boys have never really broken anything in the house. They are always just so aware and respectful.

3:52 Boys are vacuuming the shards from a broken vase.

5:30 Sleepy guests are packing up.

6:45 Home from delivering food to a good friend. Kitchen is spotless because I totally married the right man.

7:30 In bed with the family watching Toy Story 3 for the first time.

7:44 Terrorized completely by the big freaky bouncer baby.

8:4ish Trembling lip over no longer freaky bouncer baby who just WANTS HIS MAMA!

9:00ish Trembling lip gives way to full on sobs. Who does this to people? Andy, don’t leeeaaave! Seriously, who does this to people?

9:08 Kick kids out of the room for making fun of me.

9:39 Go into a turkey coma. At least that’s what they tell me.

9:34 a.m. Successfully avoiding Black Friday. Which makes no sense because I value deals like no other.

I just value my sanity more.

Time to go sit in the hot tub.

tomorrow

All I know is I’m cooking for folks tomorrow.

It was all fine until I felt questioned by my nephew who was entirely too shocked by this.

Have I mentioned I’m the baby of the family?

So many privileges. Didn’t touch laundry, food or dishes until I got married.

Or checkbooks. That’s a whole ‘nother life story.

And I’m surrounded by cooks. Cooks who have timelines. Oven schedules. Organicness happening. Practice. Skills. Talent.

I plan to just grab handles of pans and shake them around. I hope to instill confidence.

Okay, so the truth is, I’ve been seriously cooking for a year or so. And by seriously, I mean, it’s becoming second nature, not preparing holiday meals and storing them away. That would be creepy.

And the other night my eldest randomly said, “you know, mom, Beth and Heidi would be really impressed with your cooking these days.”

I have to say, that may be the nicest thing I’ve ever heard one of my kids say.  Except for when they say something like, “you are  the best mom I’ve ever met and you will probably get carded until you die.” They say that so many times a day, I’m almost immune to it.

But it’s still my first really real meal for friends. I already made the sweet potato casserolie thing and a gorgeous cranberry pomegranate dealie whopper…

I said that to impress you. And to remind myself.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me.

Amen.

And Happy Thanksgiving.

I love you, fat pants.

fall break

Hello, Fall break! I love you so much. I love you because I get to sleep in, at least until 8ish. I love you because no one has homework and deadlines and the overwhelming need to find a pair of clean socks 3 minutes before we walk out the door and then just grabbing any 2 they see and completely messing up my whole laundry system. (By the way, lately I’ve been leaving all the unmatched socks in the dryer load after load. I figure they’ll eventually find each other in there. ) I love you because I get to bake and eat and eat and bake and eat. I love you because I get to hear football games in the background. You are simply perfect in every way.

Stay the same. Never change.

I got lots of time this morning to organize my thoughts and my coupons and now I’m ready to plan a menu. I only need to pick up a few things this week, because I went a little hog wild last week with the sales that I saw, and I have to be very strategic with the budget. So I’m going to break my own rules and shop at 4 different stores to get the best of the best deals. Luckily, they are all close together, except Target, but I get to make a Sonic run that way. I’m smart like that.

Also, have I ever mentioned how much I love grocery stores?

Little known fact: I have made a point to check out grocery stores in every country I’ve ever visited. I’m that committed.

Here’s what the Rileys are eating this week:

Sunday: Chicken, potatoes, green beans – Safeway has an 8 piece chicken for 3.99. I already have potatoes and green beans left over from this week. Brad and I are going to a wedding tonight so it’s a perfect little meal for the kids.

Monday: BBQ pork sandwiches – I found a pork roast at Safeway for $1.99 a pound and got  a 2 pounder. We’re gonna slow cook it all day and then pull it apart into shredded pork. The big thing about this one is keeping all the hands and fingers and forks that are around here this week away from the lid so the thing can just cook. You have no idea.

Tuesday: Seafood Pasta with salad and bread – Target had their frozen shrimp on sale for $5, and they also had a web coupon for $1 off, so I got the whole bag for $4. It saved me almost $5. This will be enough to incorporate into 2 meals.

Wednesday: Shrimp and steak fajitas. See? I made it into 2 meals! Don’t forget that Costco has 3 packs of tortillas for $2.99 and huge bags of Tostitos chips for $3.99. Both usually last for 10 days or so (you can refrigerate the tortillas so they last longer) and I always make a huge vat of salsa at the beginning of the week.

Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner. I’m working on a new cranberry pomegranate sauce and a sweet potato dish I’ve never made before. Wish me luck.

Friday: Thanksgiving dinner. Again.

Saturday: Frozen pizza. It’s a tradition. Somehow we need that savory sauce after so much turkey and dressing.

And then I’m going to hike and jog and ride my bike and do Tae Bo and pilates all day every day.

Yep.

Here are the deals I’m after this week.

Safeway:

Safeway had a grand re-opening at the Arapahoe store and they still have some of their booklets left. If you don’t see one, ask for one at customer service. They also have a big Thanksgiving book. These deals are good until Nov. 26.

You have to spend $20 to get these deals, but I plan on getting tons of stuff for that amount.

Here’s what coupons I’m using from the booklet.

$3 off deli meat. I’ll get a pound for $4.

$2 off any O Organics item. This will make milk .49

$1 each O Organics salad. These are the ones in the plastic boxes.

$1 each fresh Gold Pineapple

$1.50 for a dozen bagels. These are freezable, so this is awesome.

.79 each French Bread loaf (I’ll make it into garlic bread for our pasta dinner)

Sparkling grape juice is 2/$4. Coupon from coupons.com $2/2. I’ll pay $2 for 2.

Red Baron pizza – Buy 2 get 1 free. I have 2 coupons from last Sunday’s smartsource in the paper. $1 off 1, and $1 off 2.

Lucerne sour cream is .99 this week.

Lucerne cream cheese is 1.25 for a block. ( I have some super fattening mashed potatoes to make)

Now I have my $20, give or take, so I’ll get these things for free.

Free:

Safeway apple juice

Safeway peanut butter

24 oz. Signature Cafe soup *Tomato Basil is the best.

Free Zone Perfect bar ( I received this coupon in the mail. And I like to use these at places where these items are more expensive. I’m not sure what that says about me)

I have 2 .55 off coupons for eggs, any brand, from smartsource.com. Eggs at Safeway are .89, and Safeway doubles, so 2 dozen free eggs.

King Soopers:

Cuties are on sale for $3.99

Cranberries are 2 for $3

Nature sweet cocktail tomatoes are $2. I have a coupon from smartsource Sunday paper insert  (2 weeks ago) for .55, which will double, so $1

Petsmart:

$5 off $5 or more

And here’s a way to get the Beauty and the Beast Blue Ray combo possibly for free.

Start with the $10/1 printable from Disney

There are also 2 rebates. Campbells soup and Western Bagels. And with the soup use this coupon.

Campbell’s soup is on sale for .50 at Target, and the DVD is supposed to be $19.99 at Target after

in ad coupon.

So, could be free. If it’s $24.99 in the  stores, you’re paying $4.99

This is what I got in the mail yesterday.

I signed up for this. I have no idea how or when. I sign up for everything all the time.

And I got this. It’s from my Grandma. How sweet is this???

And that’s it for today.

If you want to get deals and freebies and more deals everyday, join me on facebook at Gypsy Jules.

* I have no idea why this posting looks so wack. Ask wordpress.

Torrie… Part 1

I’m writing this while wearing a Snuggie that is too small for me. Can Snuggies be too small for you? It’s my youngest daughter Torrie’s. She wears it every morning of her life. We got it for her because it’s easy for her to put on and take off. If she had a robe, she’d have to tie it, and my universe simply has no time for that.

Torrie is time challenged. Or she thinks we are. For her, time does not exist. She lives in a place where you can spend as long as you want tying your shoes. I once timed her. I can’t remember exactly how long it took, but it hovered somewhere around the 7 minute range. So I bought her Uggs. They take her approximately 2 and a half minutes to put on. The reason for this is (and she would tell you these things herself, but I’m sure many of you would like to get married and start a family soon) because she doesn’t like to have her pants tucked into the Uggs. She likes to roll her pants up first.

I’m thinking about sending her to school barefoot until the first snow.

She wore her Snuggie to school once. She looked like Jesus coming off the bus.

She’s so dang cute.

The end.

P.S.

I have a job tomorrow teaching small children music. Should be fabulous.

I have lots of coupon news so stay tuned until after 3:45 tomorrow. That’s when I clock out.

And if you are new to the coupon process, you should brush up on these two posts, just so you can keep up with all things right and good…

Coupon Junkie

and

Bossy

Because I love you.

And I want you to succeed.

Goodnight.

Sabrina and Paula

I had an episode today. Sabrina and Paula caused it. But we’ll get to that.

Buckle up, folks, I haven’t had a chance to share in a while, and in the coupon/freebie/gypsy world, that’s like 7 years in dog years.

Or something.

So, I got organized.

It only took me a day and half and I lost at least 4 very valuable coupons in the process. This might have something to do with the fact that I had to be spread all over the floor and the fact that a very large dog thinks that because I’m sitting on the floor, she should be sitting in my lap, and the fact that Brad is out of town again and the kids all needed help with their homework at the same time and decided it would be a good idea to also spread their things out on the floor.

Or it could be that I accidently threw them away.

May they R.I.P.

This is what will be working for me, at least  for now.

Accordion folders. The one with the swirlies is for food items, the big clear one is for household and beauty type products, and the little guy stays with me at all times and holds my treasures. I have them all separated into categories that no one but myself would understand, and I even went so far as to separate them by store sections. Because I have that memorized.

Don’t judge me.

While I was organizing, the mailman showed up. I’ve noticed that I hum “You Are My Sunshine” under my breath when I hear him coming.

Monday he brought me this.

Well, hello motherload.

This would be all free samples including a Glad trashbag with Febreze, some cute products from U Kotex, John Freida root booster with a $1 coupon, a coupon for a free bag of Food Should Taste Good  chips (remember the facebook coupon?) and a month’s supply of Bio-35. Tay’s been sick non-stop for months, so we’ll see if these work for her. And way in the bottom left corner, a love letter from my parents. I love mail.

And in case you didn’t notice the gigantic set of products in front of that book, I want to give you a closer look.

Some of you may remember when I purchased the Water Secret book for $11 off of Amazon and then emailed the Amazon confirmation receipt to Murad? Well, my ship came in. This is $200 worth of their beauty products. The sleep serum itself was $98. I used them for the last 2 days and I woke up looking 17 this morning. Who knew? I’m checking to see if they still have the same deal. I hope so, because $11 is a pretty good investment with a $189 return and I would love for you to cash in on it.

On Tuesday, he brought me this.

Megakrill (we’ll see what happens with that – sometimes I get sample happy), some supplements from Sedona labs (ditto on the first statement), my Tom’s from Maine toothpaste, Axe and Dove deodorant (great little gym bag/locker buddies) and a free product with any purchase at Bath and Body Works.

I love these little freebies with any purchase, because any purchase means any purchase. So what do I do? I find a clearance item as my purchase, and then I get the freebies. I end up getting between $15 and $25 worth of product for around $3.

Which leads me to Sabrina and Paula.

I signed up for the Beauty Brands newsletter and email list because they have all sorts of these freebies with any purchase. Today’s was this.

3 abba products with any purchase.  So I did what I did last time and bought a clearance lipgloss from Bed Head for $2.98.

I took it to Paula to ring me up and I told her that Beauty Brands has single handedly stuffed the stockings for my girls. And Paula says did you see those lotions over there?

And I said no, what lotions?

And then that angel Paula took me over and showed me.

And then I did that super spastic get really loud thing that happens to me when I see a deal that is too much to take.

I think I have deal induced Tourettes.

Hi Paula.

$1.98 for the 6.8 oz body wash and lotions. They look and smell amazing. And they are going to make incredible Christmas gifts once I wrap them up all fancy. No Sunday comics wrapping paper for you guys.

I bought 4. I will be going back for more soon.

This was a $44 savings.

But it just got better.

Do you see this? Sabrina (the manager) wants you to have it.

This could be yours if you purchase a $15 Beauty Brands gift certificate. Shoot, you could put that in your own stocking, for pity’s sakes.Or buy the gift certificate, and then buy the lotions with it! It’s a gift basket worth $120 and you’d also receive a $20 gift card.

The Boulder store on 28th is the only store with this promotion, so you should visit soon if you live out of town. If you live in town, it would be silly not to take advantage of these deals!

And when you do, buy one from either Sabrina or Paula. They deserve it.

And mention Gypsy Jules, because Sabrina says so.

I plan to post again this evening with the coupon deals for the week so you don’t miss out! I got free jammies!

Don’t forget that Gypsy Jules has a facebook where you can share the deals you’ve found and find out what’s out there for free. And it’s where you’ll find the stuff that makes you sing to your mailman.


dizzy

I like this blogging thing a little too much so I told myself that I had to get all my work done before I was allowed on the computer. Then the kids’ computer went haywire and they now have to use mine for “homework”. Then I went out of town for a fabulous weekend date with the Brad and then I had more work to do when I got home. Now I’m mad at work.

So I decided that rules that I make for myself are stupid and I’m the boss of my own blog and I can write in it any old time I want.

And that’s that.

Anyway, I got my Sunday paper yesterday, and it was stuffed so full of so much goodness that I had to put myself in a time out because I was having a complete conniption and couldn’t control myself. I literally went and took Avery on a walk until my blood pressure was steady.

I think I may have a problem.

But did you see them???

The problem is, they haven’t been cut out yet. They’re just sitting right in front of me tormenting me with their little coupon siren song.

Here’s why I haven’t cut them out yet. I have outgrown my system. I have coupons for everything in this entire world, and now I need a bigger place to put them. I was thinking they need their own room, but it will be too long before Tay moves out. So I may just start with a better organizer. Now I want to go to Target and get one.

Here’s where the next problem comes in. I can’t even imagine going to Target without coupons for things I know I’ll see when I get there.

But I haven’t cut them out yet. Or paired them up with their best friends or found the exactly most perfect deal yet.

And I need an organizer to put them in.

I’m dizzy.

And I’ve decided to go get an organizer.

It’s the right thing to do.

Here are some things to keep you distracted.

Free Sara Groves Christmas album

Free Josh Groban song

I’ll be letting you know about all the good stuff just as soon as I can.

(Speaking of cans, Campbell’s Soup is on sale at Target for .50 a can. You can get 3 of them for free if you print this coupon.)

Could someone please count the amount of “I’s” I used in this posting?

And then could you please come save me from myself?

Thank you very much.

more…

Yesterday, I tried to give you the best of what went down at Target. Today, I’m just gonna throw some coupon connections your way. Lots of them are for baking and whatnot. So feel free to try out some new recipes and leave a sample on my doorstep.

Like Wholly Guacamole on facebook, get a $4 coupon. This is almost unheard of. Somehow I managed to print off 2 just now, so good luck. You have no idea how much we love the Guac! *On sale at Safeway for $3.99 so FREE!

Like Simply Orange on facebook, get a $1 off

Like Renuzit on facebook, get a free cone. It prints out as $1, cones are .97 at Target and many other places.

Like Rimmel on facebook, get a $2 coupon

Nestle Toll House baking products

Driscolls berries coupon – These guys don’t come around much. You may have to sign up with them, but I printed off 2 of these and plan to pair them with the $1 Target web coupons I printed last week. I’m just waiting for a decent sale. *fixed the link

Bar S coupons – These hot dogs go on sale frequently, so they could be free.

Earth’s Best Organic – lots of high value coupons. Pair with these Whole Foods coupons and you will be getting some sweet deals. Also, in the Whole Foods coupons, you’ll find one for $1/1 Pom juice. There is a $1/2 in the Smart Source insert from last Sunday’s paper.

Campbell’s Kitchen has millions of coupons, including broth. It also has a mail in rebate for Toy Story 3.

$2 off Carmex – There were also some for lip balm in the SmartSource insert in last Sunday’s paper.

Pepperidge Farm products *On sale at Safeway for between $2.25 and $2.50

And a super random free t-shirt from Limewire.

New Coupon Sites:

Delicious Living

Free Coupon Alerts – They send the best high value coupons to your email, so you don’t miss out.

And I can’t stress to you enough how worth it the coupons in the Sunday paper are, especially paired with in store sales and coupons.

If I hadn’t taken such an insanely blurry picture, you would see that I got 2 Secret, one Old Spice body spray, and an Olay Body Wash for free buy using these 2 coupons together. They somehow canceled each other out and I ended up paying $1.10. I also had coupons for Cottenelle and $1 Reach floss. Reach is only .97, so you could literally stock up for a year for free. You should see how many Colgate toothbrushes I have in waiting. Maybe someday, if you’re lucky, I’ll take a picture.

I totally won’t .

But I want to.