All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible....

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The Halloween decor is up, the pumpkins are finally carved. Yep, Last minute. Typical Bre. The Halloween candy has been put in the bowl and the kids can't wait to get ready to go Trick or Treating. We don't know what to expect because this is our first year Trick or Treating in a new neighborhood. We have always gone to MIL's in Ballwin and this year she is coming here. We'll see. I'm excited!

And of course Jack made an appearance this year. It's not Halloween without the Pumpkin King!

Look who is enjoying the nice weather....How Now Brown Cow is!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Fall Back!

Daylight Savings Ends November 2nd at 2:00 a.m. Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday Night/Sunday morning!

October 30, 2008

Walgreen's Black Friday Ad

Walgreen's Black Friday ad has been posted!

Sale $29.00 Reg. $57.99

Sale $14.99 Reg. $29.99

Sale $9.99 Reg. $19.99

Sale $1.99 Reg. $12.99

Sale $39.99 Reg. $69.99

Sale $14.99 Reg. $24.99

Sale $9.99 Reg. $19.99

Sale $9.99 Reg. $19.99

Sale $9.99 Reg. $19.99

Sale $3.49 Reg. $6.99

Sale $19.99 Reg. $49.99

Sale $2.33 Reg. $7.99

Sale $19.99 Reg. $29.99

Sale $19.99 Reg. $29.99

Sale $19.99 Reg. $29.99

Sale $89.99 Reg. $159.99

Sale $119.99 Reg. $179.99

Sale $59.99 Reg. $99.99

Sale $79.99 Reg. $109.99

Sale $99.99 Reg. $119.99

Sale $9.99 Reg. $34.99

Sale $9.33 Reg. $27.99

Sale $3.33 Reg. $9.99

Sale $6.66 Reg. $19.99

Sale $9.99 Reg. $29.99

Sale $4.99 Reg. $14.99


Remember ads are subject to change this early in the game.

Courtesy of I Heart Wags and Hot Coupon World!

It's Almost Black Friday! Er....I mean Thanksgiving....

Black Friday is under 30 days away. Black Friday, otherwise known as the day after Thanksgiving, is the unofficial start to the Holiday Shopping Season. This year it's November 28th.

It's no secret I go every year. I get ALL my shopping done on this day with the exception of wrapping paper and stocking stuffers. Frankly I like to just be done with it. No worries, no stress. Our cars hate the cold so if something goes wrong with them I'm not worried about throwing gifts on our credit cards.

I go to bed early and get up at about 4 a.m. and head out. I wear warm clothes, tennis shoes and do not carry my purse. I put everything I need in my coat pocket that buttons. I don't grab a cart unless I know I'm going to be getting a lot of stuff at that particular store. I chat with other shoppers in line and try and make it as pleasant as possible. I do all my research beforehand and keep a small list with me. I go the night before and scour each store to find out exactly where everything is placed. If I have a question on where something will be I find someone stocking shelves and ask them nicely. Usually they are more than happy to help. Certain stores open at different times and I plan my trip accordingly. I usually go to Kohl's first because they open the earliest and JC Penney's last because they open the latest.

There is a lot of talk about the deals stores will have for us this year. Some say due to the economy this year won't be as good as years past. Some say this year will be better. I guess we will have to wait and see. I know I'm curious!

There are tons of people who do not take advantage of BF Sales each year due to the craziness. I have had very few encounters with crazy people. VERY FEW and they were mild. If you plan well, are quick on your feet and aren't going for the big ticket items like the TV's then it's rather stress free. You can go in a group and you can go alone. Lots of stores also offer online deals and bonanzas on Black Friday. Some offer online only specials that can be better than in store deals. So don't completely cross out Black Friday shopping!

Slowly BF ads are being leaked and I'll post them as I get them. You can also visit these BF websites to get your Black Friday deals:

Black Friday @ Gotta Deal

Will you be partaking in the madness this year? If you so make sure to stuff yourself with turkey and go to bed early!

Final October Haul

Stick a fork in me....I am DONE! Done with October that is. I need a break. With Halloween coming up tomorrow and all the work we have to do around the house this weekend there will be no more coupon clipping, matching, organizing or shopping trips. Granted I only went shopping twice this week but I'm still exhausted.

I didn't bother to bring out all the Coffee Mate from my fridge that I bought. It was on clearance at Target $3/2 and I had a bunch of $1/1 coupons. I bought 10 bottles. Hope they don't go bad. Maybe I can freeze them?

This last haul was excellent because I finally was able to get some things to donate. Up until now it's been a stockpile mission to get our family stocked. I upped my purchase on Sunday papers by one last Sunday and bought 3. Inside were coupons for Ascensia Glucose Meters for up to $30.00. I initially put them in my sell/trade/donate pile but quickly took them out when I realized that Walgreen's had these very meters for $9.99! They are regularly $59.99. One of the meters and a bunch of the tissue isn't pictured. We are all sick so I put boxes all over the house and I gave a meter to my Diabetic Daddy :) He needed a new one!

Here are my Transactions broken down:

First Transaction

Ascensia Breeze2 Meter = Sale $9.99
(2) Puffs Tissues = $1.99 each
Loreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Moisterizer = $19.99 (FAR Item)

Total before Coupons and Rebates = $33.96
Ascensia Breeze2 Meter: used up to $30 Q from 10/26 paper = FREE
(2) Puffs Tissues: Used $1/1 IVC (in ad 7 day coupon that takes $1 off for each product) + (2) .25/1 = $.74 each
Loreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Moisturizer: used $2/1 SS 10/5 (q good at wags only) = $2 OVERAGE

Total After Coupons and Rebates = $1.48

Second Transaction

Ascensia Contour Meter = Sale $9.99
(2) Puffs Tissues = $1.99 each
(3) Pert Plus 2/1 Happy Medium = $3.49 each

Total Before Coupons = $20.95

Ascensia Contour Meter: used up to $30 Q from 10/26 paper = FREE
(2) Puffs Tissues: Used $1/1 IVC (in ad 7 day coupon that takes $1 off for each product) + (2) .25/1 = $.74 each
(3) Pert Plus 2/1 Happy Medium: used $2.50/1 ESQ + $1/1 printable = FREE

Total After Coupons = $1.48

Third Transaction

Ascensia Contour Meter = Sale $9.99
(2) Puffs Tissues = $1.99 each
(2) Palmolive Oxy Dish Liquid = $1.99 each

Total Before Coupons = $17.95

Ascensia Contour Meter: used up to $30 Q from 10/26 paper = FREE
(2) Puffs Tissues: Used $1/1 IVC (in ad 7 day coupon that takes $1 off for each product) + (2) .25/1 = $.74 each
(2) Palmolive Oxy Dish Liquid: Used $1/1 IVC (in ad 7 day) + (2) .25/1 SS or RP 10/26 = $.74 each

Total After Coupons = $2.96

Total Savings for all 3 trips: $70.43!!

I'll be donating the other 2 meters and the Pert because I already have a ton. I'm sending the Loreal to my Mom and giving the extra tissue to family :)

I have my trip for the 2nd all planned out and should be sharing it soon. This will by far be the biggest haul to date. I plan to donate some things too. How exciting!

Want to see more Drugstore Savings? Visit the "Cent"sible Sawyer's Drug Store Diva's!

October 28, 2008

Organization is Key

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about how I organize my coupon stash. Up until recently the answer was little envelopes. I had a set of little white 4x5 envelopes stuffed with coupons and labeled. I had a separate larger envelope for my printed coupons because they were to big for my little ones. When asked if I thought it was a good system I said "No way"!

Honestly, there may have been a point where I thought my little envelopes were going to be all I needed. That thought is LONG gone. My coupon collection has grown and I'm expecting about 100 more that I bought on eBay this week. Also, my little envies were ripped and torn and I lost coupons all the time.

Last weekend I made a very big transition over to the Accordion File method. I chose this method simply because I did not want to have to go out and buy a binder for the Binder Method. I had this accordion file already and wasn't using it. I think I bought it for around $4 a few months ago. When I start becoming a little better at this and start to save a little more I might move over to a binder method. The whole point of cutting coupons is to save money and if I'm just spending it somewhere else what's the point?

To go along with the file folder I purchased a small spiral notebook, small colored Post It's, a few RSVP pens which are my favorite pens ever and a package of 25 clear page protectors. I tried to find baseball card protectors but couldn't find them so I settled on these for now. I can use them to store whole sheets of un-clipped coupons when I move over to the binder method. I had the envies leftover from my old method.

The total cost of everything including the file folder was about $10 but it's seriously priceless.

Inside the binder has 13 tabbed sections. They are broken down as follows:

1. VIP Coupons: I store my Post It's, notebook, pens , scissors and all my very important coupons here. Before I hit the store I plan my trip and pull out any coupons I plan on using and store them in this pocket so I can quickly reference them during my trip. If I see something on sale that wasn't in the ad and I have a coupon for it, I pull it out and stick it here too. Then when I check out I just hand the cashier my pile.

2. Walgreen's Section: My Easy Saver Books go here along with the current ad and any Register Rewards. I keep my receipts for Walgreen's at home because if I lost this folder I cannot claim my rebate items.
3. Walmart: Same thing as Walgreen's. I keep the current ad if I plan to shop here that week and any coupons that may match up with sales.
4. Target: I keep an envie with Target only coupons I find in ads along with their weekly ad. I shop here just as much as Walgreen's so this is a very important section. Anything Target related such as $5/$25 coupons and such go here along with recent receipts.
5. Grocery: Anything grocery store related goes here same as with the others. I keep my Schnuck's $5/$25 here and recent ads for all the stores I visit.

6 Through 12 is broken down as follows:

Each section is filled with envies and page protectors that have been labeled with sticky notes and arranged in alphabetical order. Such as the section labeled ABCD is broken down like this:

Baking, Bread, Cereal, Candy etc....

Some sections are even broken down further into product brands:

Air Wick, Campbells, Dove, Dial, Glade, Oust etc...

Also, the Yellow sticky notes are for Food Items and the Pink for None Food Items.

Now Section 13 holds envies filled with other random coupons such as Super Cuts, Dave & Busters, Chuck E Cheese's, Restaurant Coupons like McDonald's etc...

The Notebook is very important as it lists my final shopping list and scenarios for each store, each week. I stick a sticky note on each page and note what store and for what week. Each page has a list and each list is broken down to include what coupons I will match up and how many, sale price, final price etc...Kind of like this:

Walgreen's November 2-8:
Celestial Seasonings Tea: Sale Price $3/2
Buy 2
* Use ESQ $1/2
* Use (2) Man. Q $1/1
Final Price: FREE

This helps so that I am doing very minimal math inside the store. Getting in and out is best.

There is no wrong or right way when creating a coupon organizer. My best advice is arrange it based upon how YOU think. Whether it be alphabetically, by expiration date, only by brand name, by product ie: Health or Beauty etc...

Having a way to store and organize your coupons is key because if your like me it can get very confusing when you do get into a store and begin your process. You can forget items, misplace coupons and just lose it altogether. Having a system makes things much easier and a lot quicker.

Here are a few other Bloggers with amazing Coupon Organizers so be sure to check them out!

Rachel at Out of the Overflow
Money Saving Mom
Thrifty and Chic Mom
Nichole at A Call to Higher Places
Deni at Far More Than Diamonds
Laura from Laura Williams' Musings $25 Gift Card for $2

Now through Halloween is offering $25 Gift Cards for $2! I know a few of my blog readers are huge foodies and love to eat out so I thought I would give everyone a heads up about this awesome deal.

It's Simple. Go to and chose your restaurant(s). Add the gift certificates into your cart in amounts of $25. Enter the code TREATS at checkout and use the gift certificate code generated to select and print out your certificate(s)!!

Take special note to read the requirements of the restaurant you are choosing. Some require a $35 + minimum and or add gratuity. It just depends but make sure you check it out before you buy.

Thank You to Deal Seeking Mom for all this info!

I'm slowly shifting....

Has anyone else noticed the shift that's been going on with this blog? I created it mainly to talk all about our investment ventures and our family and lately it's become all about my adventures of becoming frugal and our family. I like where this blog is heading and my subscriber number and daily visits are increasing so there seem to be some bloggers who like it too!

Of course with all the change that's still going on with our home I will be posting about it too but for now I think I just need a break from the constant concern over my house and I need to focus on other things.

We are planning a joint investment venture for the middle of next year but that's just so far away right now.

I have even toyed with the idea of bringing back She Cooks in Stiletto's. I have been cooking and even baking ::gasp:: a lot more lately. I've been taking pictures just in case I ever decide I can handle 2 blogs again. It's just something I'm thinking about....Who knows ;)

October 27, 2008

Doing any baking next month?

I was scanning the Hot Coupon World boards and noticed that for the week of November 9th (9th thru the 15th) Walgreen's is running a sale on Libby's 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin.

$.99 for Libby's Canned Pumpkin 15 oz. (Limit of 2)
You can use the $1/2 printable found here
Note: You need to register and be logged in for your coupons to print.

Final Price: $.50 per can

Now, don't forget to hit the back button to get your coupon twice! You can always stop in later on during the sale and grab a couple more cans :)

October 26, 2008

Walgreen's November Easy Saver

So the November catalog is out and so far it's looking pretty sad. Only 2 FAR items listed this month.

Loreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Radiance Prefector $19.99 (Limit of 1)
Almay One Coat Mascara $6.99 (Limit of 1)

Yep, measly huh?

After looking over the rest of the ES catalog I see a few deals I might be able to snag stacking manufacturer coupons from the paper with ES coupons and hopefully sales. Weekly Register Reward deals might be our only hope this month. We shall see!

I have to say that this month would be a great month for beginners. Walgreen's has been pretty generous with their $5 off $20 purchase and we have been seeing them almost weekly.

Here is a very simple Money Making Scenario:

Loreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Radiance Prefector = $19.99
*Use $2/1 from Smart Source 10/5
Note: There is also a coupon for $2/1 Loreal Skincare product that I got in a Walgreen's/Loreal ad. Coupon is good only at Walgreen's and will make your overage $2 more. If you have it, stack it and throw in a filler if needed.

Final Price = Free Plus $2 Overage After Coupon and Rebate + 10% bonus of added if gift card!

Almay One Coat Mascara = $6.99
*Use $1/1 from Smart Source 8/3 or 9/14

Final Price = Free Plus $1 Overage After Coupon and Rebate + 10% bonus if added to gift card!

Now if you use the $5 off $20 purchase you are going to make a total of $8 + in overage! It can't get any easier than that!

Edited to add: If you can wait for the November 2-8th sales to come out Almay products are B1G1 Free so you would be getting 2 products for free instead of one!

Thank You to I Heart Wags
for coupon matching!

Think Pink!!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as it rounds out I thought I would just post a little about why this month is so important to me. Both my Mom and Aunt have battled Breast Cancer and I thank God every day they made it through it. I'm terrified of Breast Cancer and I'm so scared that one day, I too, will be diagnosed with it and this is why it's so important to find a cure. An estimated 182,460 american women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer this year alone.

Don't Forget to:

There are so many ways to help and not just during the month of October but all year round. You can visit Susan G. Komen's website and make a donation but if nothing else go there to learn and become educated on Breast Cancer. It's an amazing website!

There are tons of ways to become part of the fight against Breast Cancer.

eBay Auctions and Munchkin Project Pink are auctioning off Limited Edition Project Pink Bath Ducks in their "Don't Duck a Breast Exam" campaign. Celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian, Courtney Cox and Cindy Crawford have hand decorated these adorable little ducks and ALL the proceeds to go Susan G. Komen for the Cure!

The Breast Cancer Site is a site that helps fund Mammograms for low income, minority and inner city women. Their website is filled to the brim with products you can purchase to help their cause and just by visting this site and clicking the "Click Here to Give - It's FREE" button you are already helping! Shop around and you can help more. Only $3.95 shipping. Every day! My recommendation? The Pink Ribbon running shoes for $29.95 and they come with a Free Bracelet. Seriously, the cutest shoes!

Avon has been supporting the fight against Breast Cancer for more than a decade and have some really great products you can buy to help support this cause. Since 1992 they have raised and awarded more than $585 Million Dollars towards Breast Cancer research and awareness.

You can also find amazing products available from companies like Sephora, Lucy Clothing, Estee Lauder, and The Pink Ribbon Shop. For all you OPI lovers you can help by picking up OPI's Pink of Hearts 2008 Edition Nail Lacquer and proceeds go to Susan G. Komen!

This awesome desktop design was made by Joy Studio.

October 25, 2008

All You Magazine

If you haven't picked up this magazine yet, I recommend you do so! I had seen the magazine on the shelves a few times but until I saw a post in Money Saving Mom's blog about it I had no idea how valuable it was.

My main reason for loving this magazine? It's jam packed with coupons. Good coupons! An added bonus is that the mag is filled with TONS of great recipes, decorating ideas, weight loss tips, fashion and beauty rec's and great budget and money saving articles.

I paid less than $2 for the magazine and came out with some great high dollar coupons. This magazine pays for itself.

Edited to add: I thought I would give you a little idea of the coupons that pack this baby this month so here they are compliments of Penny Pinching Diva!

$.50 off a package of 6 White Castle Microwaveable Hamburgers or Cheeseburgers Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 10
$1.50 on any three (3) Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 16
$1.50 when you buy any one (1) Dove Cream Oil Body Lotion or Hand Cream Exp. 02/08/09 pg. 30
FREE Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Holder when you buy any one Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Refill Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 40
$2.00 on any Glade Scented Oil Candles Holder Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 40
FREE Glade Scented Oil Candle Refill Pack when you buy two Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 40
FREE Rimmel Colour Rush Eye Shadow when you buy Glam’ Eyes Mascara Exp. 12/31/08 pg. 43
$1.00 on any one Splenda Brand Product exp. 02/01/09 pg. 50
$1.00 on one package of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats; Blueberry Muffin, Strawberry Delight or Maple Brown Sugar Cereal Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 53
$.50 on any single bag (20 ct. or larger) of Halls Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 61
$2.00 on One A Day Women’s Prenatal Multivitamin Exp. 03/31/09 pg. 70
$1.00 on any Suave Moisturizer (18 oz. or larger) Exp. 01/16/2009 pg. 78
$.55 with the purchase of any 1 can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk Exp. 12/31/08 pg. 90
$1.00 when you buy 2 any flavor Box or Pouch Betty Crocker Potatoes (Except Potato Buds) Exp. 01/02/09 pg. 93
$.75 when you buy Total Cinnamon Crunch cereal Exp. 01/16/09 pg. 95
$.40 on any 2 Banquet Select Recipes Exp. 02/01/09 pg. 107
$1.00 when you buy any 1 Hormel Chili Master Chili Exp. 12/04/08 pg. 112
$1.00 on any Accent Product Exp. 12/31/08 pg. 116
$1.00 on 2 Tyson Frozen Breaded Boxed Products Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 119
$1.00 off 1 True North Product Exp. 12/23/08 pg. 127
$1.00 on any 2 Heinz Cocktail Sauce Exp. 04/31/09 pg. 137
FREE Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Potatoes when you purchase any 2 Ore-Ida Frozen Potatoes Exp. 12/31/08 pg. 140
$1.00 on any 1 Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain and Odor Eliminator Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 142
$1.00 on White Cloud Product Exp. 12/31/08 pg. 146
$1.00 on any Cottonelle double roll 4 pk or larger AND 42 ct Cottonelle Fresh Flushable Moist Wipes tub or refill or larger Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 157 (Also has a free wipes sample)
$1.00 on any 1 Orville Redenbacher’s Natural Gourmet Popping Corn Exp. 02/28/09 pg. 163
$3.00 on any Roxy Hunter movie Exp. 11/03/08 pg. 167
$.75 on 1 jar of Dole All Natural Mixed Fruit Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 169
$1.00 on any 1.5 quart carton of Edy’s Branded Product Exp. 02/01/09 pg. 177
$1.00 on any 2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Exp. 01/31/09 pg. 187
$1.50 on any 2 Pounce Cat Treats Exp. 02/28/09 pg. 196

October 24, 2008

Who does that?

Who steals dog food bowls out of peoples yards? Seriously. I went outside this morning to grab my dog food bowls that I put out for the dogs last night so they could munch on some leftover chicken while they were out and what do you know...they are gone! WTF? Who swipes dog food bowls? I get stealing my paper but my dogs bowls?

Honestly, I've been looking to replace them for months and no local retailer sells the type I need for a reasonable price. I have been dogs so I need big stainless steel bowls. They can't be heavy though and mine were perfect, they just had a few scratches, dents and were a little smaller than I needed.

Way to start off my day.

October 21, 2008

Shhh....It's a Secret!

No, I'm not pregnant and my secret isn't what most would call "juicy" but I'm excited none the less.

Yesterday I spent all day cleaning everything out of the boys room prep it for it's long awaited remodel. All the toys and toy boxes have been moved to the new playroom in the basement. The only things left is their rug and their dresser. Last night we explained to them we would be locking their door for the rest of the week and they were not allowed to go in there. They didn't even ask why and my oldest said "Good, now when we get in trouble you can't send us to our room"! Ha! In the mean time they will be bunking in the office.

This has been a long time coming. We have had plans to finish the boys room since we moved in and it's been put on the back burner due to everything else that needed to be done. I'm so excited to finally get things going and I'm hoping we can be finished by next weekend. I've spent countless hours scouring catalogs, web images and ratemyspace just trying to get an idea of what to do with their room. I've found thousands of ideas for little girls but when it comes to designing a boys room all you see is the usual camo theme, western theme and the ever so popular sports theme. Nothing really stood out, with the exception of the Nautical theme. Some were awesome and very well done, most borderline tacky but none were really what I had in mind for the boys . I'm thinking a modernized, punk rock version of the Nautical theme would be perfect for the boys. Possibly with a pirate like twist.

As of now the room looks like this:

Boring huh? It's so bare it echos.

Josh is in the process of making two twin size platform beds like the one below. Whoever created the platform bed was genius! It takes care of monsters under the bed and the mess created by kids shoving things under their beds, all at one time!

The color palate we are using is almost the same as the rest of the house. Black, White, Gray and Red. I picked out a Dark Red and a Black and White pinstripe that I would like to make the curtains and a few accent pillows out of.

I'll be hand painting a few Nautical stars on the walls.

I'm hoping to find a large boat shaped bookcase like the one below and paint it white so the kids can put their toys and books in it. If I can't find a good deal on a large one I may just get a small one to hang on the wall for now.

I have to get this room done as fast as possible and for the least amount of money. That means hand painting the stars instead of ordering wall decals, hand making the curtains and pillows, finding the comforter sets on clearance, making the beds ourselves and using what the kids already have.

I can't wait to get started and hopefully they don't peek!

October 17, 2008

I'm no Martha Stewart

but I wonder if I could pull any of these off? I'm going to make another trip to Thies Farms this weekend and pic up a few more pumpkins for my front porch along with a few gourds. I'd like to do something a little "artsy" for my front porch. Hmmm.....Do I even have the patience?

October 15, 2008

Our Saving Grace. Our Miracle.

It's as simple as that. Not very often are our prayers answered. Josh and I never get angry or hurt when things don't work themselves out. We just keep trying and always remember that what doesn't kill you always makes you stronger.

Today someone brought hope for us and the home we love.

I'm not sure exactly how it happened as it almost came from no where but it could have happened at a better time. I cannot thank this person enough for the kindness, compassion and care that was given today.

I hope your reading this and know just how thankful we are and how much of a blessing you really are. Not many people have the heart to reach out and try and help a family. Especially a family they have never met.

A more detailed post will follow but as of now I almost have no words. It's been a long time since I've cried tears of happiness!!

I. must. resist. the. urge.

To drive down the street to my local Starbucks and grab an oh so delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte. Only 17 more days! You see because I'm that much of a cheep-o I refuse to go to Starbuck's throughout the year. I'm not kidding, I never go unless I'm being treated to something by my Aunt or Dad who I occasionally meet there and by occasionally I mean like every two years. However, on Halloween I get the boys ready to go trick or treating and go and grab a Pumpkin Spice latte and sip it's delicious, creamy goodness while we Trick or Treat.

It's been especially hard this year because it seems as though everyone is talking to me about this latte as though it's brand new and explaining it to me in such detail I feel as though I am being tortured!! The girl at the check out counter at the grocery store, the teller at the bank and even friends. I seriously have considered wearing ear plugs when I leave the house.

I have to do something about my craving so I googled Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipes and I found the two following recipes:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup
8 oz. (1 cup) milk
1-2 shots (1/4 cup espresso or 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee) espresso

Steam together Torani and milk. Pour steamed flavored milk to about 1/2 inch below the top of a 16-oz. glass. Add espresso and top with a thin layer of foamed milk. Making it at home: In a small saucepan, gently heat Torani and milk, whisking until frothy. Pour into a tall glass and add espresso. You may also heat milk and Torani in a microwave, pour into a blender and blend until frothy, about 30 seconds. Pour into a tall glass and add espresso. Servings/Yield: 1 16-oz drink.

*Substitute 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee if desired
and this one:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

3 Tablespoons Canned Pumpkin Pie
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup Milk
3 Ounces Espresso (1-2 shots)

In a small saucepan, stir pumpkin puree into milk.
Add vanilla syrup and pumpkin pie spice.
Heat gently, continuing to stirring occasionally just until steaming and foam begins to appear.
Pour pumpkin flavored milk into a tall mug and pour espresso over.
Top with whip cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.
Note: If you like it slightly sweeter; add a bit of vanilla
flavored coffee cream.

Both recipes seem fairly easy and I can't wait to try them!

Oh and Debbie, if your reading this, your latte is my treat this year!

October 12, 2008


Last weekend we finally got around to taking the kids Pumpkin Picking. I prefer to go the first weekend of October but we just hadn't had any time. It's a family tradition that we go to Rombach's every year but this year we switched things up a little. A few weeks ago my husband stumbled upon a local farm called Thies Farms. We thought we would give it a try this year and we are sure glad we did! Thies Farms is located a few miles past Harrah's Casino on Creve Coeur Mill Rd. and covers approx. 120 acres. Every year during the month of October Thies Farm opens up their play land they so perfectly call Pumpkinland. This rather large area consists of huge haystack mazes, haystack castles, swings, slides, places to take family photos and you can shop for the perfect pumpkin while the kids play. Needless to say the kids had a blast and poor Josh got injured in one of the mazes. Typical family outing :)

Above are the boys and Samantha on the giant pumpkins. Below are some of the amazing and very creative hay creations Thies Farms has built.

Here is the view from the pyramid of hay:

The kids on the haystack slides:

Jordan on the haystack pyramid:

The next few photos I took on the hay ride. They are of the nectarine trees, the blackberry bushes and the pumpkin patch.

One of Thies Farms attractions is the baby animals. We saw a baby calf named Cutie, a baby cow of another variety (I thought it was a bison), baby pigs and a small llama.

After we finished at Pumpkinland we headed over to the Market and I was shocked at how extensive it was. They offered fruits, veggies, homeade sauces, marinades, honey with the actual comb in it, candy, gourds, big pumpkins, mini pumpkins and "spookies" which are medium sized pumpkins. We picked out a few pumpkins and I grabbed 2 huge eggplants. I've been wanting to make something with eggplant and they had the best looking ones I've seen lately. My MIL picked up some honey with the comb in it and my niece picked out a huge 23 lb. pumpkin! She could barely carry it! We can't wait to go back next year!

Stay tuned to see what we create with those pumpkins and the eggplant :)