Thursday, December 22, 2011

Being a Third Grade Teacher

Wow! I haven't blogged yet at a third grade teacher and I probably should! So, much has happened since August it is a little crazy. I would want to tell all my stories, but I don't want to loose my job either. It has been a rough, but great year. I know after this year that I can handle whatever comes my way. It has prepared me into a better person. If you want to know more, I can surely tell you in person some time. Anyway, this whole wedding planning blog hasn't happened. I've been engaged for 6 months now (which is crazy to think) and I have 6 months to go til the wedding. My new fad is Pinterest. I must warn you it is addicting, but it is my new way to share recipes, classroom ideas, etc. Happy Holidays! :)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

School Supplies!

Can I say that school supplies shopping is my favorite time of year? I know that all you moms out there just want to stop at Wal*Mart or Target and cross off everything on your list. I know you don't want to shop around and at the price of gas, it may cost more money in the end. On Sunday, I just went to Wal*Mart and bought school supplies for a kid at Capitol Hill with Kristi. It's expensive! We spent over $70 dollars on stuff and the $1.50 for highlighters and $0.74 glue does add up. However, we were on a mission... had to get it done and didn't want to spend time shopping around! I am here to tell you about some of the good and GREAT deals I got today when I went to STAPLES and Walgreens! I spent a few dollars, but after the rebates and teacher discounts I didn't spend much!


In Missouri, there isn't one near our home. So, this is a "secret" I have recently found out about and it wasn't through my mother. Staples has items that are only $0.01 during the school-supplies season. There are about 3 items each week in their ad and they are only on sale through Wednesday of the week. This week it was 8 pack of pencils for $0.01, index cards for $0.01, and 2-pks of Sharpie Highlighters for $0.01. If you are a bargain hunter, then you know deals like these have limits. Usually you are not allowed to buy over 2 or 3 of these items! Here is the CATCH! If you are a teacher, your limit goes up to 25 for each item! So, I went to STAPLES today. Before I went, I was wondering how I was going to prove I was a teacher. I recently got hired and I don't have my badge or picture ID yet. So, I dug out my IPAD I got and had an image of my name on the list of new-hires. I also had my IPAD because it says on the back that it is property of my school district. Did this work for the cashier? YES! Also, if you go to the young cashiers, they will say "ok". So, now I am registered with my STAPLES rewards card and I'm excited about these extended limits. When I arrived, they were out of index cards. I have learned my lesson... go on SUNDAY after church to do all your school supply shopping. Don't wait until Tuesday! Next week = deals shopping! However, I did buy 25 2-pks of highlighters for $0.25! I did also buy 25 8-pks of pencils for $0.25. Yes- the sale price on these items were $1 for the pencils ($25 worth) and $1.50 for the highlighters ($37.50). So, I got $62.50 cents worth of highlighters and pencils for  $0.50! :) WHAT A DEAL!

I also bought a few other things that I consider expensive, but still great bargains. I got 2 reams of copy paper for $2. I also got 2 AVERY binders for $2. I also bought 2 packs of nice pens for $2 and a package of pens that will be free when I get my rebate! Now, the paper was $1 after the rebate and the pens were free after the rebate. However, I have never done such an easy mail-in rebate! You can do them online! You just type in the information from your receipt online and can choose to have the money go straight to your PAY-PAL account! Ok! DONE! I don't have to mess with cutting UPCs, checking the mail, paying postage, going to the bank to deposit my check! I just saved a lot of hassle and still got my good deals! 

So, after rebates I got:
2 binders = $2
2 reams of copy paper = $2
13 nice pens = $2
200 #2 pencils = 25 cents
50 highlighters = 25 cents

GRAND TOTAL= 6.50. :)

Next stop: Walgreens

I spent $4.55 and got 200 mechanical pencils (19 cents for a pack of 5), 4 pocket folders (9 cents each), and 40 sheet protectors (49 cents for pk of 10)

So, I spent 11.05 and got all these things. :) I am pleased! I can't wait til next week!

Monday, July 18, 2011

BUDGETING (A Step to Adulthood)

WOW! I will have to say that you are becoming a big girl when you start writing a budget with the full intent of actually using it. The word "budget" has come into my vocabulary a lot this summer, and I feel like it will be occurring more and more. Can I say that my mother is the queen of budgeting? When I was in 6th grade my mother made me keep a budget. I actually thought it was fun then. I did that through my 10th grade year and then the rest of high school/college it didn't really happen. I am not a huge spender, but I haven't written the $$ I spend down and the $3 Good-Will shirts and BWW Thursdays do add up. :) In 6th grade my mother gave us a weekly allowance, but also made us responsible for how much we spent on clothes and recreation. My brother and I each got $33 a month for clothes and $33 a month for recreation. This may seem like a lot. However, it really isn't. Want a new pair of shoes? Want spirit wear at registration? Want a T-shirt at a church retreat? Want to go to church camp? Camp will alone make you save for 4 months. What about all the bowling nights and movies? You do have to start picking and choosing. This is something that I will have to start doing in the coming year. Why? First year teacher, getting married, paying off OUR loans, pay for a honeymoon, etc. Can I do it? Yes! Will it be hard? YES! Will I give you tips? YES! I am already a thrifty spender, but wait til I fill you in on some of the best and easiest ways to spend money, cook cheap (inexpensive), and enjoy cheap entertainment. I am not an EXTREME COUPONER. I repeat I am not an EXTREME COUPONER! I don't have the time, but I do have time to shop at ALDI's, check out a few deals through e-mails and share my love of these savings with you. My food blog will become a "life" blog. I hope you can read through my choppy sentences and typos to find some tips. I hope this next year will prepare me to be a domestic future wife, a financially smart individual, and a better teacher. :) This next year will help PREPARE me to be a PITCHFORD. (Still working on the blog title...any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Alliterations were never my thing.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guacamole :)

I have always wanted to make homemade guacamole. :) My mother has always told me that avocados can be expensive, which is true. However, you just need to know where to buy them! I went to Aldi's several weeks ago and bought them for 33 cents each. Then, I went to Walmart and they were 1.25 each. :) I definitely made the better bargain, which is the first sign of becoming a domesticated woman! When picking out the right avocado, you must first decide your purpose. If you are making guacamole choose the softer ones because you are mushing them anyway. If you are putting them in a salad, you may want them a little bit firmer.

4 avocados peeled, pitted, and mashed
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced onion
3 Tablespoons cilantro
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic

First, you need to pit and peel the avocado. This is actually a very easy task to complete. :) Get a large knife and cut around the pit. Eventually you will have two halves of the avocado and one wil contain the pit. Then, use a spoon and remove the pit into the trash can. Then spoon the avocado out of the skin into a bowl. Then, mash all the avocados with a spoon or fork. Add the lime juice and salt. Mix in the onions, and tomatoes once you have chopped them. Then, add the cilantro and garlic. Refrigerate for one hour to get all the flavors interacting with one another to make GUACAMOLE. :)

Cheeseburger Soup

This recipe is from the lovely Christea Reiser. :) I have to say that this soup was simply delicious! It tastes like potato soup mixed with cheeseburgers! What could be better?

1 lb of ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon parsley
4 Tablespoons melted butter
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups of cubed potatoes (I left the skin on)
1/4 cup flour
8 oz Velveeta
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

First, brown the beef in the skillet and then drain! Chop or shred the onions, carrots, and celery. Mix these with the parsley and 1 Tablespoon of butter. Sauté them in a sauce pan. Then, add the broth, potatoes, and beef and bring to a boil. Then, in another saucepan, mix the remaining butter, flour, Velveeta, milk, salt, and sour cream. Then, I put both pots of ingredients into the crock pot and cooked it on low for several hours to mix all the wonderful flavors. Serve and enjoy! :) This will make an entire Crockpot full. You will be prepared to serve a small army.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is from the lovely Katherine Jesus. :) I used her simple recipe to make an amazing pie! :) It's quick, easy, and splendid!

1/4 cup carmel
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup or carmel.
1 6 oz. Graham Cracker crust
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup milk
2 vanilla instant pudding packages
1 can of pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 8oz container of cool whip

First, pour the 1/4 cup carmel topping into the pie crust. Then, beat the milk, dry pudding, pumpkin, and spices with a whisk until they are throughly blended. Sire in 1 1/2 cups of cool whip. Spread the filling into the crust. Top with the remaining cool whip. Then, refrigerate 1 hour and top with pecans and top with chocolate syrup or carmel! Enjoy!

Brazilian Cheese Bread Brushetta

Well, my mother has a food sensitivity to gluten. So, for a Christmas present I was making her dinner, so I wanted to find something that was "bread like" that she could enjoy! :) I found the answer. Brazilian cheese bread is delicious, cheesy, and gluten free! So, I took it one step further and turned it into brushetta!

Dough Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil or butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Tapioca flour (This is not Tilapia flour... that is a fish!)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2/3 cup grated parmesan
2 beaten eggs

Topping Ingredients:
Green onions
Shredded cheese
Olive oil

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, medium sized sauce pan on the stove, mix olive oil, milk, water, and salt. Let this mixture boil. Once it comes to a bowl remove it from the heat and stir in the Tapioca flour and garlic. Then, let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, mix in the beaten eggs and parmesan cheese. It will look like cottage cheese and be very clumpy. This is the way it is supposed to look do not become overwhelmed.

Then, form the dough into small circles. The dough doesn't rise or expand, so the size you make them is the size they will be. Then, leave them in the oven for 15 minutes or until almost golden brown. In the mean time in a bowl mix together soem chopped tomatoes, green onions, some shredded cheese (mozzarella), olive oil, and shake some basil in there. :) Then, place a little of the mixture on each bread circle. Put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until all the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Remove for the oven and enjoy! :)

Before they were put back in the oven.