smith's has saved my family from starvation again!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | | 2 comments

smiths is having a buy 4, get $4 off sale certain foods sale. quaker granola bars are on that deal.
and let me give you a glimpse into my parenting skills-when my kids moan about being hungry and im busy on facebook, napping cleaning bathrooms, i usually tell them to grab a granola bar. that buys me a about 30 minutes before they find me again and expect me to do something else for them.
anyways, before any discounts, each box was $2.11, but if you buy 4, $4 comes off. making each box $1.11.
now $1 a box is when i usually stock up on granola bars, so this is a good deal.
until i come in with 2, buy 2 get 75 cents off coupons! (from the red plum coupon inset from 2.14.10) making each 74 cents!
even the smiths lady (who i see all. the. time.) was impressed by my score!
so if you have a smiths (they are a 'kroger' store. some of you might have another store that is part of the kroger company) get on down and steal get some granola bars.
they are partly healthy.
well, better than candy.
maybe not, but you can talk yourself into thinking that if you say it enough.

what not to do to eggs...

...wrap plastic eggs in fuzzy yard. i know it sounds really cool, but it ends up looking like a cat threw up.
...wrap plastic eggs in twine and spray paint. even if it is blue ocean breeze. what worked well for christmas balls, doesnt really look all that great as easter eggs.
get some cool sparkley eggs from the dollar tree, start hot gueing them to a styrofoam ball and realize that  you need more. then forget about the project for a week (maybe 2) and finally go back to the dollar tree for more and...SURPRISE! they are sold out! no stores have them!

then you are stuck just throwing them into a jar (after ripping them off of the ball because you dont want to waste the ball) because they are sparkley and pretty and all.
just warning you now...

Life in the Pitts

The Trendy Treehouse
Show and Tell Green i also linked up with someday crafts and the shabby chic cottage and tea rose home  and its so very cheri

for force is (still) strong in the room...part 4

Monday, March 29, 2010 | | 10 comments
i went to d.i. looking for a few finishing touches for nate's re-do bedroom. i really havent spent that much. most of the moeny was spent on spray paint.
well, i found this. it really doesn't look like much and i didnt know what to expect when i opened the box. all i can say is that i dont think whoever got this back in 2000 ever opened the box. because it looked just like THIS, with everything still inside. (including the gift card, which i am certain is expired by now) and instead of pay the $29.99 that is the online price, i paid....
yup-90% off of the online price.
but not quite enough to try and sell it for a profit.
at least not yet.
so i did what i always out a can of spraypaint.
i painted a frame black and put this actual strip of the film in a frame. i wish i had a better way to display it. but i dont want to ruin it, incase i need to pawn it someday.
the boys thought i was way cool.
and i will let them keep thinking that way as long as possible.

im linking up to its so very cheri, tip junkie and thrift share monday

96 cent pantene at smiths!

if you happened to get the vocal point free sample of pantene, there were 3 or 4 $2 off coupons in the box with it. this week at smiths, pantene is $2.96, with the coupon making it 96 cents baby! i had a $3 off my next purchase from smith (last week i bought 3 or 4 pizzas and it printed out at the registers), so to make sure i spent enough i got some redvines. i ended up paying $2+-a 90% savings! that is the most i have EVER received!
so im a happy ba!
i saved a ton AND got purple red vines!
couldnt be a better monday!

who do you think you are?

have you caught the nbc called 'who do you think you are?'? there was also a pbs show called 'faces of america' that aired a month or 2 ago. i love watching these shows and people finding out about their family history.
my moms family has only been here since 1912-1915, so all of my american relatives i know. once they came to america, they were never able to go back, and their family wasnt able to come here. i have known them, i heard the stories, i have lived the stories. i love my italian hertiage.
the traditions.
the food.
so those shows made me want to see if i could find anything new out there on my mom's parents. (my pop pops father changed their name to 'martin' because no one would hire italians. he thought we could pass for irish. i have no idea what the name used to be. that makes geneology a bit harder.)
i did some digging around and found their marriage paperwork (look for pasquale martin)! i actually started crying because i saw their handwriting. you can too if you click in the upper right hand corner! here is the paper work from my nana (madeline manno).
and, yea, i knew they were married. but to see their handwriting again on a document that i have never seen was amazing.
makes me wish i was a celeb so someone could find more out about my family.
that and so i could have someone make my bed for me daily.
and make dinner.
so go check out and see what you can find out about your family!!
the photo is of my nana and pop pop on their honeymoon. i they went to the poconos, and the story goes that nana lost her luggage.

laziness and rub-ons...2 great things that go great together!

Friday, March 26, 2010 | | 6 comments
i have had these rub-ons for awhile. you know how you pick something up on sale, thinking 'i'll use that as soon as i get home! no-this is soo cool-i will use it on the way home!'.
and 6 months later, it is still sitting on your crafting table. now covered in dust , an empty bag of swedish fish and a darth vader action figure.
i hate that.
so in a fit of 'i want to craft but im broke (not that THAT would stop me) and way too lazy to drive 5 minutes to hobby lobby.'. oh, and i would have had to bring at least one of my wonderful kids that i would have to bride with candy. that is enough right there NOT to go anywhere.
so after i fling the dark lord at my kids (he counts as a babysitter-right?), and i make sure the bag of swedish fish is empty,i open these rub-ons and try to be creative.
that almost always means spray paint.
i popped the glass out of a frame and painted the frame black. while that dried, i taped my sheet of rub-ons to the glass and started rubbing. the end result looks pretty good! i didnt end up putting the back on the frame because i like the see thru look. and i love my wall color. so once again, laziness, my kids and being broke made me crafty and cool.
what have you done when your hubby wasnt making money as fast as you can spend it?
Simply Designing

the force is strong in this room...part 3

Thursday, March 25, 2010 | | 10 comments

right now, nate has THE COOLEST 'route 66' sign in his room. i got this from a talented friend 15+/- years ago. she actually MADE it. pretty cool, huh? it is on masonite. back then we didnt have vinyl machines that cut pretty things out (and i STILL DONT). this was done by hand with a silk screen. 'momma steph', as i call her, has real talent. it wasnt originally that 'distressed', i made it that way when i was doing nate's room the first time.
but now he wants a star wars room, so this is headed to the craft room (yea for me!). to replace it, i found a poster on that is not even as close as cool as my sign, but nate likes it. (clone trooper, of course)
im kinda sad because 1. i love the '66' sign and 2. the poster is very unoriginal.
and if you know nate, he is an original. and i want his room to show it.
so to make me feel like a better mom, i am framing these stamps that the kids got from their uncle pat. right now i have them in a cheap-o frame from dollar tree. but i am going to see what i can find that will make them stand out more (and right now, you can buy these stamps for $19.99, so i need to protect them until they go up in price more so i can pay for nate's college education).

and, for right now, i modged podged over this car ornament picture that i had modge podged over some country looking heart thingy i had from dollar tree. (got that?) another sad day, because i think the ornaments look really cool, but it isnt nate's 'thing' and im cheap. i just used some star wars scrapbok paper left over from here, so it matches the chalk/magnet board.
this re-do is taking more energy than i like to admit. just writing about it makes me want to nap.
just to show you how much little nate loves star here, and here, and here and here. and im sure there are more, but i bet most of you wont even check these.

the foods of my youth...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | | 6 comments
i hope you all remember nicole from here. this is (sadly) the most recent photo we have of each other together. we were in philly visiting my nana who was sick with cancer. it was a hard time for me and i really love her for coming to visit.
(ok ba-what are you thinking with those jeans?!)
thankfully now we both look a bit better.
or at least more 2010 and not so much 1994.

my second mom her mom joyce made THE BEST PEPPERONI ROLLS! maybe because i never had them anywhere else before or after. but whatever the reason, i loved parties at their home because they would for sure be there! (that and chex mix)

i am certain she made her roll dough from scratch when we were kids,
but here is a fast easy way to make them.
(and joyce said it was ok to do it this way. if she said it is ok-then it is!)
4 rolls of pillsbury refrigerated biscuits
(yes-you will eat all FOURTY of them)
1 pound pepperoni
now you want to cut your pepperoni so they look like fries, NOT like the way they serve them on pizza.
again, that is how joyce did it. don't mess with perfection.
roll each biscuit to make a flat oval, place pepperoni stick in the middle and roll dough around it.
place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

very best when they are hot from the oven, but if bob and joyce sent me a box from pa and they were cold, i'd still take them!
**ps, bob and joyce were in an aweful accident thursday night/friday morning. bob has a cracked vertabrae in his neck, but it's not near the spinal cord and won't cause any nerve damage. his hand is pretty swollen from the air bag & he has a bad mark on his chest form the seatbelt. joyce has a broken wrist and will had a sucessful surgery friday and the drs put a steel plate and some screws in her wrist. she also has 2 cracked ribs & her knee is pretty bruised up. (this was an email i received from nicole friday)
i am keeping them in my prayers, because as you know,
old people take a long time to get over stuff like this!
(XOXOX  headed  your way bob and joyce)
****another update...bob and joyce are home resting!****

Life in the Pitts

guess what i did instead of cleaning yesterday...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | | 6 comments
i am certain ALL of  you in blog land saw this from MADE yesterday.
i think it went viral.
all i know is that it made me hungry.
i used pretty much the same instructions (because i am a copy cat...bunny...whatever) except i used a zig-zag stitch all the way around the peep.
no reason, i just like that stitch and use it whenever possible.
and i hot glued my peeps to the ribbon.
i do love the hot glue.
so here is my story that goes with peeps.
back in high school, my best friend was heather (h.d. for short). we did so much together people thought we were related. (see photo-we DO NOT look like we come from the same family at all)
here is a photo of us about 1988 in the district (washington dc). that is my brother aaron in the middle (getting squished) and patrick getting kicked in the face.

anyways, we loved peeps. and phar-more was having an after easter sale of the 12 packs of peeps...
10 for $1!
we used all of our money (maybe $10) and brought them home to get stale.
and yes, we ate every. last. one.
and got so freakin' sick.
i seem to remember someone asking for some malox late one night.
(that might have been me)
that hasnt stopped me from loving them. one year for easter, chris got me about 10 packs for myself!
best. easter. ever. (this was before kids and i didnt have to sare with ANYONE!)
so thanks MADE, you made my day!

here comes peter cottentail...

Monday, March 22, 2010 | | 11 comments
it all started with this little bunny in an etsy store. of course i fell in love! i mean, with the stenciling on the burlap-could that bunny get any sweeter!?
then...oopsey daisy made one here.
so of course, instead of cleaning before in my free time before chris came home from a business trip, i made a few!
i pretty much followed what 'daisy' said, except i was able to sew across the top after filling mine with beans.
i didnt sew the ears together, but i did hot glue them. (we had 5 or more kids in the house. i loose count after awhile)
and instead of useing a stamp pad, i used my good old cover girl pink blush. it looks good on everyone!
the sad thing is, i made these to give to some friends, but that might not happen now. they are just too cute.
and im out of supplies. (i know-out of burlap!? wtfreak?!)
so thank you oopsey daisy for the instructions (because we all know that i'm not very creative AT ALL. but i am a good copier!).
**oh and on the 'red' one, i used one of those elastic bands that are on the inside of pants for kids. you know, the bands that make a size 10 slim even skinner (and they still fall off). the pants were distroyed and i scavaged everything i could. i'm so freakin' thrifty. or weird. (please no comments on the weird part)**

update...i DID end  up giving my little bunnies away. but they went to wonderful homes! here is what summer posted on facebook for the universe to see...Beth Anne is one of the craftiest, sweetest people around. I am so lucky to share in her wonderfulness :)

i also wanted to show what happens when you are on the phone with your little brother and are trying to sew split green peas into a burlap bag. there are many many more on the floor.
so for the love of pete, stay off the phone when you sew these little guys together!Sumo Sweet Stuff

The Trendy Treehouse
Simply Designing

it is the first day of spring! and if that is enough reason to celebrate...

Saturday, March 20, 2010 | | 0 comments
tatertots and jello posted a link to my easter bread! please note-the photo IS NOT mine! i found that somewhere on the inter-webs. but the directions are all manno family! so click here to see cosuppa (oh, and a few other amazing creations) on the weekend wrap up party!

balls balls and more balls (and some moss ribbon)

Friday, March 19, 2010 | | 6 comments
i love balls. you all know that. see here, here (purple ones in the jar)
and here. i am always trying to think of new ways to decorate with them.
yes, weird obsession, i know.
this is one that totally bit. i mean, i hate it. which is sad because i love balls and burlap!dont worry, i ripped it all apart and saved the ball. (the 'now and later' ball is the before. i got them a target after christmas for 25 cents. i let the kids have the candy and i got the ball! worked out well for everyone!)
this started life as a paper mache ball. i wanted it to have color and i had no money and no desire to go to hobby lobby for supplies. i modged podged some apple green tissue paper to it. i like the pop of color it gives.and finally this. it was $4.99 at joanns and they were just putting it out on the floor! yes, it says 'moss roll' on it! the cashier picked it up, slowly turned it around in her hand and said 'the possibilites are endless'. EXACTLY how i felt!
i hot glued it to this pot i had hanging around and sprayed painted one of my twine balls yellow. the little metal tag is from michaels clearence...50 cents for a pack of six! im still working on where to put the rest.

then i decided that i needed to switch out the twine ball for a bacci ball that was out as a st pat's day (it was green, not a real st pats day decoration). but moved the twine to the aqua pot in the other box. (this is my main floor half bath. the only one that needs to be clean and good looking for company!)
so there you go-some balls that worked. one (of many) that didnt.
but im still loveing them!

sink or swim with nunnee!

Thursday, March 18, 2010 | | 2 comments
nicole and i were bestest friends growing up. i even have the 'best friends' necklace to prove it! we did so much together, we figured that we were sisters.
except she can sing and dance. me...well, im cute.
and somedays that is all i had going for me.
one of nicole's favorite things that her nunnee (grandma) made was/is sinkers. aka gnocchi. our home rarely got them, but nunnee must have loved making them. i remember eating them at nicole's home after her first communion. (ok-why do i remember that??) nunnee made them more in a soup, while the few times we had them i remember them with gravy. my italian blogging friend sandi had them with a meat sauce. i read that some people sprinkle sugar on top or just add butter. so i guess any of these ways would work.
i asked nicole to get nunnee's reciepe and here it is-straight from the gnocchi making queen herself-nunnee.
(yes that cute photo is of nicole!)

10 cups flour

2 cups instant mashed potatoes (follow the box and make as directed)
3 lbs. of Ricotta

*Nunnee says they are both good, easier with the mashed pots because usually available in your cupboard.

2 eggs
cold water (mix all of the above ingredients and add water to mix and handle as though you are making bread, but a little dryer.)
After mixing, you need to make long strips and roll in your hands about pencil thickness. Cut about one inch lengths and take your first and second finger and roll dough toward you to get that little indentation. Use a little flour to make it easier. While you are cutting the others, sprinkle a little flour on your counter for a base. If you are going to freeze them, use a cookie sheet (no flour on bottom) and place gnocchi in single layer to flash freeze. When gnocchi is firm, you can put them in ziploc freezer bags and freeze!
when cooking gnocchis, you put a small batch in boiling, salted water. they will sink. when they are done (you may have to stir them to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom), they will float to the top. you can scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

let me know if you tried these. i will be sure to pass onto nunnee that her sinkers arent a stinker!
ps-i made these gnocchi's friday night (3.12.10). that is them drying a bit before i cooked them. the wood thing in the left hand corner is an actual gnocchi roller. im not sure how i scored that one, but once i started rolling with it, i totally had a flash back to my great grandmother. i could see hands flying over the dough with this, popping out gnocchis. im more of a slow motion version of her.
and my kids loved them!
well, not parker. he said that they were ok. (really?! just ok?!) natey and chris ate up a few helpings before dinner was done.

can i say honored?

i was doing my own thing last night while watching some jon stewart and noticed a strange email.
no, some prince in teh middle east wasnt going to give me a half a million dollars if i cashed a check for him.
it was from tip junkie, a site i adore!
at first i couldnt figure it out, the i realized...
here is the link to my original post, which was done on my family blog almost a year ago!
thanks tip junkie!

may the force be with us...part 2

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | | 7 comments
so for the next part in the re-do on nate's room, i made some pillow covers.
the pillows i had had from who knows what. so when i was at d.i., i grabbed this nice mens shirt. if you havent ever made a pillow case from a mens oxford shirt, it is very easy. just button up the shirt, place the pillow where it looks best and cut about 2" from the edge of the pillow.
the great thing with an oxford shirt is that you can place right sides together, sew it all up, unbutton it, flip it rightsides out and put the pillow in and button it back up.
so flipping easy!
and the buttons add a nice detail.
i had extra material, so i decided to make a second pillow. i went and found a clone trooper pumpkin carving stencil. then i found directions on how to print onto fabric here.
again-so easy!
so with left over scraps from the shirt, i peiced together a second pillow.
by then, natey had made it home from school and found out what i had been up to.
needless to say, he LOVES his new pillows. and if you look in the background you can see that we are watching the original star wars movie. (for those of you who are geeks-it is right where han says 'boring conversation any. luke! we're gonna' have company!')
and he is still dragging that pillow everywhere with him. bummer, because i really dont want to make another so soon...

Life in the Pitts

The Trendy Treehouse

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Newer Posts Older Posts Home