Saturday, June 16, 2012

Private Selections Make Your Summer Meals

As a bzzagent I've had the opportunity to try some more of the Private Selections foods.  Private Selections is Kroger's exclusive store brand.

I was sent coupons in order to try the Private Selections Angus Ground Beef, Private Selections Ice Cream and a Private Selections 6 inch apple or cherry pie.  I was also sent a bag of the Private Selections chips in Sea Salt and Black Pepper.  The kit I received is pictured here:

Upon arriving at the store I found that our Dillon's store does not carry the Angus Ground Beef.  I chatted with the meat manager at our largest store and he hadn't heard about it.  He assured me that my coupon doesn't expire until August 1st so to keep checking back.  A few weeks later, no such luck, so let's start by talking about the chips.

My husband and daughter are big pepper fans, I'm not.  I tried the Sea Salt and Black Pepper chips though.  They weren't bad.  The pepper did come in after a few bites.  Hubby and daughter liked them, but felt they were too hard and thick.  Four of my grandkids were over and hungry--they finished off the bag of chips, not saying a word about the pepper.

But......the store has the chips on sale 2 bags for $5 and they put out a coupon to buy 1 bag get 1 free.  How could I resist not trying some of the other chips with such a great deal?  Here is what we bought:
 The Tortilla Thins were eaten by my teenage daughter.  I asked her what she thought.  She replied that they were good, but tasted like they were fried in a different oil.  I checked the bag and it says vegetable oil.  She did like them and finished off the bag in 2 days.  She did let the grandkids have a few tastes.  My 4 yr old granddaughter especially liked them.
But.....let's talk about those Sea Salt Rice and Bean Chips.    Wow!  These are outstanding and so delicious!  Thin and crisp with just the right amount of salt.  
Since buying those 2 bags, I went back to the store and bought 2 more bags of the Beans and Rice Chips in other flavors.   I chose Salsa Picante Rice and Bean Chips and Chipotle Cheese Rice and Bean Chips.   Both just as grand as the Sea Salt ones.
I noticed they had quite a variety in the Private Selections chips, even including cinnamon and sugar chips.   I can't wait to try even more of them.

Now let's move on to the pie and ice cream.   I chose to use my coupon to get the half gallon of the Private Selections Ice Cream.  I bought Crushed Vanilla Bean flavor.   I also chose to get the 6 inch Apple in the Private Selection Pie.

Just look at this photo of a little slice of the pie, warmed up, with the melting ice cream on it!
 It was yummy.  The apples tasted great.  I did think the pie crust was a little too thick for my taste.

Do you have a Kroger store in your area?  If so, I encourage you to try the Private Selections brand.  Lots more food is available on top of the items that I have reviewed.

Disclaimer:  I received a Private Selections campaign kit as a bzz agent (  in order to try the products for this review.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions of the products are my own.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sunflowers and Dragonflies Finish

yay me!  a finish for this week too!  I did almost let Friday get past me again.  It's been a rush here, rush there, stand in line at the courthouse forever, kind of day.

Anyway......I have made a wall hanging and plastic bag holder for my kitchen.  I bought the materials on an awesome Saturday Sampler deal at the quilt shop.  For attending the sampler, our deal of the day was to buy 1 yard of the spring clearance fabric and get the 2nd yard free!  It was just $6.80 for one yard each of the sunflowers and the dragonflies.   I've made these items and have plenty of fabric left that I will be making some more of the plastic bag holders to put up for sale in my etsy shop.

I used the pattern from the Emerald Aisle table runner, using just one square, and modifying it a bit for the wall hanging.  This is the front.   I even tried my hand at drawing a dragonfly to stitch in the middle.  I'm glad you can at least sort of see it in the photo.   This was my first time to draw the picture on paper and then stitch over the paper onto the fabric.  What fun!

This is the back of the wall hanging.  I made it this way so that I can turn it around on occasion to change things up.  I actually think that I may like the back better.

And, here is the matching plastic bag holder:

With any luck, I may just be able to finish that string type quilt that I've been working on forever, by next Friday.  Heading in soon to do just a bit of work on it for today.

Frugal Friday Link Up--Even More Uses for Vinegar

Happy Friday!
I have spent this week working on getting myself back into some routines, using my index card system from the Sidetracked Home Executives book.   I love the system but when my computer chair was hurting my back, I moved away from my desk and sat on the couch----away from my box of cards.
Once I got a different chair I didn't get back to using the cards.  There are lots of systems out there on staying organized, this is just one that happens to work for me.   I've been feeling a lot better about things this week, and getting more done.

I'm also still keeping up with my coupons like I should too.  I've already saved over $20 more this month than I did last month and the month is only half over.

This week I am sharing the last of the uses for vinegar from the  99-Cent Solutions: Easy Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars

1. Stop excessive barking. Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few tablespoons of white vinegar. If your dog is known for a lot of barking while out on a walk, just spray a mist in front of him when he starts. He will soon get the idea, but be careful not to spray it in his eyes.

2. Eradicate a carsick odor. Yuck! You know that smell after someone has gotten sick in your car. Erase the smell overnight by placing an uncovered bowl of half-full undiluted white vinegar on the floor of the car. This will also work for other odors as well.

3. Mark your car gleam. Skip the wax and use vinegar instead. A teaspoon of undiluted white vinegar in the bucket of soapy wash water will help remove road grit and tar from the paint. Add another teaspoon of vinegar to the bucket of rinse water. For an added touch, wipe down the windows with vinegar to repel rain and frost.

4. Treat a cold sore. When you feel that cold sore coming on, get out the apple cider vinegar. Douse a cotton ball and dab your lip three times a day. If you already have the cold sore, do the same. The pain and swelling will subside and the vinegar speeds the healing.

5. Use as an aftershave. If you've got sensitive skin, commercial aftershaves with their strong scents can result in itching and irritation. Splash on a handful of white vinegar instead for a bracing tonic with no redness. (There's a Father's Day gift idea for you--LOL)

6. Save a paintbrush. If you forgot to wash out the paintbrush, it's not lost. You may be able to revive it by soaking it overnight in undiluted white vinegar. Bend it as it starts to soften to let the vinegar work in. When it's soft again, wash with hot soapy water.

7. Keep plaster pliable. Plaster dries quickly. Buy yourself some time by adding in a few tablespoons of white vinegar as you mix the plaster. It will dry more slowly.

8. Protect plants from mildew. A quart of water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar sprayed directly on the leaves--preferably in the early morning or evening---will stop those powdery mildew or rust spots on your garden plants.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shut Up!

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Shut up by Anne Tibbets.

Shut Up is a young adult fiction, but based on a real life situation.  Families that are torn apart by each other.

Here is an excerpt from pages 30 and 31:

"Do you even get that because you can't watch TV, that none of us can watch now?  Don't you get it?"  I was screaming.
    What the hell was the matter with me?  I was the one who wasn't sinking.  I was the one in control.  And now, I'd lost it over the TV?
I couldn't stop myself.
    "I'm sorry!" Mary pleaded.  "Let go!"
    "Not everything is about you, Mary!"  My grasp remained tight.
    "Paul!  Let Go!"  Mary's face was turning purple.
The words came out before I could stop them.  "You're so stupid!  If you'd just shut up....!"

I have a full review written on squidoo along with an author interview.  I do hope you will check it out:

Shut Up by Anne Tibbets



I am linking up with:

Squidoo Hopping--Lowest and Highest Ranking Lenses

This week I want to talk about lowest ranking lens vs. highest ranking lens.

Which do you choose to update?

Since joining the squidoo facebook group where we share our lowest ranking lens each day, I have really only updated my lowest ranking lens each day for the past week.  This has pretty well worked out for me because all but 2 of them I hadn't gotten to yet for my little bit of updating.   I now have 16 of 122 lenses that haven't been updated and papers moved into my new notebook.  I'm getting there.

I'm anxious to get them all updated somewhat though and move on to continuing from there to do small updates all over the place.

One gal suggested that I concentrate on maybe the lowest ranking lens, but to make sure that I do a bit of an update to any lenses that are close to moving into a new tier.  This makes perfect sense!
We all are aware that just doing an update improves the rank, even if we don't share it in the networks.  Amazing!  I still have my huge list of ways to update my lenses.....which will keep me busy for years to come, even if I never build a new lens again.  again.....amazing!

If you would like, and are posting lenses in the linky, this week share your highest ranked and your lowest ranked lenses.  If you blog about squidoo, please share your blog link!   Also, if you choose to share in the linky, please make sure to come back later, even in a day or 2, and support those who have shared links.   Thanks!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIP Wednesday--Not Another New Project!

Oh my.....I started yet another new project.  This one is for sewing club at church.  The gal handed me the pattern sheet and told me it was the next one she wanted me to try after doing the other scrappy quilt.   I spent some of my sewing club time yesterday picking out fabrics to make it with.  I cut them to the size needed, but didn't quite have enough of the yellow.  The instructions have you cutting the material a lot differently than I am used to.  On some strips I was fine, but on the others I wasn't.  I went ahead and figured how many of each size block I needed and am going to cut them that way.  I stayed up past midnight last night cutting and this is the mess I came up with:

 Yes, that is my laptop down on the floor too.  I was also clicking on m programs and chatting with a friend through facebook about coupons.  I can see this project taking me about a year to complete.

Speaking of taking forever to complete---ugh!  I am still very tired of working on this quilt that I expected to have done months ago.  I worked on it a bit at sit n' sew at the quilt shop this past Friday evening.  I worked a bit more on it Monday here at home.  I am short one more block for the 7th row and still have to make all the blocks for the 8th row.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how I look at it), it will only be 8 rows.  I wanted it to be 8 x 11 rows.  I just didn't have the materials needs to the in between to make it that size.  I still have plenty of the strips when I am done and not sure what I am going to do with those.

I also worked on my wall hanging at sit n' sew.  I didn't estimate my back right and didn't take any extra fabric with me.  I did, however finish the plastic bag holder to match it.  I didn't take a photo of the bag holder, but with any luck I can finish up the wall hanging by Friday for the TGIFF blog hop.

I have a tone of UFO's or so it seems.  I have a toothbrush rug that only needs about 10 more strips put in.  It's been sitting here beside me for months.
I have a new project of crocheting soap savers and putting them up for sale in my etsy shop, including a bar of soap with each one.
I have dish scrubbies to make like crazy.
I have materials cut to make 2 set of folded hot pads.
I have a table runner pinned that needs to be quilted and sewn.
I have a start on another table runner.
I have a set of hot pads and coasters started too.
Then there is the granny a day challenge blanket that I am getting behind on once again too.
Should I also add in the crochet topped hand towels that I bought everything for but haven't even learned how to make them yet?  Or the coffee mugs I bought to put mixes in for gifts?

When will I ever have the will power to finish what I've started before starting on something else??  I would guess the answer to that is never.  I am constantly learning new things and get sidetracked from previous projects.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is up to this week.  I am linking up with the following blogs:
 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SIS Shares in Squidoo--More Sewing From Me


Last week I shared some of my favorite quilting lenses.  This week I want to concentrate more on sewing in general.
I didn't own a sewing machine until about 4 years ago when m husband bought me a machine.  My intention was pretty much just to make quilts, but I have learned to make some other things along the way.  I am loving to sew and have even joined in on sit n' sew at the local quilt shop once a month.  I'm on the look out for other small sewing groups I can join as well.

I want to start this week with a lens that is still about quilts.  It's all about Quilts for Kids.  I have sent the lensmaster a photo of the quilt I made for Quilts for Kids that she will be adding to the lens at a later date.  I am also presenting Quilts for Kids at our guild board meeting tomorrow.    
Quilts for Kids

These 3 lenses will help you get started with sewing!

*Beginner's Sewing Lessons--Learn How to Sew with Easy Projects and Online Tutorials*

Learn How to Sew: Machine Sewing for Beginners

Sewing Instructions; Sewing 101; Sewing Basics; Learn How to Sew

As for my own sewing, this week I am going to highlight my etsy lens.  You will see some of my sewing items listed.  I have a goal to keep this lens up as well as keep adding more and more to my etsy shop.   I so wish we could delete sold or expired etsy items from the module over having to completely remove and replace the module on squidoo.

Marsha's Spot on Etsy

p.s.  Please please feel free to pin my lens, or any of my items for sale over to pinterest  :)  Thanks!
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