In the News

I just signed up for this fun gift exchange! Blogger and non bloggers alike. If you'd like to join in, go over and check it out over at :  countrylinked.

Any suggestions on what I should send as my gift exchange for a country blogger?


Strategy for Big Savings from Grocery Store Reward Points

With holiday shopping upon us, here is something to help you save money while you shop! But it is more than just a shopping strategy for the holidays. This money saving tip is something you'll use year round, and maybe change the way you think about your store reward card!

A friend of ours taught us the simplest, most amazing strategy to saving a lot of money and making the absolute most out of your grocery store reward points, and I realized after talking with a young cashier at the check out line, I needed to share this tip with you too!

Some of you may already do this, but if you have never thought of it, today you will at least forever stop and rethink what you do and probably start using your store cards to your advantage!

One of the stores I shop at is Kroger. It's parent company owns quite a few national chains so many of you will probably be familiar with their system.

Today I only paid $2.27 for gas, the original price was already a great $2.67 I could have saved even more, but I'll share with you how I saved the money!

Kroger offers a wide variety of gift card's for purchasing. To encourage you to buy them from their store, they usually offer 2 times the fuel points on your store reward card for purchasing them, and several times a year they actually offer 4 times the reward points.

So here are my 2 main tricks. One obvious, the other not so obvious:

1) Gifts to Give:

Buy your gift cards for gift giving from them. Any time of year you'll get 2 x the reward points to discount your gas, but if you are strategic and do a few of them when they offer 4 x the points, you'll save even more!

I bought 4 gift cards to give as holiday gifts and paid $100 total for the 4 cards. Instead of just the 20 cents for every $100 dollars spent (10 cents on food purchases) that is the regular 2 x reward points I got a 40 cent discount on my gas purchase. I could have saved even more if I'd purchased more, but for my budget I need to wait on a few more cards (like Itunes for stocking stuffers). I'll be seeing if they offer 4x the points near black Friday shopping.

2) Shop Strategically:

Buy gift cards to the stores and restaurants you are about to go shop at.  We first learned this trick from our friend who had a home improvement project and would be purchasing supplies at some national chain home improvement stores. Instead of just running his debit card at the supply store, he purchased their stores gift card from the Kroger store, got a HUGE fuel discount on his reward card and still spent the same money on the project as he would have otherwise, but filled up his truck for free!

When I explained this to the young cashier as I was purchasing my gift cards, his jaw dropped, and I think i actually saw a little light bulb go off above his head! He said, I go to Buffalo Wild Wings nearly every weekend with friends.. and I reminded him of the 4 x the fuel points sale that was currently the offer and said, if you bought yourself a bww gift card to use, think how much money you'll save in gas by just thinking strategically?

Whether you are heading to Target for back to school shopping, going out to eat with friends, or doing a project at home, ask your self if the reward points system at your grocery store, might help you save money by buying a gift card for those purchases and build your gas discount even more than normal.

Pretty brilliant, huh?

What ways do you secretly save money?


Upcycled Santa Ornament

This Santa Ornament is not only adorable, it is quick and easy too! I also love that it uses recycled soda can tabs and leftover red shredded gift bag filler!

Grab a hot glue gun and lets get started!


  • Round clear plastic or glass ornaments (found at craft stores)
  • Red crinkle shredded gift bag shreds
  • Black ribbon (I used the kind that has white stitching along edges)
  • pop top tab pulled off of a soda can
  • red ribbon 
  • Optional: Jingle bell or other embellishments


Pull the top off of the ornament ball.
Fill the ball with the paper shreds.
Replace ornament top on the ornament
Cut approx. 8 inches of ribbon.
Feed one end of ribbon up from the bottom through one hole of soda tab.
continue feeding the ribbon back down through the remaining hole in the soda tab.
Pull about 2 inches of the ribbon through.
Hot glue opposite end of the ribbon to the middle of the ornament ball.
Wrap ribbon around the middle of the ball so the Soda tab "belt buckle" ovelaps the first end.
Secure the belt buckle end of the ribbon by hot gluing it in several spots to the ornament.
Feed a jingle bell through the red ribbon and tie through top of ornament for hanging.
Add any other desired embellishiments.


Blue Ribbon Awards: November CFBP

Where has Autumn gone? I swear I was just canning the last of my summer tomatoes just a very short time ago, but alas, Thanksgiving is upon us!

It's the middle of the month and time for my Blue Ribbon Awards from our Monthly Link up!

 I couldn't choose just one so I chose three Blue Ribbon Winners!  I really had like 35 favorites but well that would be a loooong list of awards! So thought I better cut that back down to a reasonable number!  

 Please go visit these great Blogs and let them know you think they are award winners too!

Blue ribbon for overall Yumminess: 

Simple ingredients, easy to put together, and you just want a warm biscuit on the side on a cold evening! Yummo! Thanks for sharing!

Blue Ribbon for Saving our Planet 
(and reminding us to not be stupid!)
Crooked Brand Ranch

Herein Virginia I get behind Truckloads of Chickens heading to well.... "A nice farm in the country!'
I love the reminder during our busy lives, to just RELAX, slow down, take a deep breath, and don't be an idiot! 

Blue Ribbon for Warming our Hearts
I am adopted, so this is near and dear to my heart! I have recently found my birth family and my life is enriched by getting to know them! I am so grateful for my birth mothers brave choice, and my adopted parents for doing the hard work! 

We still have 2 weeks to link up fabulous fall ideas!  Please keep linking up!

SNEAK PEAK:  Want a sneak peak into what our new theme will be starting December 1st?
"Baby It's Cold Outside!'  so finish up those Winter and Holiday Posts and get ready to share them with us!


How to Drizzle Icing like a Pro!

Ever buy those bread or cinnamon roll tubes or kits from the store that you bake at home and then drizzle the little packets of frosting over the top?

If you are anything like me you try to open the packets of icing, and icing just glops out in a big plop and you have a hard time getting it to spread evenly over your freshly baked treats.

With the holiday season upon us, when we will all be sharing goodies with our friends and neighbors, let me show you  a little trick on how to drizzle the icing from those little packets and make it look like a pro did it!

Today I baked up pumpkin bread from a boxed kit. (ok I added chocolate chips and pecans to the batter).  I will be taking it to work and want it to look really nice.

Empty squeeze bottle tube with narrow tip  (usually a dollar or less at the store)
Icing packet.


Open packet of icing, and push the open end a short ways into the squeeze bottle.
Squish all the icing from the packet into the squeeze bottle.
Remove empty packet and replace lid of squeeze bottle.
Drizzle icing over your baked goods.

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